It's back worse than before: Just as I... - Anxiety Support

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It's back worse than before


Just as I thought I had things under control it came back worse than before. Always had a fear of travel but now it is even when I am travelling in my own car and fear of being stuck in traffic etc. This will totally affect my day to day don't understand how it can manifest its self in so many ways.

10 Replies

I have to watch that lying feeling that I have everything under control. That philosophy nearly killed me. My depression and anxiety disorder is something I try to manage a day at a time.

Hi. Yes I can relate to that. I'm always trying to be strong and not let others around me the truth. I have been seeing somebody for over a year now but I still don't understand how to cope!

I sought out professional help because I had a breakdown from the depression and anxiety. Psychiatrist for meds and therapist for counseling.

You have to keep on pushing yourself and do the things that you are afraid. It will Show you that it is not as bad as you thought. Easier said than done.....but you have to do it.

Hey man,

I'm just going to give the little insight I have into this, apologies if it doesn't ring true with you but it may help.

I had/have this same exact issue with driving. When the panic attacks first started I noticed that I couldn't focus on things and I felt a sudden derealization. I was in control but at the same time I felt like I was about to lose control. I couldn't have music on in the car, I panicked when I got to traffic and I was unbearably anxious and panicked until the journey was over. This even led to me taking longer routes than usual that were actually an inconvenience, but in my mind, this was a false positive solution to ease the fear and this went on for a month or so. I even bought sunglasses (which I never wear) and went for an eye test because my anxiety was making me sensitive to light. What do you know, 20/20 vision with no issues.

I imagine you have probably already Googled a lot of these driving related symptoms, this was actually one of the rare occasions where this helped me.

I was unaware that anxiety, panic, stress and most other negative emotional states actually cause the muscles around your eyes to tense (as it does with any muscle) causing me to panic and think something was wrong. I was also starting to figure out that my fear, dread and panic was actually tapping into an irrational fear that I had of losing control of the vehicle. I was also very hypersensitive to the fact that I was "trapped" in a vehicle from the moment I got in.

As with you, I know that driving is a necessity in a lot of cases. But the main reason I wouldn't step away from driving is that, as I'm sure you already know, embracing the panic and anxiety is far more effective than running from it.

Whilst I was driving I was constantly fighting back against the fear, the worry and the sheer terror that I was laying out before me. It's akin to trying to stop a pan boiling over by putting a lid on it, all it does it rattle away whilst the anxiety continues to bubble beneath. But when you take the lid away, it may boil over, but eventually with patience and acceptance, it boils away.

I tried accepting the fear I had whilst driving, I still had that anxiety that was making me think about the what if's, what if I get stuck in traffic and I start to panic, what if I pass out behind the wheel, what if I lose control, what if what if what if what. But a strange thing started to happen as I kept pushing the threshold. Initially I could only get a mile or so, then a few more miles, then I started to listen to music whilst driving, then I could drive for 20 minutes and so on and so on.

I used to hate this saying, thoughts can't hurt you, because it doesn't do justice to the experiences we go through, but one thing I heard (I can't find the video now) is this, although these feelings are uncomfortable, they are not dangerous. I said this to myself whilst driving and slowly over a period of time, I started to gain that confidence back.

The anxiety does kick in now and again whilst driving, but it will ease over time and nothing like before, I PROMISE you! And if it does, so what, you embrace it, you breathe and you accept that you are doing the best you can.

You got this man.

I agree as I have been pushing myself to drive everyday even though all the feeling that you mention are exactly what I go through. I watched a video about driving and anxiety and one thing that I remembered more than any of it was when you are going through the feelings of anxiety think of it as a football team you can't just have defense without the offense which with anxiety we have only one which will beat you ever time so you challenge anxiety like a football game with both defense and offense instead of just one part of the team playing. Challenge that anxiety to come at you with all and let it play it's game because if your playing at both levels you are going to win every time although you go through some pain.

That's a brilliant analogy that I hadn't heard before, mind if I borrow it? Haha.

I'm glad you're pushing yourself as well to drive. It's draining but we'll get there!

With anxiety you never know I found. I had to retire early because of it. For the past 3 years I spent most of the time I spent inside and in bed🙃

I feel your frustration David as I do the same thing. I feel great and ready to drive to go somewhere and get caught in traffic and here I go again with the pounding heart, dizziness, feel faint, and feeling like I am going to die at the wheel. I refuse to give up though and have decided to tell my anxiety to "Come and get me" when I get in the car even at an angry level. I am starting to get out everyday to conquer that evil monster (Anxiety) just to show it I am stronger than I think...

Hi thanks for your message. I have been pushing my self this week and not letting it beat me. It hard but every day gets a bit easier. I had BWRT which has helped alot. I would recomend this treatment.

Keep going your doing great. 🤗

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