Anxiety Support
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Driving with anxiety

Hello,

Does any of you feel very anxious when driving? To the point you think your going to go crazy loose, control of the car, faint at the wheel, my heart starts racing I get palpitations then I panic even more. I drove 2 hours to the lake district and nearly freaked out a few times on the way there, I was so tense in my whole upper body. When this happens I feel tired/drained then panic because I'm tired/drained. I was at the lake district for 4 nights and felt anxious the whole time well apart from been back in the room. Why am I having more anxiety while driving. I took my son to a football tournament about 40 mins away from home and got 30 mins away panic came across me so fast i felt like the music was to loud I went hot my heart started racing. I tried to hide this from him but in the end it got that bad I had to open my window fully as I felt light headed foggy feeling like I was about to pass out my heart rate was 159, shaking my mouth was dry, I felt breathless, i was trying to breath deeply while driving him to football. He asked if I was ok I just said yeah mams just having a panic attack mate il be fine but really I thought my life was coming to an end. I drove a little faster to get him to football so i could get home as quickly as I could. It just got worse and worse to the point feel breathing made my heart rate go up. I didn't know what to do. I got home and after about 10 mins in bed it calmed eventually. I was sat worrying all day in case it came back and also mostly that my soon had seen it.

Does anyone get this?

Jo

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Have you had a bad experience when driving that might have made you associate negatively with it? Are you the only driver in your household or is there someone else who takes a share? If there is any one who could give your son lifts you could try not going on drives above ten minutes or so for a while, or driving with no end destination or time limit so that you get used to the feeling of just being in the car and trying to make more positive associations. Then build up to longer journeys and then back to giving lifts and see if that feels better? If thats not possible you could try taking rescue remedy or having mints or gum in the car (mint flavouring can help with anxiety I think?), playing music that is familiar to you, leaving lots of time for journeys so that you know you can take a break if you need to and maybe by talking to the people around you about how you feel so they are aware. There is a technique that does take a lot of practice but you have to just think - No, I'll worry about this later - and then try to put the worry to one side (which I know will sound ridiculous to begin with but can work). If it doesn't get better you could see your GP or you could try to see if there is online therapy available in your area as this has really helped me with my anxiety. All my sympathy is with you as I know how terrifying the physical effects of panic attacks are and for the record I think that your ability to have pushed through it shows that you are strong and will definitely be able to work on it with time! I hope some of this helps x

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I did and sometimes I still do. I never had a bad experience in a car but I had panic attacks over that I would faint during driving and that led to more panic attacks. My foot would shake so much that I would have to pull over at times. What helped me is medication, therapy and accepting the fact that your blood pressure goes up with panic and you can't faint. Initially I only went for short rides down my street and built up from there. I still don't like being stuck in traffic but at least my panic is somewhat controlled. Good luck, you can beat this!

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I had a similar situation happen 2 months ago. I drove 8hrs to NC. I was fine, coming back after my trip I had a anxiety attack on the side of a mountain driving. I had to pull over, I felt like I was gonna black out I went numb feeling, was sweating, body cramps, dizziness, and my hearing was weird sounding. I'm not sure if it was the elevation and the scenic open views. It made me feel so bad! I even called the emergency squad, Cause I couldn't drive. I had my car towed to the nearest city and had to sleep in my car cause there was no open hotels. After resting over night I felt better. Once I got back on the road every 2 hours I was pulled back over resting because it took everything out of me! My 8 hr trip turned to a 14 hour. Sad! I have never and now I questions what's next for new anxiety pop ups!

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This is how I feel too it's terrible isn't it I feel that tense I'm beginning to have aches and pains from it all day. You have done well calling yourself down having no where to sleep but your car, I wouldn't of been able to rest or bring myself down in the car. I hope you find something that works for you

Jo

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This is the first time anybody has mentioned this but I think it's very common. I think the answer is to accept the bad feelings and continue driving unless you think that your nervous condition is a danger to yourself and others in which case pull over and wait for it to pass. But if you can, accept the symptom and continue to drive. Do what you fear and the death of fear is assured and all that. If you've had a few shunts then regardless of fault it imprints in the memory and anybody with a hint of anxiety starts excpecting it to happen everytime we come to a roundabout or sharp bend.

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I have personally try my best to remind myself it's mental and I'm ok! This is when the anxiety morphs into something else I have never experienced before. Smh

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Yes. This randomly started happening to me. I'm just here to give you hope! I have been dealing with driving anxiety for the last few months, and this summer I decided to try to tackle it. How? By forcing myself to drive. A lot. It was horrible. Absolutely horrible. But after two months, here I am, and I can drive basically anxiety free. I really really really recommend a book called Dare. I forget the author, but is incredible. It helped me so much. Basically while driving I repeated, "so what? If I feel anxious, I'll pull over. No big deal" and "I accept and tolerate these anxious feelings." Read the book. I can't recommend it enough. You WILL get through this.

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Thank you all for your responses. They will help me try to overcome anxiety again. I suffered years ago from postnatal depression and it left me a present of panic which has lingered for 8 year. Lbushill, I did have a bad experience with travelling and been away from home as it happened. I went to Manchester 2.5 hours away from where I live, drove myself there everything was fine I was so excited didn't have any anxiety for a while before going to Manchester. Anyway I done a RAD assessment day to be a prison officer which included maths and English test, fitness test, and 3 role play tests which I was highly nervous about but still no sight of anxiety I enjoyed it. I had a chest infection at the time and the day had come to an end and I went into the bathroom to change and I started getting terrible chest pain I panicked from there on my heart rate went up so I started to drive home the pain wasn't leaving so I decided to go to the closest a and e to get it checked they said I was fine and probably muscular. I panicked all the way home trying not to move to much so the pain wouldn't come back it scared me so much being away from home on my own and not knowing the area.

I'm normally quite good with dealing with my anxiety I have coping techniques that don't seem to work anymore. I have valium 2mg but scared to take tablets. So I've been looking into natural herbs. I have tried every medication (anti depresants) out there and I get terrible side effects from all.

But the driving anxiety is terrible at the min but I will kick anxiety again and I will find another coping technique.

I have found the book dare and seems very interesting.

I am starting therapy today at 2pm so fingers crossed.

Thank you all

Jo

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I tried to look up the book Dare, I can't find it. Yet I found a ton of romance books with Dare. 😋

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Book is called dare by Barry mcdonagh. Try Amazon

Jo

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Yes! That's the one. Thank you :)

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