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Author Topic: Fear of Driving or being Passenger in a Car  (Read 1968 times)

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Offline Sunshine807

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Fear of Driving or being Passenger in a Car
« on: March 23, 2012, 06:07:22 PM »
Hi Everyone,   I have true vertigo attacks now for several years. When I have an attack I have to close my eyes and sit very still or it's much worse! Anyway this has lead to a major fear of driving/riding. Through the years I have had vertigo attacks while driving or at a stoplight and I just pull over or just don't go (horns honk, eh who cares I can't see because the world is spinning) In Nov 2011 I had 3 attacks while driving in one month which kicked off a very super uncomfortable experience every time I drive. I had to start taking anti-anxiety med (after being off for 4 years) so that I can just drive my 2 miles to work. I recently had to be in the car for several hours due to my daughter having surgery and needing help back to school. I might as well have been on a roller coaster. Anyway I just wanted to share my extreme phobia. I wish cars did not even exist right now, I can't stand them. I would rather get out of my car and push it than drive it. I know it's so irrational but it's true. No one understands. It's not even just the fear it's I have motion intolerance and it's so uncomfortable. I think it may be a Migraine (without pain) symptom but I know some of it is anxiety too. I plan my whole life now on how I can get out of going in a car. I also have trouble walking due to dizzy but I don't really fear walking.
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Offline KatzeFace

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Re: Fear of Driving or being Passenger in a Car
« Reply #1 on: March 28, 2012, 04:22:02 AM »
I have a horrible fear of driving as well! I'm nineteen and don't have a driver's license. In fact, I am planning to move out this fall and am only moving to places that allow me to bike everywhere I need to go. Although I don't have any advice to offer, just know that you're not alone! <3
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Offline porque_chan

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Re: Fear of Driving or being Passenger in a Car
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2012, 10:32:30 PM »
I deal with my fear of driving every day. I was in a serious car accident when I was a new driver, and I developed PTSD as a result for several months. I was absolutely terrified of even driving to the neighborhood across the street so I would walk to my friend's house there instead of drive even though it took me about 20 minutes. When I would sit in the passenger's seat, I couldn't trust anyone to drive and I would always look around desperately, thinking someone would hit us.

I went to a therapist hoping for a way to get over it. She told me that I needed to start driving, hardcore. I hated her answer, but I did it. I had to drive over an hour and back to work everyday on the freeway that summer. I was tense the whole way and convinced I was going to die the whole time. It took awhile for me to get used to it, but I am much better than I was then. I still get scared about driving, but I no longer feel extremely sore and tense after I drive. I no longer live in dread the whole day before I have to make the smallest trip in the car. I still hate driving, and I am working on it.

What really scared me when I was going through this was a story my friend told me. Apparently, her grandma had a bad accident when she was a new driver, too, but she never drove and made other people drive for her. Now, she is just as afraid as ever and her fear is disabling. I am so afraid I will be like her. It motivates me to keep working on my driving.

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Offline Sunshine807

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Re: Fear of Driving or being Passenger in a Car
« Reply #3 on: April 21, 2012, 07:45:19 PM »
Hi KatzeFace, thanks for the reply. Sorry to hear about your fear with you only being 19. Boy....driving was my most favorite thing to do in my teens and twenties. (not sure how I ended up like this) So I try to tell myself I had some years without that fear at least. I wish you luck. You have your young age working for you and plenty of time to hopefully work through your fear.  (the bright side...bikes don't need gasoline!)
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Offline Sunshine807

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Re: Fear of Driving or being Passenger in a Car
« Reply #4 on: April 21, 2012, 07:59:51 PM »
Hi Porque_Chan, Thanks for the reply. I am glad to hear that you have made a lot of progress. Sounds like you will keep working on it and maybe the fear will be a thing of the past one day. I am not sure why mine is sooo bad and I have no desire to work on it, except that it is for a much different reason. I have a fear of driving because I have unpredictable intense vertigo attacks (for 15 years now) which leave me totally blind, and unable to move for a couple minutes. So having had several of these attacks while driving (3 in Nov 2011 alone) which I am always able to either pull over or just stop and let everyone honk at me! But I think that fear of the attacks is why I don't want to go in a car and no doctor has been able to help me get rid of them. I had an attack recently as a passenger and the driver would not stop (which I understand) but it was horrible, like someone threw me down the stairs. That fear provoked another symptom which is motion intolerance. So everytime I drive or sit as a passenger I have some degree of dizziness and depending on the degree I cannot tolerate the moving car at all and just want to get out. I only have a 2 mile commute and if the meds don't work or I forgot to take them then I have to just scream the whole way home (as it is like being on a roller coaster anyway) so I am so scared of the horrible symptoms. Anyway it is interferring in my life so much. My family/friends just think I hate them cause they think I am making this up. (At least my children are grown and drive themself to work/school.) I wouldn't even know how to make it up, wish I was. Everyone just keeps telling me to go to the ends of the world to find a good doctor. Not sure how I can do that if I can't drive/ride for even 2 miles most days. Anyway enough of my blubbering, I may be a lost cause. But I am determined to remain hopeful.
Good Luck to you.
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Offline carbonatedwater

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Re: Fear of Driving or being Passenger in a Car
« Reply #5 on: April 25, 2012, 12:34:10 AM »
I have a drivers license but I refuse to drive. Every time I get behind the wheel I get lightheaded and want to vomit. Driving a car is high up on my list of things that give me bad anxiety, although I am gradually working on my fear of driving.
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Offline billiejoe

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Re: Fear of Driving or being Passenger in a Car
« Reply #6 on: April 30, 2012, 12:10:10 AM »
hey Sunshine807, i can completely inderstand your fears. During my horrid time with anxiety i found it almost unbearable to drive. I had to drive to my college on a sunday evening 40 miles away and it really was a terrifying experience. i would constantly feel light headed and short of breath on the journey and was always in fear that i may faint or have a heart attach and crash the car on a busy freeway.

You say you get really dizzy at stoplights. Is this in a built up area? As i found whenever i was driving in a city or town i would immedieatly get dizzy and feel about to pass out. After many months of this i tried breathing into a paper bag in the car while it was happening and it really helped alot.

Im nearly overy my anxiety battle and i wish you all the best in your fight against it. God bless.
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Offline Pea

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Re: Fear of Driving or being Passenger in a Car
« Reply #7 on: May 05, 2012, 07:40:22 PM »
Glad I'm not the only one out there who is afraid to drive! Got my learner's permit in October of 2010, and still have not taken my road test...Have been taking lessons with a driving school, but am having a really hard time getting in my practice time(because I can't force myself to get out with someone and practice!) I'm 26, almost 27...Hoping someone has some tips how to get through this!
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Offline porque_chan

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Re: Fear of Driving or being Passenger in a Car
« Reply #8 on: May 31, 2012, 09:26:24 AM »
Guess what, everyone.

I have officially started driving lessons to get over my driving anxiety. I already have my license, but they have been very helpful! My driving instructor knows that I get very nervous about driving, and she has been suggesting ways that I can drive that will help me become less anxious. When I drive slowly and steadily, she says it helps prevent my fear from escalating, and she's right! After a stop, I slowly accelerate. When I make a turn, I make it slowly and carefully. When I change lanes, I don't jerk the wheel anymore but I go slowly and steadily. Maybe mentioning something to your driving instructor would help. They deal with people who are nervous about driving all the time, and they know some tips on how to make it better. Even small changes are a big deal because once I start using them when I practice, I can become more confident.
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Offline Breizzy

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Re: Fear of Driving or being Passenger in a Car
« Reply #9 on: July 05, 2012, 07:48:47 PM »
I have a fear of driving without another licensed driver in the car.  I will not drive by myself and I will not drive with just my kids. I cannot do it.  I am too scared and freak out and get massive panic attacks behind the wheel.  Sometimes it is so bad that I do not remember where I am going or where I am at. UGH! I have a drivers license and wasnt always like this. 
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