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Topic: Does anyone here have a fear of driving? (Amaxophobia)

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. jack0194
    jack0194 avatar
    8 posts
    8 April 2021

    Hi,

    I should explain my post.

    So when I was in the lead up to getting my licence 8 years ago I was freaking out about it and didn't want to get it. and would come up with all these crazy ideas like I would over accelerate and crash. But since getting my license that hasn't happened and to be honest I love driving to an extent.

    The only things I still have crazy fears over are:

    Driving somewhere and not knowing where I'm going

    Heavy traffic

    and Highways

    At the moment I only ever drive to end from work and hardly anywhere else. and it's only 2 mins from home. And to be honest It's now getting really annoying. I'm probably going to be working in a job soon where I need to travel a lot further than 2 minutes.

    I've been thinking up of this theory that if you use positive thinking whenever you're going to drive long distances you should be able to calm a lot of anxiety? Would this work?

    Thanks.

  2. socialmoth
    blueVoices member
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    socialmoth avatar
    79 posts
    8 April 2021 in reply to jack0194

    Hi jack,

    Welcome to the forum, it is great that you have reached out. I get a lot of anxiety around driving too, particularly on busy roads.

    Positive thinking is definitely a good strategy. Even along with positive thinking, thinking about the stats. Out of all the times you have driven, you haven't accelerated and crashed.

    For me, I enjoy singing along to music while I drive. Not to the extent where I'm not concentrating on what I'm doing, but enough to distract me and make the drive really enjoyable. Maybe something like that could work for you as well?

  3. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    quirkywords avatar
    12306 posts
    8 April 2021 in reply to jack0194

    Jack
    I am many decades old and have been for my licence twice but failed.

    I was nervous and when I turned 50 I realised I would never learn to drive. I used cry while driving.

    So I think you are amazing you can drive something I never will.

  4. Boudica
    Boudica avatar
    195 posts
    9 April 2021 in reply to jack0194

    Hello Jack,

    Like you I started an a very anxious driver (20+ years ago now). When I first got my licence I told my instructor: 'thanks, but I am never going to drive again!', as I was so exhausted from the anxiety.

    However, like you I slowly expanded my comfort zone, firstly I would get up in the middle of the night, when all was quiet, and take little trips on my own, so that I could learn the driving route without the pressure of congestion. I found it nerve wracking but in this way, I built my confidence to drive to work (I lived close to inner city and had to drive in peak hour in the worst of it).

    The same method I used to expand my driving further in baby steps over several years, until I was fairly comfortable driving city, rural, interstate, I have even driven in England (but that was very stressful as busy + unfamiliar + hire car). Basically manage the size of the task, and break it into achievable steps. Plan a small deviation from your work routine to visit a new shop or place to eat once a week. Or take small drives to new areas at quiet times and allow yourself to pull over and take a breather if you feel overwhelmed. .

    Don't stay in your comfort zone, set yourself a goal, and then just set smaller achievable steps that build your confidence gradually until you can reach that goal. Then set a new one. You will learn best by just slowly working on the edges of your comfort zone. Good Luck

  5. S D
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    S D avatar
    58 posts
    9 April 2021 in reply to jack0194

    Hi Jack,

    Thanks for your post. I think this is very common for people to get a bit nervous or anxious in certain driving scenarios. What has helped me is when I first get in my car before turning it on I will recite some positive thoughts to myself, for example: "I will have a safe and calm drive to my location" and "I am so grateful for this car, these roads, and this GPS" etc I have heard a theory that focusing on things you are grateful for before driving, rather then focusing on potential things that could go wrong, usually helps to reduce anxiety. Another tip would be leave extra time for your drive e.g if you have a trip that will take 15 mins maybe leave 30 mins before you need to get there, that way if you do get stuck in traffic or miss a turn you won't need to stress about being late and can drive slower if that helps you to feel more in control, hope that helps!

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