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Panic Attack While Driving

Updated on February 26, 2014

How To Stop the Panic Attacks While Driving A Car

I've suffered from panic attacks for several years, and while I'm pretty much ok now, I still have at times a flare up of the anxious feling when driving. But how to know when it the right feeling and when it's about something else?

Well, some of the main symptoms are becoming lightheaded, with sweaty palms, dizzy and with your heart pumping adrenaline like an overdosed drug addict, especially while driving a car. These signs are usually symptoms of Panic Attack While Driving, also called driving anxiety or anxiety when driving.

One important thing to understand is that anyone driving a car, pretty much any type of car, on any road, at any time, can experience this - it happens pretty much suddenly, with very little forewarning. At least that's how it has manifested to me over and over again.

Here I want to give you a few tips on how to deal with your driving anxiety and what to do when it happens - and before it does, along with listing of useful books and places to visit that will help!

Driving panic attacks can be actually treated and even cured naturally and you don't have to suffer from them. Panic and anxiety is not something a person has to live with for the rest of their lives, and even if it does come back now and then, its occurrence will definitely be minimized to a level that is much easier to bear - until one day you realize that you haven't had an attack in ages.

Photo credit: MaryMarchi

My Story

I'm usually not a person to get scared easily (well, except when watching horror movies). That's why the first time I had an attack of panic when on the road, I really got scared. Not so much because of the feeling itself, but because I had no idea what it was and why it was happening to me.

I mean imagine driving when suddenly you get gripped by a feeling of fight of flight and when you start to think about it, your mind gets paralyzed, numb. And you're on the road, where concentrating on driving should be the most important thing. Except it isn't.

I remember I had to stop the car (thankfully was not on the highway) and had to think of why was I suddenly so panicky, so afraid as if my life depended on something...but on what? It was a feeling like the world would end any time soon and I was smack in the middle of it.

And I remember once I had to start the car again, boy that was on of the worst feelings ever - I felt like I just couldn't do it. I think in a way it was better for me to not know that what I was experiencing was a panic attack because while my mind kept wondering at it all - I knew that something was wrong, just didn't know what exactly - a part of my mind knew that I could not remain there in the middle of nowhere, so I simply had to continue. But it was one of the hardest drives I've ever had to take.

stress
stress

What Causes Panic Attacks While Driving?

There are many things that can trigger an attack of driving anxiety, and depending on the person it can manifest itself in a variety of ways.

What is common in many cases is a strong memory of a driving accident - the person doesn't need to have been driving, it was enough to simply be in the car as a passenger.

At times symptoms of post traumatic stress can manifest themselves as driving panic attacks. Or the fact that the partner has just passed away, or a nasty divorce has just gone through...there are any numbers of triggers for it. It can even manifest itself when the person moves to another location.

For me it was pretty much a very big move across the sea, two thousand miles away from my previous country. While on the surface the move was nothing big, in fact it did shake my balance quite a bit and it took me years to fully adjust. Globalization is really not as easy as everyone makes it to be.

I Can Highly Recommend This Workbook

How to Stop Anxiety & Panic Attacks: A Simple Guide to using a specific set of Techniques to Stop Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia, Social Phobia, Fear of Driving or Flying and Stress
How to Stop Anxiety & Panic Attacks: A Simple Guide to using a specific set of Techniques to Stop Panic Attacks, Agoraphobia, Social Phobia, Fear of Driving or Flying and Stress

This one book helped me a lot in understanding what I was going through and made me realize that well, it's 'all in my head' so to speak, in that it's not really about a life threatening situation per se, but it's about an attack of panic, of anxiety that can be eliminated for good.

One of the best books on the subject of getting rid of anxiety and panic attacks, including driving anxiety, without medication. It's just a few bucks at Amazon, worth checking it out.

When you start to avoid doing certain things, when you try to find excuses to not go somewhere or do something, when the anxiety when driving grips you more often than not, this book is for you.

 

Learn To Get Rid Of Your Fear Of Driving

Here are some great books and DVDs that can be of help when learning to get rid of panic attacks when driving. Afterall causing an accident due to an anxiety attack can prove to be even fatal.

stop panic attacks
stop panic attacks

Driving Panic Attacks And Driving Phobias

Are they the same?

I get asked by people who know that I used to suffer from panic attacks while driving whether driving panic attacks and driving phobias are the same, or they're something else entirely.

The two terms are not quite the same. Generally panic attacks are sudden and quite unexpected fears and feelings of impeding doom, danger and some big trouble ahead. Phobias are fears of things that usually shouldn't cause anxiety in people (e.g. fears of elevators, fears of spiders, fears of being in a large crowd, etc).

However when it comes to driving, in both cases the same symptoms occur. The main difference is about how the fear comes to be.

With panic and anxiety attacks, there is nothing in the history of the drivers to point towards such a fear when at the wheel.

On the other hand, a fear, a phobia of driving can occur due to some repressed memories. For example, I have a friend who as a small child was in a car accident. Luckily nothing happened to the family on the road, however ever since, he is trying to cure his phobia of driving, and even of being in a car at all.

Knowing where the fear stems from (irrational fear as in the case of a panic attack / anxiety when driving, or stemming from a real (or perceived as real) situation as in the case of a phobia), will help greatly in knowing what is the best cure, treatment for it.

For example phobias can easily be treated with NLP (I've cured my own nail biting habit and my fear of elevators with NLP on my own as an NLP practitioner), whereas anxiety panic attacks can be kept at bay and even cured with different methods, some of which I actually describe in this article.

Panic Attacks While Driving - What Can You Do?

Obviously you don't want to stop driving a car for the rest of your life, to limit living your life to its fullest, so what can you do to help yourself before, or when a panic attack grips you while driving?

Here are some tips to calm panic attacks while diving, or how to avoid them altogether! Panic while driving doesn't have to be a constant in your life!

Are you suffering from panic attack while driving?

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Avoid Panic Attacks While Driving

# Listen to music you enjoy to help ease the stress of driving, and take your mind away from the possible stress. Also it is important because you are falling back to known ground, to what you are familiar with, and this is important when having driving panic attacks on the highway.

# Have some fruit or light snack around to give your body something to do besides release adrenaline into your body.

# Don't think about the action of driving the car. This is very important. Don't focus on it!

Look out the window at the scenery; look over the car directly in front of you.

# If you have a car radio, search for some interesting music channels, or put on a CD, or an audio book, to take your mind away from the thought that you're driving a car.

# Have always a cell/mobile phone with you, it will give you a sense of security and safety. It's amazing how much we got to rely on the cellphone these days. Put this to your advantage!

Use Essential Oil Diffusers In Your Car When Driving

This is a great stress reliever and calmer of the mind: use a few drops of essential oils in an electric diffuser when driving. Some of the oils that have a calming and relaxing effect are: chamomile, lavender, bergamot, melissa, neroli and ylang ylang. For a more comprehensive list of essential oils and blends that you can use see: Aromatherapy recipes for anxiety and panic attacks.

Essential Oil Diffusers for Your Car

Here are some of the aromatic diffusers that you can use while driving to calm the mind and the nerves while on the road. Here is also a list of more electric aromatherapy diffusers for the home and car.

Deal With a Panic Attack While Driving

So you feel the first signs of a panic attacks while driving coming. Ok, don't panic! (pun intended). Just do the following, and you should be alright:.

# First thing, pull over. You will know the first signs of a panic attack, as they usually are accelerated breathing and heart beat. Get out of the car and walk around a bit, take a deep and slow breath, one at a time, slowly, until you have calmed down.

If you can't get out of the car (not optimal conditions on the road), then recline your seat, close your eyes and focus on calming yourself down.

# Have a bottle of water with you in your car. Although I am usually against it, in this case, if you feel a panic attack coming on while you are driving, you can either take some anti-anxiety medication or just drink a bit water, to calm down those rapid heart beats.

# Have soothing music in your radio, or have a CD handy with reiki, healing, soothing music, and make sure it's turned on when you feel a panic attack is on its way. Try to listen intently to the music, focus on it and just breathe deeply and slowly.

# Have a brown paper bag in your car in case you hyperventilate (for emergency breathing help)

# Don't try to fight it! Be aware that you are experiencing a panic attack, and know that it will pass.

# Take deep slow breaths. Imagine yourself going in slow motion. If you are going in slow motion (even if in your mind), you won't be hyperventilating, which just fuels your anxiety.

# Use the following affirmations:

"I am a competent driver and always arrive at my destination safely."

"I am calm, alert and in full control while driving."

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Thank you for visiting my Panic Attacks while Driving lens. Please leave your comments below

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    • profile image

      Kzor 3 years ago

      I get panic attacks where there is no shoulder to pull over on and no exit for miles. It's the unideal driving conditions that trigger my panic - construction causing lanes to merge, those big cement dividers they place on the shoulders, bridges, high overpasses, roads that curve too sharply, being wedged in by two semi trucks on either side. What a joke to say pull over! What has helped me is to busy my mind with complex thinking. I visualize beautiful landscapes, write poems in my head, sing songs I can't remember all the words (anything that makes me have to think.) Also, breathing out for twice as long as I breathe in helps me not get the dizzying oxygen rush feeling and rapid heart rate. Getting these panic attacks while driving is terrifying, but you can get help for it. I hope you all get well soon!

    • dakadare profile image

      dakadare 4 years ago

      I have never had anxiety while driving, but a friend of mine had one while driving along a particularly scary road at night.

      www.treatmentforpanic.net

    • seodress profile image

      seodress 4 years ago

      Helpful information to care ourselves. Very helping lens !!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: Thank you for your story. I have the same exact thing happen to me, only at red lights, and it has seemed to progress into occurring where I can't pull over, can't 'escape'. But I am determined to work through this, and will not let this anxiety get the best of me by taking my car or freedom to drive. Everyone, including you has to say to yourself, (I say it out loud 'this is not a big deal, I am just going to stop at the light, or progress on the road and if I pass out I pass out, if I get into an accident, I get into an accident, I can't control other people or what they do, I am just going to do this.') Also, I have a friend talk with me and quiz me on the phone, so that my mind is distracted from thinking about the 'impending doom', and this seems to help as well. I have not tried smelling essential oils, but do plan on getting some lavender oil. I wonder if anyone else has older cars, because I have an older car and other drivers seem to want to push me around and tailgate and this adds to my worry... How many of us have older cars???

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      One day I was driving through and interstate going 55mph and I had this sudden urge that I needed to pull my car over or I would faint. Within 5 seconds it escalated from butterflies to a feeling of panic that I have never felt before. I almost caused myself to get into an accident because I was forced to switch lanes so quickly. This started happening every time I got to a green light after this incident. I worked through this problem by deep breathing and driving very slowly through the lights. However, this past week I have started to get random panic attacks while driving on all of my normal roads. There are certain spots that I can't stop fixating in my mind and by the time I get to them I am so sick to my stomach that I have to pull over before I pass out. I have tried to thinking about it but it is unavoidable in the back of my mind. I don't know what to do and I'm worried that it will get worse. I am an 18 year old girl and have had no dramatic events that should inflict these attacks.

    • jennifer421 lm profile image

      jennifer421 lm 4 years ago

      Thankfully I have not faced any such situation till today; but your tips are really helpful in circumstances of tragedy.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks for ur lens. Joanne Australia: I have been suffering from panick attack close to 3 months now. It usually starts with an adrenalin pump from my brain to my leg, then I will have tremor, heart racing and fear will engolf me completely. This is so affecting my quality of life, can't drive on the main road I have to drive into side streets to go to work. Just visited my doctor and has put me on alepam which is a calmer; certainly don't want to love on medication so I'm looking for a natural therapy if someone can help plsssss.

    • profile image

      adminghb 5 years ago

      Anywhere in the world, where we are driving, we are in a potential danger. But if in this situation a panic attack occurs, this situation is explosive. This lens has many helpful informations and advices. Thanks !

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @cannedguds lm: I cant pass my driving test.every single time my heart ponds very fast and i become very nervous. I have tried taking short breaths, relaxing my muscels. even pulling over, but this is my 2nd time failing

      . what else can I do?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @dnuttall: Gastric surgery is proven to lower B12, which can cause psychological and neurological problems. My anxiety improved greatly after taking B12. Check out the book "Could it be B12?". If it is low B12, be sure to get the supplement in the form of methylcobalamin instead of cyanocobalamin.

    • kislanyk profile image
      Author

      Marika 5 years ago from Cyprus

      @FanfrelucheHubs: Oh speaking of which, forgot to mention something that rubs salt in the wound. I learned to drive the 'European way', but since I'm living in Cyprus, I had to learn to drive the British way (the 'wrong' way as many would say). In normal circumstances it can be easily learned, but when you're also dealing with remnants of panic...tough seems much tougher than usual *sigh*

    • FanfrelucheHubs profile image

      Nathalie Roy 5 years ago from France (Canadian expat)

      I hate driving so much, I avoid driving unless I have no choice. Driving in Canada is ok and not too stressful, but since I moved to France I haven't drive and don't plan too. Just thinking about the traffic here put me in panic mode.

    • kislanyk profile image
      Author

      Marika 5 years ago from Cyprus

      @DMVAgent: This is definitely a great way to go about it. Whenever the attack gripped me (or I knew it would soon come), I always found a place to stop my car. It's just pure silliness to try to continue driving on the highway when you're in the middle of it.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: The same thing happens to me when i get panic attacks .. it sucks and i thought i was the only person who experienced this . if you find a cure or a way to help it , please let me know! my email is jamiebenales at yahoo.com

    • profile image

      DMVAgent 5 years ago

      Great lens.!

      Through driving, you can go places anywhere you want.

      When panic attacks strikes, stop the car. Panic attack makes you afraid.

      The nice way to overcome panic attacks is to train yourself to respond to panic itself in accepting and calming ways and yourself.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Just the other day I had a panic attack on the interstate for the first time! But just earlier that morning I had gotten fired from my job, and so I left, then seven hours later, I need to go to my aunts house. It seemed like a taskless thing, but when I got on the interstate, it seemed like I was having an out of body experience, and then my breathing got more rapid. I then got cottonmouth, and began to panic in my mind. Then my arms went limp, got numb, and then started to tingle. I immediatley got off of the interstate and tried to calm down, but I couldn't. I drove all the way back home. I drove to the store today, and my heartbeat got rapid and I just couldn't wait to get out of the car. I don't want to deal with this for the rest of my life!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I drive a school bus and I have just started having these attacks for no reason..don't know what to do...

    • profile image

      mouse1996 lm 5 years ago

      Having one while driving is the worse thing. I feel for anyone who suffers frequently with attacks while driving. Great lens.

    • DesignSpace profile image

      DesignSpace 5 years ago

      I get these sometimes due to stress...Luckily I don't drive, having an attack while driving would scare the living daylights out of me. Great lens!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have been a sufferer of panic attacks for the last 5 years. My doctor believes that I am getting them for two reasons. 1) because he thinks I am highly intolerant to mildew and mold sprouts that happen after it rains and 2) He thinks I have an overactive thyroid. (which I will be getting checked out soon) the first time I got it 5 years ago, I was just on my way to work and had no worries or stresses on my mind. I was driving and just all of the sudden I felt my fingers and lips going numb and I felt like I couldn't breathe. It also felt like everything was going past me on the highway really really fast and I didn't feel like it was real. Like it was a dream and I couldn't control what was happening to me. I now get anxiety attacks once in a while when I drive because I think about that time it first happened to me when I was driving. There is a big difference between anxiety attacks and panic attacks. Panic attacks come on sudden and for no reason. Anxiety attacks happen because you are stressed and worried about something. Either way I am at my wits end with panic attacks and don't know what else to do to prevent them. I didn't get them all my life until just 5 years ago. Is there anyway to go back to being completely panic attack free?

    • dnuttall profile image

      dnuttall 5 years ago

      My daughter just started having panic attacks a year ago after gastric bypass surgery. She not only has them driving in the car but also riding. She is seeking help as now that she has lost her weight, she now is held home bound by not being able to drive.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I used to get panic attacks every day--mostly in the evenings when I needed to sleep. So thankful that I don't get them anymore!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Hi world, i wants to tell you people that i had panic attack the first time 5-25-12 i really hate being this way. its scared me for the first time and the 2nd times. now for the 3rd time i am used to it world:D, but i really wants it to go away forever. you can make it go away forever if you believe in god hardly... i only get panic attack while driving . once it panic attack come to me i pull over or kept going and telling my self " why am i panic about?! * false laugh* then it went away in 5 mins tops well sometime 10 min.. today i am getting a little better by driving a little and always bring ice cold water with me to keep that " panic attack" off my mind.. the old me coming back baby! people whoever has this please email me iphone1773@gmail.com i will love to share ! have a wonderful day world.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I have been having a panic attack for like 3 days. I am calling doc tomorrow. But then I have to DRIVE there. Last time I did that I ended up in the ER cause my whole body went numb. I am scared. I need to go but yet I am afraid. I am freaking 45 and know nothing is going to happen.

    • panicattackinfo profile image

      panicattackinfo 5 years ago

      I cannot imagine a worse time to panic than when driving. I can just imagine the fear of driving because of the fear of panicking WHEN driving more than the anxiety of driving itself (if that makes sense)

      I hope people who are havign this problem find your lens and get something from it :)

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I don't suffer from this but have a friend who did. It only bothered her when she was stopped at a stop sign or stoplight. She takes meds now to control anxiety. It was very stressful for her.

    • profile image

      Pics4merch 5 years ago

      That's an interesting read. Although I don't have a drivers license, I am familiar with panic attacks and some of the info is really helpful.

    • HenkWillemse profile image

      HenkWillemse 5 years ago

      As a high speed endurance test driver any kind of attack while driving scares the living daylights out of me, I actually had one guy drive with me that suffered a blackout, scary stuff.

    • Mariajomith profile image

      maria 5 years ago

      thank you for writing this lens, i have a lot of anxiety both while driving, and being a passenger in a vehicle

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Thanks you very much for this information. I recently started having panic attacks while driving and it scares me to think that I might suffer from this the rest of my life, but this article gives me hope! :)

    • raswook profile image

      Jeff Wendland 5 years ago from Kalamazoo, MI

      Great info about a serious issue. Panic attacks are bad enough, but one while driving can be very dangerous.

    • tylerabernethy22 profile image

      tylerabernethy22 5 years ago

      not while driving but I have had one before. Scary stuff.

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @Susang6: I am having the same problem recently, but I have to drive at these times. Have you found any other solutions?

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I just got my license Thursday, and tonight was my first night driving alone in the dark. My heart started pounding and racing and I almost passed out. I pulled over in to a gas station, called my dad and calmed myself down. It really scared me, and reading this article made me feel better about the situation and realizing that it's very common! Thank you so much(:

    • intermarks profile image

      intermarks 5 years ago

      Panic attacks, it never happen on me. I have drive for nearly 19 years, and so far nothing happen (touch wood) on me. And I don't want anything to happen on me too. Great information! Thank you for sharing.

    • girlfriendfactory profile image

      girlfriendfactory 5 years ago

      Luckily I don't have panic attacks, but I understand they seem like heart attacks. Very scary I bet!

    • profile image

      Susang6 5 years ago

      The brown paper bag helps me....bright light triggers my panic attacks when driving. I fixed that I don't drive at sunrise, sunset...(driving at night helps me greatly)

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      Its great to know that I am not alone. I blacked out while driving down a freeway and had panic attacks while driving about that, not surprisingly

    • KilleenMcG profile image

      Killeen 5 years ago from Warner, NH

      yes, this is me! when i was a new driver, i could've cared less about highway driving. now, i hate it. it's gotten progressively worse and only revolves around merging and changing lanes. i know it's a combo of being in a few accidents and seeing a few really nasty ones, along with now worrying about my kids in the car with me. good resource - thank you!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @LisaAuch1: I also had a bad bout of vertigo and it has left me with a fluttering feeling in my head, when I go t drive I panic as I nearly smashed the car during a bad vertigo panic episode. Now my confidence is shot and I have to force myself to drive, always wondering if the same thing will happen again. Sunlight and night driving seems to make the problem worse, hence more panic....I hate this feeling as I know I can drive and the more anxious it makes me feeling so stupid....any advice would be great

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      I had an accident Nov 18th 2010, I was doing 70mph when I lost control of the car and hit the central reservation of the Motorway I hit another car in the middle lane both cars were trashed but lucky no one was hurt. I was OK.... but recently I have started having attacks not sure if they're panic. I start to breath heavy I go rigid, and feel like I am being pulled into the central reservation. Things that are binary, white lines, sunshine and shadow, fences at the side of the road came sometimes spark it! Does anyone have any ideas.

    • TolovajWordsmith profile image

      Tolovaj Publishing House 5 years ago from Ljubljana

      No, don't have this problem, but it is good to know other drivers have and thez can do something about it.

    • profile image

      thewebartists 5 years ago

      Such a great post, I am sure it will help them who are suffering such kind of attacks.

    • LiteraryMind profile image

      Ellen Gregory 5 years ago from Connecticut, USA

      I am glad you wrote this. Forty years ago, there was a period of time where I had panic attacks. The attacks themselves scared me as I didn't know what was happening. I thought I must have a brain tumor. Knowing what is happening is half the battle.

    • Board-Game-Brooke profile image

      C A Chancellor 6 years ago from US/TN

      Luckily, this only happened to me once. It's a terrible feeling.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I have not been able to drive on freeways since 2000 and just barely on street surfaces, a mile or so. I am afraid of everyone driving around me and afraid of losing control over the car. Whatever it is, phobia or anxiety, it ruined my social life, it grounded me hopelessly, and cost me a fortune to pay others for driving me on long distances. It started after the 2nd flareup of a breast cancer. Up to date no doctor was really able to help. It so feels that I am no longer me but a confined slave to this disability.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I get panicky in a parking lot. I am horrible at maneuvering my car in a parking lot, and backing out of a parking space... i don't do that anymore :)

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      GabrielaFargasch 6 years ago

      I used to get them all the time, specially when in traffic jams! I even sold my car and now I only use an electric bicycle! Great lens on this subject!

    • Iain84 profile image

      Iain84 6 years ago

      Great lens - I used to suffer with mild panic before setting off for long journeys but this seems to have passed now.

    • LeCordonDude profile image

      LeCordonDude 6 years ago

      The first time that ever happened to me it was CRAAAAAZY!! I'll never forget me on the side of the road, calling my dad because I wanted to talk to him one last time before I "died" !! 0_o It was wicked, but it was just an anxiety attack! I freaked out crazy bad!

    • Grasmere Sue profile image

      Sue Dixon 6 years ago from Grasmere, Cumbria, UK

      I used to get this - I've never had an accident but I was suffering from mild depression. Thankfully that was a long time ago, but it would have helped to read your lens then! Blessed by an angel .

    • andreaberrios lm profile image

      andreaberrios lm 6 years ago

      Very interesting topic, I know many people that have panic attacks and it's very scary. Thank you for this wonderful lens and information. Blessed! ;)

    • ICanCook profile image

      ICanCook 6 years ago

      I use to have panic attacks while driving in a heavy rainstorm. One day I noticed that I didn't have them anymore. I had started doing a meditation called Holosynch and somehow it cured my panic attacks.

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 6 years ago

      I use to get panic attacks going across the SF Bay Bridge during heavy traffic...I was a mess. Now living in Wisconsin I get panic attacks driving in the snow or ice, even before I get in the car! I pray myself out of it...it works for me.

    • LisaAuch1 profile image

      Lisa Auch 6 years ago from Scotland

      Wow It was as though you were meant to visit me and I was to come over and see this page! Recently I have suffered from a really bad ear infection, this has gone on for sa while and resulted in vertigo...serious enough to end up in hosptial, since then I have been unable to drive, Due to feeling panicy at the thought of taking another attack like I did! I have also had a very serious car crash although I never think of it and it never took my driving confidence away however this blinking vertigo is scary! and I am not at the stage of driving...yet! Due to taking a panic attack every time I think about getting in the car, and thinking "what if I have another dizzy turn?" I am going to look into the natural aroma therapy inhaler you recommend! Blessed for such a great topic and article, on a subject close to me just now, I feel as though my ambilical chord has been cut, I live so rural the Jeep is my life line to cilvilisation! ...lol

    • juliannegentile profile image

      Julianne Gentile 6 years ago from Cleveland, Ohio, US

      Thanks for this informative lens. I rarely drive anymore. I don't necessarily have panic attacks, but I have agoraphobia, such that I can't do anything by myself anymore if I have to drive. It used to be winter driving only, but now I find it difficult to drive regardless of the weather. It's a bit of a drag, but I'm thankful that I don't live alone.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      my wife has this happen when driving long distances so I wanted to review this again.

    • katemiya profile image

      katemiya 6 years ago

      Thank you for writing this lens. I developed driving related panic attacks years ago without a known cause. It was so bad back then it would randomly strike with no tangible reason or rationale. I learned to utilize many of the tips and tricks you mentioned in order to keep driving in a way safe for myself and my fellow drivers. It still hits me occasionally, but nothing like it used to.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      My wife gets these driving long distances, thanks for the education on this so I can help her. If you like browsing lens too, venture my way. Poll questions with a good educational topic too.

    • Diana Wenzel profile image

      Renaissance Woman 6 years ago from Colorado

      This is an important topic. I had never had a panic attack of any kind until driving an RV on a treacherous mountain road a year ago. It is a terrible feeling to experience. Thankfully, this was a short-term episode. Really appreciate your focus on this and the helpful resources.

    • kislanyk profile image
      Author

      Marika 6 years ago from Cyprus

      I fully agree with you. Any serious illnesses should be addressed by a doctor. Anything that is of long duration (chronic) or debilitating, etc.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Very helpful and effective tips for panic attacks, however; chronic and serious cases do need medication.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      Yes, I have experienced panic attacks while driving and for me and it was frightening. After knowing more about them, they thankfully don't have the same impact.

    • KarenHC profile image

      Karen 6 years ago from U.S.

      I used to occasionally have "mild" panic attacks (if they can ever be called mild" while driving. They were worse if I had a migraine. I found that it helps to keep the car cooler than I might normally like (not "cold", just "cool"), to move my shoulders and head a little to relax them, and to take easy, relaxed breaths. Luckily I don't experience them much. You have a number of good points here to help with panic attacks while driving.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      I used to and had one of my worst panic attacks ever while driving down a mountain edge. I did have to pull over too. I am happy to say I don't have panic attacks on a daily basis like I used to :) I also had the fear of bridges and so much more. Great tips here for reducing the fears.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      I'm not sure mine would be considered a full panic attack but I get pretty white-knuckled if there's a big bridge, any trucks, heavy traffic, rain, mountains.... let's just say I'm an insecure driver. I did get a CD similar to the one you show here and it has helped a lot.

    • jolou profile image

      jolou 6 years ago

      I've never experienced this myself, but I have had to overcome a fear of flying. You have really good advice here.

    • ChrisDay LM profile image

      ChrisDay LM 6 years ago

      Sounds nasty - I'm lucky to be a very relaxed driver. Thanks for highlighting this.

    • CruiseReady profile image

      CruiseReady 6 years ago from East Central Florida

      This happened to me a number of times - many years ago. Most always on a high bridge. Somehow, I got over it.

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      GetSillyProduct 6 years ago

      great tips for suffering an attack while driving, it's something I never considered, great lens!

    • CHalloran LM profile image

      CHalloran LM 6 years ago

      I have something called "ochophobia", which means fear of motor vehicles in motion. I do not drive, never obtained a driver's license my entire life. It is a terrible thing. I am terrified of getting hurt when I am in a car.

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      anonymous 6 years ago

      What a scary thing to have a panic attack while driving, I'm glad to see there are steps a person can take to help with this very difficult issue.

    • kislanyk profile image
      Author

      Marika 6 years ago from Cyprus

      Thank you so much for your kind comments, this really makes me work harder at giving quality information out. Having actually suffered from driving panic attack, I guess it puts me in a different 'spot' so to speak compared to the spammy sites out there.

    • sulcatamandy profile image

      Mandy 6 years ago from Montana

      You should be quite proud of this lens. I suffer from severe anxiety, and while its hard to talk about, its nice to be able to sit back and read about it here. For a topic that tends to be spammy on the web, you have done a great job at presenting your information in a very comfortable way.

    • caffimages profile image

      caffimages 6 years ago

      Very useful advice. A medical condition used to cause me to panic while driving, and I stopped doing long journeys for a couple of years. I know the feeling, though mine had a medical cause (rare condition). Great lens and good advice.

    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 6 years ago

      Well how about that...I never knew that what I was experiencing actually has a name with others feeling the same way too. My driving issues started right around the time my hormones were going wacky with menopause and I do the same as BigGirlBlue...sca-daddle off the highway as soon as possible!

    • RuthCoffee profile image

      RuthCoffee 6 years ago

      This sounds terrifying, almost debilitating. I'm sure your tips will be very helpful for drivers who experience panic attacks while driving.

    • PromptWriter profile image

      Moe Wood 6 years ago from Eastern Ontario

      My driving anxiety increases on the highway and then increases again every time a transport passes me. If the weather is bad I have to leave the highway. I'd rather take a longer route then white knuckle it.

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      dkpanicfree 6 years ago

      I really appreciate you comments. I find your two points about deep breathing and acknowledging and accepting what is happening especially helpful. This might also be helpful for those who suffer panic attacks besides when driving and want to cure anxiety

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      loseweightthefastest 6 years ago

      I, too, am a victim of panic attack driving. Very terrifying stuff. Thank you for giving this issue more visibility.,

    • DallasNicole LM profile image

      DallasNicole LM 6 years ago

      Great Lens. Very helpful! Blessed!

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      lex4less 7 years ago

      This is great lens!

      Used Lexus Atlanta

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      amanda_g 7 years ago

      Hi Iâm Amanda, I enjoyed reading your lens. Itâs really excellent!!!

      Iâve often found people have driving anxiety because they feel out of control and overwhelmed by too much information. They may even remember bad situations from the past. Breathing control and visualization are some of the techniques I get people to use to overcome their anxiety. You can find some more good information on panic attacks and how to overcome driving fear on these other lenses.

      How to stay calm while driving

      Freeway Driving

    • cannedguds lm profile image

      cannedguds lm 7 years ago

      I just want to let you know that the driving fear program of Rich Presta really helped me cousin get rid of his fear of driving and he told me that he came upon this knowledge through this lens of yours! Congratulations!

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      lyricsgal 7 years ago

      This is a great lens, bookmarked it!

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      anonymous 8 years ago

      Read first your other lens on the subject, but this is even better. Bookmarked!

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      Anxiety-Cure-For-Smart-People 8 years ago

      This garbage used to happen to me all the time. You have some great suggestions. I'm a fan!

    • AppalachianCoun profile image

      AppalachianCoun 8 years ago

      Great lens. Our Mother suffered from this, your tips would have been a great help to her. Thank-you.

    • kislanyk profile image
      Author

      Marika 8 years ago from Cyprus

      Thanks Kristina :)

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      KristinaParker 8 years ago

      I really like your lens :)