Anonymous
Anonymous asked in HealthMental Health · 1 month ago

Sudden panic attack with driving ?

I’ve never been nervous or had issues driving. I am currently a college student at my mothers house for this semester. I haven’t drove the car in about maybe 3 days. When I drove yesterday I had got nervous and a lot of anxiety. Pulled over and had a slight panic attack and today I went to pick up my brother and started to have the same thing happen again. Why over the sudden is this happening and what can I do to make this stop ?

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  • 1 month ago

    Why is this happening? Short answer - you associate driving with an unpleasant sensation. What can you do to make it stop?  Lili has a good answer - get some experience driving in low stress situations, like driving on a quiet suburban road in the middle of the day. That might do the trick. 

    I'll mention that two things that can help with panic disorder are cognitive therapy and controlled breathing. You can find out about CT in a book by psychiatrist David Burns, When Panic Attacks. You might want to ask your doctor about a biofeedback method that teaches slow, shallow breathing called CART. 

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  • 1 month ago

    Wait.....you leave a lot of information out if you want an answer.

    1)  How old are you?

    2)  How long have you been driving?

    3)  Do you regularly drive a car every day and is the weather a serious contributing factor to your fear today?

    4)  Have you had a "close call" recently or seen a bad accident?

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  • Lili
    Lv 7
    1 month ago

    We can't tell you why it's happening, but it may not have anything to do with driving.  Panic attacks come on suddenly, and there is often no obvious reason for them.  Sometimes they involve old fears and experiences that you may not even remember very well. It may not, as I said, be about driving.

    However, if you don't deal with them right away, they can recur to the point where you avoid whatever activity seems to be most associated with them out of fear of having one. This can be really crippling.

    If I were you, I'd practice driving in low-stress situations -- not when you have to pick someone up or do an errand, but just driving around a few blocks in a safe area. Keep doing that even if you feel a bit anxious.

    But if this goes on and gets worse, you're going to have to see a therapist for treatment.

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  • Anonymous
    1 month ago

    You're a college student and you say, "haven't drove?"  You'd best take a class in remedial English.  Your sudden anxiety probably was from not being literate at your age.

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