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8 years ago 0 beautiful bird 3 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Panic Attack while driving on the freeway

Hello, I am new to this site. I had my first panic attack while driving on the freeway over 8 years ago. It really freaked me out because I was in the fast lane and I knew I had to get over to the exit. I thought I was going to pass out while attempting to get over and that I would crash into another car. (Look at all of the "what ifs") I made it safely to the exit but I never felt quite safe driving on the freeway after that. I attempted to drive on it a few times, but began to feel light headed and anxious. So now I just drive on the surface streets whenever I have somewhere local to go such as work and taking my kids to school. If I have somewhere to go that requires to travel on the freeway I go with a friend, relative, or my partner. Only a few people know about this because I find it soooo embarassing. I am successful in so many areas of my life and having this problem makes me feel handicapped and ashamed. I really want to overcome this, but I am afraid that while driving on the freeway with my kids I may have a panic attack and crash and kill everyone....Is it possible to cure this? I miss driving long distances on the freeway.
 
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8 years ago 0 beautiful bird 3 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Panic Attack while driving on the freeway

I went through therapy about 7 years ago after my divorce. That was around the same time the panic attacks began. I was under alot of stress during the divorce process and I knew I needed to talk to someone. Therapy helped alot. Most of the panic attacks subsided but I never overcame the fear of driving on the freeway. I noticed that I still get panic attacks when I feel stressed, hurried, or anxious. I onced spoke to my doctor about it and she prescibed paxil, but I never took it because I was afraid of the side effects and didn't want to put a band-aid on the problem. I believe panic attacks are a cue for me to slow down and listen to my body and my thoughts. So sometimes when I am in a long line at the grocery store and I start to feel the onset of a panic attack I take deep breaths and ride it out. I just need to learn how to incorportate that into my driving on the freeway.
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8 years ago 0 beautiful bird 3 logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo logo
Panic Attack while driving on the freeway

Wow...everything you guys shared is sooo true. It is very comforting to know there are others who can relate to what I am going through. I believe the control issue is very relavent to my situation. I have always been somewhat a control freak and  for some reason I feel as if I lack control when driving on the freeway. As I dig deeper I can recall a time about four years prior to my first panic attack, I had lost control of my vehicle while driving on the freeway because another car swerved into my lane and my car began to spin out of control into on coming traffic. Thankfully, no one hit me and I didn't hit anyone. But it scared the daylights out of me. I didn't stop driving on the freeway after that incident, but it may have caused some type of delayed reaction like PTSD??? I guess driving a car makes you vulnerable to other drivers and being on the freeway seems to magnify that vulnerability because of the high speeds that everyone is traveling. Its interesting to know that driving through an intersection is more dangerous than driving on the freeway, but I still feel more comfortable. I guess because I know if I have a panic attack its easier to pull over than waiting 2-3 miles for the next exit. lol