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10/26/2009 03:16 PM

Having Trouble Driving... any advice or input?

Posts: 109

I was diagnosed in 2001 with Panic Attack Disorder and have dealt with things throught the years, but I had an ear problem which causes dizziness 6 months ago and now I have dizziness constantly. This lead to developing a fear of driving- and mostly on the freeway. I feel trapped like there is nowhere to pull over if I had to. My reaction is to speed everywhere (which is bad- I know). I don't know how to cope in traffic at all- I freak out completely. Has anyone else had an experience similar? Sad

10/26/2009 03:49 PM

Hi TessaB

Your fear sounds a lot like the like the fear side of panic attacks - disorders nd syndromes.

That is where you begin to stop doing or going wherever you had an attack. It affects driving and eventually may lead to complete agoraphobia.

There is an agoraphobia support group in addition to the panic attacks support. There are a lot of threads on various fears.

A number of fears have also been dealt with on this forum.

Basically you must be careful to not allow panic attacks to box you into a corner with no where to go. You must resist the feeling that once you have had aproblem somewhere you must avoid that place forever.

Driving is very similar - once we have had a problem while in the car, we seem to cut back our use of the car, and the places where we use the car and who can be in the car when we are using it, etc, etc.... This sort of problem must be resisted vigerously.

It you have already restricted places or car usage - it is very important to resist allowing it to get further along.

There have also been a number of threads on the anxiety forum about using the car. Bindiboo who is one of the group leaders has a problem with using the car, And consequently there have been a number of discussions on the subject.


What to do for these fears.

There are a number of books on dealing with fears and agoraphobia. They are under the self help sections of the major book sellers . There can help. They are somewhat similar to "Feeling Good" By David Burns , which is based on the Cognitive method of psychology for depression. But these books will be titled with the keywords fear and agoraphobia.

In a ddition, in severe cases, you can go to your pcp or pdoc and get some meds to help you with your fears.

Dealing with fears can take a lot of time, and usually proceeds at a very slow pace, but it brings change.


I understand you concern about driving on the expressways, but i do not understand your logic about driving very fsat - you are setting yourself up for a problem - you might have an accident.

Hope you will be feeling better real soon.

OTHER THOUGHTS INVITED - and even contradictory thoughts - this is a really big subject. Experiences invited...


10/26/2009 03:57 PM
Posts: 109

Thank you- I will look for some books and try to deal with this. I drive fast so I can just get where I am going and get out of the car. Not good- I know. If I am at a stoplight I am sooo tempted to just get out of the car. I will try to drive to the bookstore slowly tonight Wink I can do it!

10/26/2009 07:02 PM
damselndistressPosts: 16968
VIP Member

I have the same problem you do. Also the problem with the ear, my right hasn't been right for months and I have had dizziness with it. I can feel fluid rolling around in it and was told by my family doctor when I finally had her check it because I felt pain the one day, she said, "Oh you have fluid in your ear." The endocrinologist in my exam noted a blocked eustachian tube on the right side. But when I would drive it's almost like a motion sickness. Things start to swirl. I also get the sensation that I am just going to lose control of the car and either go off of the road or swerve into the oncoming traffic, obviously I don't want to do either. My driving is a bit better at the moment although I still won't drive on the interstate. I have slowed down my driving, if people get behind me and it makes me too nervous I pull in somewhere and let them pass. Also I have found some roads that aren't as heavily traveled and feel more comfortable there.

I think it's a mix, try not to let the fear totally overcome you but stay safe too. I don't try to take on what I think I can't handle.

Be safe and try slowing down.



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