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Anxiety when driving


Magicklug

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Any suggestions on how to deal with anxiety when driving? I have no idea why I sometimes get anxious when I'm driving. My symptoms are: racing heart, sweaty palms, and the fear that I'm going to lose control of my car. I've never been in an accident. These feelings are scary and because of them I avoid interstates and only drive highways and side streets. Anyone ever experienced this kind of weird anxiety? 😕

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3 hours ago, Magicklug said:

Any suggestions on how to deal with anxiety when driving? I have no idea why I sometimes get anxious when I'm driving. My symptoms are: racing heart, sweaty palms, and the fear that I'm going to lose control of my car. I've never been in an accident. These feelings are scary and because of them I avoid interstates and only drive highways and side streets. Anyone ever experienced this kind of weird anxiety? 😕

that's a panic attack - nothing to be frightened or overly concerned about... I mean it's not ideal if you have them whilst driving, but it's just the body's way of telling you that you're under stress / emotional and potentially bottling it up.

if it helps, it happened to me back in early 2010 - never while driving, but when I went shopping or the theatre (bizarrely!) - genuinely the most frightening situation as I thought I was going mad. I went to the doctor about it and the short-term help was beta-blocker medication for anxiety... although I never finished the prescription as I only took them occasionally - I still keep the box nearby to remind me of those times.... I can look back and laugh at it now. 🤪

the longer-term solution (had to wait 4 months for an appointment) was being referred for counselling - that effectively became bereavement counselling as the situation was ultimately caused by being an executor of a relatives estate, and not spending time dealing with their death emotionally because I was too busy running around like a blue-arsed fly handling the will, legalities, funeral etc... part of those sessions dealt with spotting the signs of the attacks and training myself to deal with them.

to be honest, I haven't really had a problem since... and I don't worry about it reoccurring, because I know if I sense it about to happen, then I can deal with it before it ever gets to the stage of real anxiety - certainly work and/or covid (unless I get it!) shouldn't trigger any issues on that anxiety front, and so the only stresses in my life are on issues that I can't control - so why waste my time worrying about them?

I read in another thread that your stress is work/covid related - covid is going to be around in one form or another for the rest of the year at least (it might be another 6 months before I get both vaccine jabs), so you're going to have to find ways to deal with it... I mean, when I blacked out in the local shop in 2010, I just embarrassed myself... if something happens to you while you're driving, that's more serious with potential consequences for others. 🚑

you have to remember that if you've now reached the stage of having panic attacks, then it's unlikely to go away by itself - you need to address the root cause or at least release the stress valve a little... maybe that's talking to a doctor, or calling a helpline, friends/family etc... depends what options are available to you where you live.

I wish you well. 🙂

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