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Travel Panic. Help, I'm scared.


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I was wondering if others have found ways of coping with severe panic on modes of transportation. It seems even if i take lots of meds- i can't get the fear and the visions of disaster out of my head.

if i'm in a car, my anxiety inevitably gets to the driver- its irritating or it makes them anxious or they feel like I don't trust them and they are offended.Then i feel guilty and scared.

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you're not a cyber-reject....but I know the feeling...

I also know the anxiety-panic all too well.....Lots of deep breathing. Not being on too crowded a train carriage. Closing my eyes and imagining somewhere else. Reading. all those help me...but mainly the deep breathing...and knowing that every second takes me closer to arriving and getting off..I'm also better when I travel with someone...but that happens rarely.

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You might try music as someone suggested, or EMDR. There must be a root to this problem and EMDR is an excellent way to learn the belief and change it.

I hate to fly and have a whole series of rituals I go through for that. But all modes of transportation, I imagine can be frustrating.

I would look at too your overall way of dealing with anxiety. Do you do anything besides meds?

You gotta do some practice with the little things in preparation for the big ones.

Good luck

Breeze

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Nope, you're definitely not a cyber reject, just lots of posts out there to get caught up in.  Sorry you have such a hard time traveling. 

I don't usually have such a bad time, except when I'm out with a friend of mine who is about the worst driver I've ever ridden with - she's over cautious to the point of being extremely dangerous.  You can't merge into freeway traffic that's going 60 mph when you're poking along at 35 mph and tapping the brakes!

My only solution is to stare out the passenger window and never look in the mirrors.  Granted, it's not much, but it does help.  On planes I try to fall asleep as soon as possible, mostly from the physical discomfort, but I guess it would also help with anxiety.  A friend of mine can't do it without some sort of med he takes; otherwise he can't even board the plane.  Not sure what it is, but I suspect a strong benzo because he's not up for driving when he arrives.

Hope you find something(s) that make you more comfortable.

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i really hate flying too- but for some reason- the drugs and the rituals and the toys and magazines etc seem to work a little better on planes.

i think there is so much visual input in a car- i can't close my eyes - sitting in the back helped slightly but hubby felt like a chauffeur.

I've always had trouble with moving things- you couldn't pay me to go on a rollercoaster. i'd never ski cause i wouldn't go on the lift.

i was in an accident and then a very close call both about 25 yrs ago. it had been awful for a long time but seemed to have improved somewhat. then about 2 years ago i had another- though it was minor- it stirred it all up again.

i actually have tried emdr withought success. well not totally true. the "resource installment" part was good- helped with relaxation techniques. But otherwise- it was like having severe flashbacks each time i did it- instead of working through the fear - it was like re- traumatizing each time. tdoc and i decided to stop for this reason. but i will try the resoource part again.

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Gee, now that you mention it......

It helps to laugh at yourself sometimes and I'm sure this would have made a great home video:  I was in visiting a new city by myself for work so had on a very sharp pantsuit and in the evening while walking through the tourist area saw a nice ferris wheel that I thought I'd ride on to see the view as it was quite tall.  Ferris wheels are the only ride I'll even consider, because like you, I'm never going on a roller coaster or anything fast. 

The ferris wheel had big round enclosed seats with umbrella tops so your feet don't dangle, they could probably hold six people each and hang from a center pole.  It wasn't crowded so they put me in one by myself.  I was fine until I got about three quarters of the way up while they loaded - they kept getting a little higher and stopping.  I started totally freaking out and couldn't stand the little bit of swaying and being up so high in the air, so in my very nicest outfit I laid down on the filthy floor of the ferris wheel seat and curled up around that center pole and hung onto to it so tight I probably left finger prints in the steel! 

Needless to say, I didn't see much of the view, and after the ride started going around the operator yelled out to ask if I was o.k.  I probably looked like I'd had a heart attack and keeled over or something.  So I smiled and yelled back, that no, I was fine, and having a wonderful ride.  I felt like an idiot when they unloaded and I had to clamber up off that nasty floor and try to act like everyone rides the ferris wheel laying on the floor!

I think you're right about there being too much visual input in a car that has a more physical basis than anything to do with anxiety or panic.  I say that because if I try to read in a car or on a train, I instantly start to get carsick, but I do fine reading on a plane once it's in the air.  There's some effect in my head with trying to look at a fixed point in the vehicle while having all the things speed by in my periphial vision that upsets my sense of balance or something.  I don't feel anxious, just nauseous.  I wonder if part of what you go through is also a physical phenomenon that just intensifies the anxiety, and if there's any way to relieve it, maybe something else besides or in addition to EDMR. 

I do hope you find something that gives you some relief, and stay away from ferris wheels at all costs!

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OMG catnapper- the same thing happened to me on a ferris wheel when i was about 7 or 8. when it stopped to load with me at the top- i totally freaked- cried till they let me off!!

the other thing that really gets me is that whenever you read about phobias-or things people are afraid of ( spiders snakes etc) the first thing they always say is that getting into your car is much more dangerous. They always use cars for this. All this does in reinforce my fear!!! i hate it!!!

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heh.  i too have sat at the bottom of an umbrella ferris wheel.  i was attempting to get over my fear of them that is from getting stuck upside down at the top in a "birdcage" when i was 5 at a carnivale.  (they're like ferris wheels but the individual things spin as well.)

i don't know if you have access to it, but bio feedback has really helped my husband.  he can fly now without klonopin for the first time in years.  he's been goign in for weekly sessions for a few months now, though i'm not sure what all they do, but i know it worked for him when emdr didn't.

good luck

penny

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