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Driving makes me so anxious I can't deal with it. I have panic attacks and some times I disassociate. I've decided that I can't do it anymore right now. My therapist says I shouldn't quit and I need to power through it or the anxiety will win, but it's just too much. Besides, I don't think it's safe to drive when I start disassociating or panicking and not paying attention to the road. There's not always a safe place to pull over if I start freaking out. Maybe I'm exaggerating the safety concerns because I don't want to do it though. I don't know. I know it will be a hardship for my family. My spouse and kids don't drive, so we will be reliant on the in-laws for rides, which makes me feel guilty, but I think it's for the best for me right now. Thoughts?
New user here. I have had a driving phobia since I had my child four years ago. Recently it has gotten a lot worse and I can hardly drive at all. I am working to get into a psychiatrist but in the meantime my dr. gave me brintellix to try. (5 mg). I have not taken it yet and have never been on a drug for my disorder. I am actually afraid that it will make me feel worse. Any words of wisdom for me?
Hi, I'm new to this website and so glad to find kindred spirits out there. I have been diagnosed with panic disorder for 13 years (depression for 4). For a long time, social situations were my main trigger. I also have trouble with things like flying or taking public transportation (I can't control when I get on and off). I've dealt with all that as best I could. But for the last two years, I have had trouble driving. It seemed to come from nowhere. No accidents or near misses, no tickets. The first time, I was taking my daughter to a gymnastics meet 2½ hours away from home. I started "feeling funny" 10 minutes into the drive, still on a back road. As soon as I got on the highway, the full-blown panic attacks started. I finally had to call my husband, who brought my dad down to take over driving. It was frustrating and humiliating. For a few months, I couldn't drive. Even being a passenger was very difficult. Two months after the first incident, my family took a road trip from NJ down to Florida. It was HELL. I can't tell you how many times I had to resist the urge to jump out of the car. Totally illogical, I know. But those of you who have anxiety or panic disorder know how illogical the whole thing is. Through therapy and sheer determination, I got myself back to driving on back roads. Highways were impossible. But I was okay with at least doing back roads, just to be able to do things for my family. Well, four weeks ago it started again. I was taking my daughter to a lacrosse game across town. I had taken her to the field a dozen times over the last month or two without incident. And then, BOOM. Full blown freakin' attack. Are you kidding me?!? I popped a xanax, but it didn't help fast enough. I held it together long enough to park the car by the field, and then I let out a loud yell. My poor kids were so scared. I felt awful. So here I am. It's summer, and I can't take my kids anywhere except the local park. I can't even get myself to therapy, which is in a hospital setting a half hour away. I did try. And I failed miserably. When I called the therapist to tell her what was going on, she advised me that she could only keep my chart open for two weeks. She called a week later to see how I was doing and whether or not I would come in. I told her I wanted to but couldn't see how. She eventually said if it was important enough to me, I'd find a way to get there. And she closed my chart. So now I'm out of therapy, too. Yay me. My psychiatrist just put me on a new med yesterday. I've had very little luck with the antidepressants, so he's trying me on Saphris. I'm cautiously hopeful it'll work. It knocked me on my butt last night....I slept 15 hours. But hopefully the sedation is just temporary. Has anyone else had issues with driving? And if so, how did you overcome it? I've tried dose changes, med changes, hypnosis, breathing exercises, and therapy. I'm willing to try other things. I'm desperate!
Note: I posted this question in the bipolar forum because my personal experience with this topic has been through a bipolar lens and I'm eager to hear responses from other bipolar people, but really this topic applies to anyone with an MI and I'll value any and all responses regardless of diagnosis. How many of you can't/choose not to drive? I'm a very rapid cycler and for that reason have decided that driving is not in the cards for me at the moment. I've had more than one close call while driving without realizing I was manic and I could very easily have cost myself or someone else their vehicle or their life. Driving while depressed is dangerous, too: My reaction times are so slow that I miss signals, lose track of where I am, or can't maneuver my vehicle quickly enough in traffic. I feel that these are all pretty valid reasons all by themselves, but now I'm also experimenting with AAPs and benzos and I don't feel confident that I know my body's responses to these medications well enough to risk driving, even if no other symptom were present. Still, I often feel guilty that I don't drive. I struggle with thoughts that I'm just lazy or selfish, that I could really drive if I wanted to--I know how to operate the vehicle just fine, after all--and that I'd be fooling people to say that I "can't" drive, so I usually just say that I "don't" drive. I do have a driver's license, but I sometimes lie when people ask me why they've never seen me drive anywhere and say that I haven't got one. Can you guys relate? On the flip side, how many of you drive on a regular basis, and does it feel comfortable?