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Highway Driving Panic

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Highway Driving Panic

Postby porkbelly444 » Mon Apr 17, 2017 7:51 pm

My highway panic/anxiety seems to have come back after many years of it having gone away. Thought I would ask if there are any new coping techniques out there.

I start out just fine, never an issue driving in city or country roads. When I get on a highway, however, after about 5 minutes it all starts. I seem to get tunnel vision, maybe even the sensation of 2D vision, and then the fight/flight sets in, then I get the sensation that I will faint. No racing heart or sweaty hands, just very cerebral. This can be on open empty highway, or with traffic, any time of day (but nights are worst). Highway traffic is the worst, there is something about the mundane synchronization of all the cars moving together that triggers my panic big time.

If the roads are empty, I typically try to push though. The panic breaks, and the cycle repeats itself every 5 minutes or so. I avoid highways as much as possible once again in my life as I feel I am a risk to other people. While I have never actually fainted, the tunnel vision experience alone I feel is bad enough to be a danger to myself and others. I can be in a lane with other traffic moving along just fine, and I just want to slam my brakes and cut over to the shoulder for no reason whatsoever.

I've tried it all, rubber bands, music, talking. When it hits, nothing else matters/registers. This is the only part of my life where this is an issue. I love driving, no accidents, no tickets in 20 years even.

Thoughts?
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Re: Highway Driving Panic

Postby KSalem » Wed May 24, 2017 5:51 am

I would suggest exposure therapy: Just keep driving. Habituate to it. Let it become normal to you because right now, today, it is as you say, the ONLY nuisance in your life. And so it gets extra special attention, and of course, you start thinking about it as soon as you hit the road.

Find opportunities to drive and keep it up. I think you'll see over time that these terrible sensations will lessen and then eventually fade away.

Kel xxx
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Re: Highway Driving Panic

Postby Wally58 » Fri Jun 30, 2017 9:47 am

My anxiety is getting lost. If I am on an unfamiliar route, I have to keep checking directions and addresses. Congested city driving is more stressful than country driving for me.
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Re: Highway Driving Panic

Postby Snaga » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:26 pm

If I let myself dwell on the mechanics of driving- here I am, controlling a vehicle that weighs several tons, I could lose control, there could be an accident, etc etc- then I can get in a panic.

I scrupulously stay away from those thoughts......
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