Fear of driving

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Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 305
   Posted 11/12/2006 10:26 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

I've been doing a lot of thinking about why my axniety is on a rampage, and my panic has been the worst every. I had been tracking my panic and seeing if I could find a pattern in why it's come back after one year. I have noticed that all my panic attacks happened while in my car. I had a horrible car accident about 5 months ago, and have been driving for abut 3 or more since. I never felt a fear up until now, but I have been preoccupied with the feeling of dying in my car, or the concept of death period since my accident. I was the only person in my accident to walk away, the others were pinned and had to be extricated from their cars. I had some sort of survivors guilt, even though I think all of us survived, it was just I was about 2 inches from having another car crush me, which would have killed me. When I walked out of my car, everyone kept saying "you are so lucky" "that car was so close to crushing you" I never once had a panic attack up until recently. I started thinking it was some sort of post traumatic stress, which I'm going to talk to my therapist about. I was just wondering if anyone who's had a fear of driving, how did you get through it? or if you have any suggestions of how to get through some of these fears? I appreciate all your help. There is so much more to my story, but it's just too long. Thanks everyone

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 789
   Posted 11/12/2006 10:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Hello steph2005
I still drive some but not much. I'm lucky I do live in a small town so everything is like a few blocks away. I get very stressed in a car because of my anxiety so hubby usually drives. I didn't have this problem till I got lost driving me home one day and forgot where I lived. I think that was my first attack and I just parked and cried in a parking lot. I did find my way home after about 30 min. I have to make me notes where I'm going or I will forget where it is sometimes. I'm a very safe a costion driver that's why I forget where I'm going because I'm watching every car around me.
You are in my thoughts and prayers hun.
I have an illness, My illness don't have me.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1449
   Posted 11/12/2006 3:26 PM (GMT -6)   
lots of anxiety sufferers have panic attacks and anxiety problems when in cars, CBT and meds help

recovered former longtime anxiety and panic attack sufferer and helper of other sufferers  but no training or  qualifications in medicine or psychology, any remarks that may be taken as advice must be confirmed with doctor or other health professional

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/12/2006 4:00 PM (GMT -6)   
WOW(((hugs))) sorry to hear about that.
Yaa, i have Epilepsy and i don't drive, and well, alittle scared to again. I did drive years back, but got into an accident (went into siezure...i only get small ones) and smashed car up, and well, never driven since.
I get the "scared" feeling , i guess like a panic attack i think....its scary...:( but i hope everyone is alright.
I'm new to this sight.
take care everyone:) ((hugs))


Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 934
   Posted 11/12/2006 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Most of my panic attacks happen in cars, or in stores.

Mostly in cars though. Fear of death isn't usually what drives it though, usually it's the thought of how far I have to go and if I can make it through and if I can turn around and get back home as quickly as I can.

I HATE driving sometimes, and choose to only drive maybe 20 minutes from home.

I plan to increase this to 25 minutes tho, and then maybe 30 and even farther.

God only knows how I'll do that without panicking. (a high dose of Ativan? lol)

I had a panic attack last night in Target and really thought I was going to die and so I grabbed a huge bag of dog food and carried it thru the store so I would focus only on the weight of the bag, rather than the panic, but both seemed to weigh heavily on my mind. I was literally sprinting thru Target trying to get the heck outta there as quickly as possible.

It was miserable.

I don't understand why I have such a fear of Target when it is only 5 minutes from my house, and I thought I was over the fear, so now I'm back at square one again.

I would definately say that your panic attacks are somehow related to the accident, for sure.

*hugggggggs* Just give Seb a pet when you're in the car.

"Be glad of life because it gives you the chance to love and to work and to play and to look up at the stars."

DX: Panic Disorder, Depression, TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Disorder), Chronic Migraines
RX: Ativan/Lorazapam (1 MG a day), Lexapro (15 MG a day), Tylonel for the TMJ and Migraines

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 112
   Posted 11/12/2006 10:31 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi I didn't drive for a couple of years, due to anxiety attacks. I didn't think I would ever drive again, but slowly I started to drive, even if only out the driveway and back, I kept doing this, but would go a little futher everytime I went out, sometimes I didn't get out of the yard. Eventualy I was driving further and further, I now don't usually have any problems driving. Baby Steps, it takes time but it does work. I wish you luck in getting back on the road and I hope you feel better soon.

Hugs Judy smurf

What dosen't kill me, will only make me stronger.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 11/13/2006 6:10 AM (GMT -6)   
I use to not drive but now to get thru panic attacks I am on the back roads with tunes cranked (oldies) and driving in the wind I love it
I am sorry for what you went thru and hope you can work thru this maybe with some CBT or some therapy
take care and be well
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Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 2500
   Posted 11/13/2006 11:01 AM (GMT -6)   
I like lyn tend to drive to relax. Only time I panic in cars is if im lost or in traffic mostly.

...I dont want the world to see me, 'cause I dont think that they'd understand
When everythings made to be broken, I just want you to know who I am..."
--Goo Goo Dolls

"Those who are different change the world,
Those who are the same keep it that way."

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1268
   Posted 11/13/2006 2:01 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi steph, im horrible in cars, i wish i could do it to relax, but panic almost everytime im in a car, especially if im driving, you are def not alone in that, i hate it. I used to love to go on a sunday afternoon joy ride :(
" Dwell not on the past. Use it to illustrate a point, then leave it behind. Nothing really matters except what you do now, in this instant of time. From this moment onward you can be an entirely different person, filled with love and understanding, ready with an outstretched hand, uplifted and positive in every thought and deed."
Eileen Caddy

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 752
   Posted 11/14/2006 3:27 AM (GMT -6)   
Having been a serious road smash several years ago I can relate to your fear...It took about a year to come right, really jumpy and paranoid - a car would only have to be inching towards the intersection and I would be shakin at the knees lol.
Actually you have made me think back and recall my first anxiety attack which was in the car - and it was a only a few months after the accident..my son was only little at the time and we were coming up to traffic lights..I had the urge to jump out of the car immediately and couldnt breathe...sheesh that was sooo long ago..I didnt understand what the heck was going on at the time..but hey, I am beginning to now..
You will be fine..remember to breathe.
And yes you were lucky to get out of the accident relatively unscathed but that doesn't make the shock factor any less..talking to your therapist is a wonderful idea :)

Take good care.

PS. Twiggygal I am soo proud of you trying to extend your driving time...I know you can do it..look frward to hearing of your progress!
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