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I Am Afraid to Drive.

I am afraid to drive and whenever I tell anyone about this fear I usually get laughter, told to get over it, and that I am not a good mother because I cannot drive. It wasn't like I planned for this. I used to drive everywhere and anywhere when I was younger. I loved just getting in my car and heading out to a party for the night or even just driving myself to work. But, one day....that all just went away. You even mention driving to me and my whole mood changes. I get panicky and I feel sick to my stomach. I get all jittery and I just don't want to go anywhere. I put off hanging out with my friends, going to the grocery store, or even giving myself a few things all because I am afraid to drive. I don't like being a joke. I don't like feeling that what I am feeling is wrong. All of this is about to ruin my new marriage. And I don't want that to happen. I want to overcome this. What can I do?

amborae80 amborae80 26-30 7 Responses May 17, 2008

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I used to have panics when i would drive, especially at night. I could drive around the city, but not in the "middle of nowhere ". I finally figured out that when i was having one i could call someone i knew and they could talk me down. Now i can drive just about anywhere within an hour or so from the house without incident. It used to be 10 minutes, so i am getting better. I found that if i have one i can get out of the truck and run they go away. I think it burns the adrenaline released when the "fight or flight" mechanism is triggered for no reason. It gives me free exercise.

I'm afraid to drive too, and have been since early on in high school. I can't get to places I need to go without asking for help, which always leaves me feeling ashamed, and like a horrible person for being such a "user."<br />
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And yes, people look at me like I have two heads and laugh when I explain that I don't drive. It's gotten to the point now where if they say, "What?! You don't drive?" I just say "Some people are afraid of flying, I am afraid of driving."

I have that fear and it is killing me. I have not driven my car more the three miles from home as I am afraid it will turn over. I need help also, as people think I am crazy to park my car and take the bus.

Oh how I can relate to a lot of what you said. People, in general, do NOT understand how someone could be afraid of something that comes so naturally to them!

Amborae - fear of driving is no joke. I know how you feel because I've been afraid of driving since I was a teenager. I was able to get my driver's license after going to a therapist who uses EMDR (go to www.emdr.com for info). I took driving lessons from a woman who specializes in helping people with driving phobias. It was very helpful - but - once I got my license I was too afraid to drive by myself. Sometimes I feel like I have a disability. I look at people driving as though their cars are a part of their bodies - it looks so easy - but I can't do it! My kids wish I would - it would make life easier and summers a lot more fun. <br />
Carlablue's question is a good one - did something trigger your fear? Since you have a history of liking to drive, maybe some lessons with an empathic teacher - a professional - not a spouse or friend - would help you regain your confidence. Cognitive therapy or EMDR can also help. I wish you the best - this is not an easy thing to deal with in our car obsessed culture.

Hi,<br />
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Did anything happen to trigger your fear of driving or did anything happen in your life around the time that you began to fear driving? I too have a fear of driving - mainly because I have panic attacks and am scared of having one while driving. Cognitive behavioural therapy might help. Also setting yourself small goals like just sitting in the car if you find that difficult and then driving to the end of the street and back and building up from that. You're not a joke - please don't pay any attention to anyone who puts you down.

Hi,<br />
<br />
Did anything happen to trigger your fear of driving or did anything happen in your life around the time that you began to fear driving? I too have a fear of driving - mainly because I have panic attacks and am scared of having one while driving. Cognitive behavioural therapy might help. Also setting yourself small goals like just sitting in the car if you find that difficult and then driving to the end of the street and back and building up from that. You're not a joke - please don't pay any attention to anyone who puts you down.