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I get really bad anxiety when I am driving. Last Sunday my wife and I were going to pick up a tree after church, so I had to drive my truck. She was so worried by all the sighs and hard breathing that I was experiencing that she said to turn around and go home. She can't drive the truck because she can't reach the pedals. Anyway, we'll try again tomorrow and see if my anxiety level is any lower. I am supposed to take 2 mg. of klonopin in the morning for my anxiety, but I can't even stay in my lane when I do that. On work days, I take the meds that affect my driving after I get in to work.

Tommy

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Hey Tommy,

I hope those sighs/hard breathing weren't something else, given your diabetes and hypertension. I'm a little paranoid since my dad got his first heart attack at the age of 48 (and is diabetic to boot). I have mild pulmonary hypertension due to the effects of a cardiac birth defect catching up with me, and the effort of chiseling my car out from the effects of Icepocalypse '11 was enough to give me mild chest pain. And I occasionally have exercise-induced asthma, as well. So obviously I'm a little biased when someone tells me they're suddenly out of breath.

If you are sure this is just your anxiety acting up and have had your heart/lungs checked out to make sure they're doing well, have you considered splitting your Klonopin dose in the morning? Taking 2mg at once seems to be a heavy daytime dose (this is just IMO, I take 2mg at night for REM behavioral disorder/acting out dreams), and of course it'd be non-constructive to drive after taking that much.

Whenever faced with an emergency anxiety situation (not too common but does happen under some situations), I take 0.5mg, which doesn't interfere with my daily functioning, including driving.

And one last thing... this may seem odd, but it's possible that the Klonopin is causing your difficulty breathing as a hangover effect of your nightly dose, which is probably quite high given that you take 6mg a day total (I got the issue when I was on 4mg/night). If this were the case, though, you'd be having trouble breathing every morning!

Anyways, best you talk these ideas out with your pdoc, and if you have never seen a cardiologist or pulmonologist for these breathing issues, you probably should, at least just once, to make sure nothing's wrong in the physical departments.

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Thanks, LikeMinded.

I can drive when I take just 1 mg, so I may try that. For several years, I've been taking 2 mg. morning and bedtime, then 1 mg. up to two times as a PRN.

My GP (an Internal Medicine doc) says my heart and lungs are in great shape (even though I smoke) and I am pretty sure that the heavy breathing is from my anxiety, because I am actually close to a panic attack whenever I drive.

Thanks for your suggestions; I will definitely check them out.

Tommy

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Hi,

last year when i was living in the mountains on NC I developed some serious driving anxiety....to the point where I didnt think I could control the car anymore. it was pure hell. I wasnt willing to change anything medication wise...I just had to keep reminding myself to breathe.

there is a remarkable difference now. I live in SoCal and the roads are straight. No more windy steep roads. and Im not so scared of driving anymore.

good luck,

db

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I get really stressed out when I drive as well. Mine, unfortunately, is due to accidents I've been in (my fault) over the past couple of years. It seems like every time I drive (taking benzos or not) I get careless in one way or another. And it just crushes me when that happens, because my husband never gets into accidents and he seems like the most carefree driver on the planet. So why am I (super careful freak out driver) in accidents?

I know our situations are not similar but I wanted you to know I get stressed out too.

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