Do I Have Driving Anxiety Disorder?

Driving Anxiety Disorder is a common form of anxiety. Driving Anxiety can occur due to a bad experience while driving such as coming close to having an accident or actually having an accident. It can also occur from other things such as a loved one getting in an accident. Whatever the case is that caused this anxiety, your mind is falsely associating driving with fear.Someone with Driving Anxiety Disorder may experience,Anxious or scary thoughts while driving,Uncomfortable driving on bridges,Dread driving in traffic,Do not like driving alone,Having panic attacks while driving with symptoms such as sweating, trembling, thoughts of losing control.

[Driving Anxiety]

Psychologists describe anxiety as irrational fear. While it is common for most people to feel nervous or stressed when driving in heavy traffic, this is not the same as having anxiety. In some driving situations, some degree of fear or anxiety may even be justified. With driving anxiety, the physical and emotional symptoms are severe and go beyond nervousness. Those who experience the fear get physical as well as an emotional reaction, and the tension is often very high. This condition has left a number of people too scared to drive.

A number of people who get the driving anxiety often find that getting off the road and stopping, will often help to calm them down. The minute they feel an attack coming on, they can pull over and calm down which often takes a few minutes. Once they are off the road, the obsessive thinking that comes with the anxiety attacks is diminished. It is, however, important to get back on the road after the attack has passed. Like with most fears, the best way to deal with it is by not giving in to the fear. The more you build up a negative experience, the worse it becomes.

It is important to recognize the symptoms of phobia in order to deal with it. Those suffering from various phobias experience a range of emotions, as well as physical reactions. The intensity of the reactions varies from those which are mild, to some which can be debilitating. Some common reactions include sweating, chest pains, headaches, tingling lips, nausea, heart palpitations, desire to vomit, dizziness and feeling faint. Many people who are scared of driving have decided to avoid the activity all together.

Those who fail to conquer the fear are people who do not allow themselves to deal with it. They feel that they have to get it right every time, and the pressure they put on themselves causes them to fail. You must give yourself permission to deal with the anxiety by pulling over until the panic subsides.

Driving phobia can occur when an individual undergo a traumatic event such as road accidents, near misses or even something mild (like feeling uncomfortable with high-speed freeways). Because humans have the tendency to associate familiar feelings to a particular situation, these traumatic events can slowly build into driving phobia. For example, you may feel uncomfortable about merging into highways and thus, every highway episodes will trigger memories of your initial uneasiness. Over time, this can deteriorate into fear of transiting into highways.

Anyone who suffers from driving phobia or any other form of driving related anxiety can easily relate to the emotional suffering and limitation brought by their phobia/anxiety. For example, you may avoid driving on high-speed freeways, hills or even bridges because they terrify you. You can also experience scary, uncontrollable thoughts that completely overwhelm you. Physical symptoms can also manifest as severe panic/anxiety attack while driving: rapid heartbeat, hyperventilation (over-breathing), feeling faint and nausea, tunnel vision, etc.Let untreated, you may stop driving altogether and be totally dependent on family members and friends to fetch you around.

A motorist may consider consulting a medical professional like a psychiatrist or a psychologist after experiencing such symptoms; he must get a proper diagnosis and know which treatment options are available. This condition is not permanent and, with help, one can overcome it. A motorist may positively affirm him or herself by thinking positively, instead of thinking about the bad experiences in the past. He can reaffirm himself by saying that he is an excellent driver and by thus doing boost his confidence on the road. He or she may also avoid hesitation as this triggers anxiety and panic while driving. If a motorist stops without knowing which way to go, he may worsen the situation causing snarl ups, and he becomes unsure. A motorist may try to relax the body and mind, and ease tension every time he sits in the car, through meditation and he may strengthen his respiration system by trying out some breathing exercises. Another therapeutic means of trying to get back to driving is taking a few minutes a day driving from home, around the neighbourhood and back.

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