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Ways to deal with anxiety

in april of 2010 i was in a car accident which totaled my SUV. no one was seriously injured thank goodness. but ever since i have horrible anxiety when in vehicles. and attacks when passenger. im extreamly nervous when i drive and parinoid but when i am passenger im on edge the whole time and at times my throat feels like its closing, my chest hurts and i sometimes i cry. i press my fake break pedel and when the driver comes within 100 feet of the car infront of them i tence up and freak if they arnt slowing. i need advice on how to be able to deal with this please. it actually causes fights between my husband and me. he thinks im over reacting and im a mess. i know it sounds easy, just let me drive right? well that causes fights too because im a parinoid driver and my husband hates the way i drive so we still fight. i dont know what to do anymore, it makes me want to never get in a car again.

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Asked by aschwarz06 at 8:21 PM on May. 8, 2011 in Health

Level 13 (982 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • have you talked to a therapist to work out the issues you have with the car accident? do you take any meds for anxiety?

    i have "driver's anxiety" too and it's bad. mine started in 2009 and it hasn't gotten any better but i've also taken the burden on my own instead of seeking professional help to work out the underlying issues i have when in the car. im better off as a passenger, and much more anxious when i drive. sometimes it gets so bad i think im dying. i have almost becoming agoraphobic and will avoid highways at all costs unless it's completely necessary.

    just know that you aren't alone, and your anxieties are from your accident and your brain's constant trigger to what happened the day of the accident. you are on "high alert" now. join the agoraphobia & anxiety group here on CM for much more women like you.

    Answer by tnm786 at 8:26 PM on May. 8, 2011

  • It takes time... I was in a bad accident and I had a hard time being in a car for a while. I have gotten much better now but I still have my paranoid moments. My husband gets irritated with me also but he understands. I explain to him for whatever reason right now I'm just a little scared could you please drive a little bit more defensively. He doesnt like it but he does it so I don't flip shi* on him. Your husband needs to understand that you are tramatized from what happened, you need to have a heart to heart with him (not in the car). But I know what you mean. It took me almost 2 years before I didn't see the car that hit me coming at me when I turned. It was tough. If it gets to bad maybe try something to calm your nerves but you wont be able to drive after taking those things.

    Answer by Finkette at 8:27 PM on May. 8, 2011

  • Sweetie you need to talk to someone. You are having panic attacks! Its a real problem and it can be treated with breathing techniques and meds if need be. I know I have these types of problems. Just remember to breathe steadily. If you the passenger try finding something to do to keep your mind off the road (read a book or something) besides you can't do anything from the passenger seat anyway.

    Answer by ramita at 8:28 PM on May. 8, 2011

  • oh and ramita gives a good suggestion for keeping busy. right after my incident that caused me anxiety i had to go on a 6 hour road trip, and it was hell on my nerves. luckily i was the passenger but being in the car period gets my heart pounding. i literally played games on my phone the whole trip to keep my mind and hands busy. i do that still if im driving, i change the station, or turn it off, or move the a/c vents, or put on chapstick, or heck, pull over and breathe if i have to. just anything that will distract me from the anxiety. it doesn't get rid of it, but it helps it become tolerable until i get to my destination.

    Answer by tnm786 at 8:32 PM on May. 8, 2011

  • i have thought about going to a therapist to deal with the trauma of the accident but i dont have insurance so i have been trying to deal on my own. i try to play with my phone or something thinking if i dont see it coming maybe it wont be so bad. it dont really help. so i try to look out the side window and breath deeply. it got so bad yesterday the i actually started leaning in the back seat and double checking my kids seatbelts. adjusting them on their shoulders and tightening them more. i was so terrified we would be in an accident

    Comment by aschwarz06 (original poster) at 8:33 PM on May. 8, 2011

  • my husband thinks its funny and i cant convince him im serious. he asks what i want to do and i just sit with tears in my eyes and say i just want to get home. as soon as we pull in the drive way i feel like i just woke up from a nightmare

    Comment by aschwarz06 (original poster) at 8:35 PM on May. 8, 2011

  • as soon as we pull in the drive way i feel like i just woke up from a nightmare

    thats exactly how i feel. im sorry your husband isn't very supportive about this, maybe he needs to read up on panic attacks/anxiety so he can see what you're going through is real and you need him to be supportive of your fears. his reluctance to do so might be making your attacks worse.

    Answer by tnm786 at 8:39 PM on May. 8, 2011

  • This will probably take a while, but when you're a passenger try to think of something that really calms you down. The sound of the ocean on the shore, a babbling brook, the sounds of a rainforest. When you start getting all jittery and panicky think of that. close your eyes if you can and make it as calming and real for yourself as you can.

    You may want to spend some time at home finding just the right thing that helps you stay calm. You may also want to refuse to drive/ride with your husband until he pulls his head out of his *ss and realizes just how terrifying this is for you.

    Answer by Rosehawk at 8:41 PM on May. 8, 2011

  • maybe you could have your hubby drive as much as possible. my mom has this problem and it's debilitating. she drives in the slow lane to deal with it and leaves really really early to relieve possible stress of being late.

    i used to be scared of roller coasters. my brother would say "whats the worst that could happen?" im like"uh, die!" and he always said "yea? and...?"
    for some reason this helped and i am no longer afraid of roller coasters

    Answer by Liz4Life at 12:53 AM on May. 9, 2011

  • maybe you could have your hubby drive as much as possible. my mom has this problem and it's debilitating. she drives in the slow lane to deal with it and leaves really really early to relieve possible stress of being late.

    the problem with that is my anxiety is WORSE when i am passenger i cant stand my husband driving. i literally want to jump out of the car

    Comment by aschwarz06 (original poster) at 10:29 AM on May. 9, 2011

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