Driving Anxiety

A

ansco

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So I'm hoping that someone on here may be able to help me get over my driving anxiety or at least help me understand a little more. I'd even just be happy to find someone to talk to who understands my perspective. I've had my permit for about six years now and am no closer to getting my actual driver's license. Every time I get behind the wheel, I just get so stiff and can feel myself getting scared. I've been trying to figure out how to stop myself from getting worked up, but I just seem to start overthinking until I almost shut down mentally and try to autopilot myself through something that I don't even really know how to do. I noticed that there are some places that I feel a lot more comfortable driving, like a highway is easier than me trying to drive through my town. And there seems to be different levels of anxiety with different people that I drive with, although it's always still there. I've been trying to just push through this, but I seem to get into a cycle: try driving, do something wrong, get scared when the person I'm driving with corrects me, do even more things wrong, said person starts getting frustrated, I give up. I want to get through this because I feel like my life is paused because I can't drive. It stops me from doing so much for myself, and it's even gotten to the point where my boyfriend says that he can't see us having a kid when I can't even take myself to doctor's appointments. I feel like the pressure of getting older and not being able to do something that everyone else seems to find so easy makes me so frustrated and makes this whole issue even worse. I know that everyone involved isn't trying to be mean or hurtful, but I just want to know if there's something I'm missing or that would make this easier to cope with. Or maybe it's more of a lost cause, and I should just stop renewing my permit.
 
EddieH

EddieH

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I was pretty late getting my licence. I was a pretty good driver but I would get super nervous on the test. I kept failing and gave up for three years. I would renew your permit and battle through your aniexty, I did and it opened a lot of opportunities when I finally got my licence. Driving is stressful and you must me assertive and relaxed to be a good driver, I guess it all comes down to practice. You might want to try some medication to settle your nerves. I used to take a beta blocker that slows your heart rate, propananol.
 
midnightphoenix

midnightphoenix

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I gave up for 10 years then went back to it and managed to pass my test, maybe take a break from it while you work on your anxiety?

i remember i found the car moving at all terrifying, even going at 30mph would scare me.
 
Sharebear

Sharebear

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First of all, you deserve more support from your boyfriend. Let him know you think it would be more helpful if he was encouraging rather than put pressure on you. I’m sure you have enough negative thoughts and fears of your own! If he wants to have kids with someone else, he can go ahead and you would be fine on your own or meet someone else who accepts you as you are. Do this for YOU, not for him.

I suffer from driving anxiety and have been driving for 25 years. If you’re someone who tends to pay attention to many things at once you may feel overstimulated while driving. Have you figured out what you’re afraid will happen?

Remember that when you make mistakes, you just need to keep working on it. Don’t beat yourself up. Driving may take more work for you than others but what matters is that you want to drive and it just takes practice. I’m an excellent driver but still have physical anxiety while driving and what I’m afraid of is my own anxiety causing me to lose control of the car. I have panic disorder.

It’s good that you’ve noticed you feel more comfortable driving with certain people over others. How does that compare to how you feel with those people in other situations? Maybe those people don’t instill confidence in you and you should spend less time with them.

I would have more advice if you can tell me what you’re afraid of.
 
Sharebear

Sharebear

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I gave up for 10 years then went back to it and managed to pass my test, maybe take a break from it while you work on your anxiety?

i remember i found the car moving at all terrifying, even going at 30mph would scare me.
I actually disagree with this advice. From my own experience, avoiding something that makes you nervous will make it worse. You need to embrace the nerves. Tell yourself it’s excitement. The harder you fight being nervous and the more you resist the nerves, the worse it will get. Tell yourself it’s going to be uncomfortable but that’s okay, you can handle it. The only way to stop being nervous is to prove to yourself that you can handle it.
 
Sharebear

Sharebear

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I was pretty late getting my licence. I was a pretty good driver but I would get super nervous on the test. I kept failing and gave up for three years. I would renew your permit and battle through your aniexty, I did and it opened a lot of opportunities when I finally got my licence. Driving is stressful and you must me assertive and relaxed to be a good driver, I guess it all comes down to practice. You might want to try some medication to settle your nerves. I used to take a beta blocker that slows your heart rate, propananol.
Did you take propranolol every time you drove?
 

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