Welcome to the Healthy Families forums!

This is a space to ask questions, share experiences and support each other. Find a relevant thread or start your own!

Before you can post or reply in these forums, please join our online community and have a read of the community rules. Forum membership is open to anyone residing in Australia.

  • share on Facebook
  • share on Twitter
  • Print page

Topic: Anxiety whilst driving.

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. Amy P
    Amy P avatar
    1 posts
    11 May 2021
    I have major anxiety when driving recently, I have been driving confidently for years now so this is out of character. I can drive more confidently on a normal day in low traffic levels but when I’m in heavy traffic in the morning especially, I end up crying, shaking and freaking myself out. When people pull up behind me a feel like they going to hit me this morning I even swerved into another lane just because I convinced myself I was going to get hit by the car behind me. Every day I want to call in sick to work just so I don’t have to drive and about 2pm every afternoon I feel sick at the thought of driving home. I lay in bed at night and I hear screeching of tyres and a Big Bang over and over so I can’t sleep and it’s all I hear in my head when I think about cars and I cant get over it. I get general anxiety but its tolerable and doesn’t effect me unlike this situation with driving I go through daily.
  2. Petal22
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    Petal22 avatar
    1359 posts
    15 May 2021 in reply to Amy P

    Hi Amy,

    Sorry you are feeling this way...

    I once had severe anxiety OCD..... it was a very scary debilitating condition.... I had repeating intrusive thoughts.....

    have you thought about seeking help from your gp? You could do a mental health plan together which will enable you to see a psychologist who can give you many strategies for your anxiety....

    im here if you want to chat..

  3. Croix
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    Croix avatar
    10378 posts
    15 May 2021 in reply to Amy P

    Dear Amy~

    I'd like to welcome you here to the Forum along with Petal22.

    Going from being a confident driver, something you realy need in your life, to someone who feels they can't handle the heavier traffic is a horrible way to be. It makes things so frightening and difficult and I can understand the urge to call in sick to avoid the problem.

    I guess there are two things to think about, the first is there any change that has made you reactions slower, your eyesight not as good, your hearing less or some other purely physical problem you have not realized?

    The second is the anxiety you mentioned, and if it not only causes your life to be miserable but ruled by it then it needs to be addressed. Plus if it makes you over-react on the road getting relief is most urgent.

    My apologies if you already have things in hand however can I suggest that you visit your GP in a long consultation and get both a thorough physical examination and most importantly also talk over your anxiety and how it is affecting your life.

    I found (I have an anxiety condition together with other things) that once it started to become more severe I could do nothing to make myself better and lost confidence in the normal things I did. In fact my condition deteriorated until I started to receive the proper medical help with therapy and in my case medication too.

    That was the start of a great improvement, not instant, but I am now nothing like I was before. I was frightened to perform many tasks for fear of failure, now they give me satisfaction.

    May I ask if you having to face this all alone or is there someone in your life you can talk about this with, who may not be able to fix things, but listens and is there for you? It can help a great deal. I was blessed to have a very capable and loving partner, and when I finally said what was wrong it seemed like a load had been lifted off me.

    Please come back and say what you think


  4. geoff
    Life Member
    • Awarded by beyondblue for providing outstanding peer support to the online community over a period of 3+ years.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    geoff avatar
    15314 posts
    17 May 2021 in reply to Amy P

    Hello Amy, a warm welcome to the forums and hope you're still reading comments on the site.

    The traffic these days is of no comparison than it was 15 years ago or even less than this, everybody is always in a rush to get from a to b and it can be most unbecoming for many people, so we're sorry you are feeling this way.

    One way you can overcome this feeling is to either ask your doctor/psychologist or research it on the net, as this method you can do by yourself, but it's probably better to get the initial help from someone trained in this area and the treatment is called desensitization, which is also used when people struggle with a certain type of phobia.

    It's a treatment that involves giving you very small, but gradually increasing the amount of time of sitting in a car, but you won't progress to the next level until you feel satisfied with the present level you're trying to cope with, in other words, maybe the first step is to look at cars in a brochure and when you feel comfortable doing this, then the next step could be touching a car etc until finally, you are ready to drive a car.

    Have a look on the net or ask your doctor, many people have been cured of phobias doing this and would like to know how you go.

    Best wishes.


  5. missep123
    Community Champion
    • Outstanding members who have volunteered their time to support others here on the forums
    missep123 avatar
    845 posts
    18 May 2021 in reply to Amy P

    Hi Amy P,

    I used to get so anxious at the thought of driving. I know that dealing with those intrusive thoughts and fears are really difficult. Have you spoken to a mental health professional about this? They can perhaps guide you through your journey and figure out what these new triggers are.

    Another thing that helped me was to also realise what kind of thoughts about driving I was having. Once I realised what I was thinking I could put a plan in place to try to counteract this.

    I'm really sorry to hear that you have been going through this but you are definitely not alone!

    We are here for you!

Stay in touch with us

Sign up below for regular emails filled with information, advice and support for you or your loved ones.

Sign me up