Hi Ann and welcome. I had this problem for years and was determined it was not going to take my freedom away. For me getting in my car and going where ever I want when I want is the ultimate freedom. I too am on xanax and that didn't even work sometimes while driving but then I got to the bottom of what a panic attack is. Anxiety causes the body to release too much adrenaline which causes physical symptoms (heart pounding, throat feeling like it is going to close etc.) that causes more anxiety and more adrenaline to be released which causes even more physical symptoms etc til your in an all out panic attack. By the way I never stopped driving I was too stubborn to give into it. So I started telling myself over and over when the feelings would begin that it was just physical feelings, which it is. I have never had another panic attack since but I still had some anxiety when driving.
I was really into genealogy and wanted to make a four hour trip to do research. I sat one day and reminded myself of all the things I had done over the years and trips I had taken by myself by many means of transportation and I so wanted to be that person again. So I planned my genealogy trip and left early one Mon morning and I told my DH I didn't know how far I would get, I might only get 10 miles from home but I had to try. I took a secondary highway with lots of small towns along the way so I could stop if I had to and give myself an out. Our cell phones were not working well that day so I didn't even have contact with my DH for most of the trip. When I got to the town I was going to and seen the motel I was going to be staying in I started crying I was so happy with myself for being able to overcome that anxiety. I have since made several trips by myself and it is a piece of cake now. I'm still on xanax and I still don't like driving on interstates cause the traffic moving so fast is too much for my mind for some reason but this winter I have had to make many trips on the interstate back and forth to the hos for my DH and a couple of nights I was so tired all I could do was focus on my son's tail lights to get home and was always so happy to see my exit but I did it. I've never had great night vision driving.
So please don't give into the anxiety when driving or you will be housebound for the rest of your life. Always give yourself an out if it is too overwhelming and talk to yourself and talk to the anxiety and put it in it's place.
luv and hugs
Forum Moderator Fibromyalgia
Fibro,Sjogrens, Anxiety, Gastroparesis, IBS, Gastritis, Allergies, High Blood Pressure, Low Blood Sodium and Osteoarthritis
Amitriptyline, Celexa, Xanax, Synthroid, Zyrtec, Micardis, Spironalactone, Tylenol, Reglan, Lidoderm Patches and Tramadol
Co Q 10, Super B Complex, Extra B12, Multi vitamin