ANSWERS: 18
  • I know exactly what your talking about this started happening to me about 2 years ago while I was going over the cheasapeak bay bridge all of a sudden I started panicing, I have had trouble with bridges ever since. I sometimes think that I want to drive over the edge or into oncomming traffic and that I won't be able to control the urge to do it. I have to totally talk myself down from these attacks, I have had some success with some anti-depressants and also drugs like valium and xanax but mostly I just avoid bridges. The one thing you have to tell your self is everything is going to be all right and that it will pass. I hope this helps.
  • I've had panic attacks before, but never while driving - thank GOD. You need to see a doctor and get this under control before it gets OUT of control! Good luck!
  • Until I read this blog I thought I was completely insane; it's nice to know other people have this same problem. About a year ago I was driving on the highway mid day and felt my whole body go hot, then cold, then numb, and like I couldn't see anything. I thought I was having a seizure! I saw several neurologists, and they all told me the same thing, "You need to see a shrink!" So, I've been seeing a therapist for about 6 months, and still can't get on a highway, or a bridge for that matter. I'm still stuck to back roads, and if they remotely look too hilly, I'm off! Who knows why this happens, but I wish I could tell you how to fight it. The truth is, it's consumed the better part of my life, and I still have no answers. I think our brains just seem to out wit us sometimes. One thing that has sort of helped me with driving is to wear a rubber band and every time I have an irrational thought I "pop" myself. I know is sounds masochistic, but just the thought of the pain usually prevents me from doing it and detours my mind from the illogical thinking. I wish I had some better advice, but I think the best thing is to know you’re not alone; I know it was for me. When ever y one thinks you’re crazy the world gets pretty lonely. Good luck, and if you ever find any answers, please do everyone a justice and share them.
  • Yes, I know exactly what you are going through. I had the same symptoms as you when my problem started around a year ago. I also have an awful feeling of light headedness at times in the car - as if I am going to lose consciousness. Do you get that?
  • You are awesome for asking that question. Unfortunately I don't have an answer, I'm actually looking for answers myself. I haven't driven my car in two weeks for fear that I will have a panic attack. My first one happened about 6 months ago while I was on my way to work. I had no idea what was happening, my chest was tight and my jaw was tingly then every muscle in my arms and hands tensed so bad, I could barely dial 911. After that I didn't have another one until about two weeks ago, I was on my way home and about fifteen minutes before i made it, my stomach started feeling empty and next thing I know I feel light headed and my limbs tensed and went tingly again. Not only can I not drive, I have to be careful riding with people too. I got dropped off at a store just yesterday so they could finish their errands while i went to the restroom to sit and relax. If anyone can help, it would be much appreciated. I'm tired of being scared of car rides.
  • I'm another one who understands, except I can't even turn the motor over without sweating and getting jittery. I never learned to drive because of it. My sister takes meds for her panic attacks ( sorry I don't know the name ) but talk with your doctor and see if he/she has another plan other than meds. Good Luck!
  • Yes! The panic attacks while driving, especially when I begin to go over 60mph. The worst is when there is no alternative to the freeway and I just have to keep going through it. Terror. If I know I have to go somewhere that involves a highway for any portion, I begin to worry days beforehand. Just recently started on Wellbutrin meds and maybe it is helping with the racing heartbeat a little but the lightheadedness is still there. Also when I feel the panicky tingles I count backwards from 100 by nines, then eights and so on. Focus on something else. Helps some. For chrissake I've been driving since I was 16!! This is ridiculous and frustrating. I am gonna beat this friggin panic bullshit. There is life to be lived and I don't want to spend all of mine on the back roads!
  • i have been suffering with panic attachs for over a year now in my car.... Most of the time my attachs hit me when im stopped at a traffic light.
  • I had my first panic attack last Saturday driving on the freeway. I was in the fast lane and all of a sudden I felt panicked and the more I panicked the more nervous and disoriented I became. I was literally shaking (really bad), had a racing heart, and was praying to God to get me to the right side shoulder in one piece. I sat on the side of the freeway for a few minutes. First thought it was low blood sugar (I'm Diabetic, TypeII) because I hadn't eaten breakfast, so I ate some mints that were in my purse. After a few, I prayed again to get me up to the next exit - figured I would take back roads - GET ME OFF OF THIS FREEWAY!!! Once off the freeway I felt better, but a few minutes during a left hand turn, I became disoriented/panicked again and was all over the road. Thank God I didn't hit anyone. After another few minutes on the side of the road again, I went to my Mom's house. We thought it was low blood sugar but after talking to coworkers I'm being told it was a panic attack. Now I am afraid to drive and I am the one who has a fast camaro and loves to drive. Any suggestions from any of you? PS- I already am on Prozac due to clincial depression I have had for years. Should I see a doctor or just wait to see if another one comes again? This sucks, everything was going good in my life until this thing happened to me. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
  • I am a woman in the prime of my life; always in control at work and home with friends and family; everyone sees me as the super hero...but just a little over 3 months ago, I started getting fair while driving on the highway/freeway/bridges....it's horrible, I hate it; I stay in the right lane at 40 miles an hour; and if I see lots of cars behind me, I start to shack and get nervous; I have to get off the next exit and park....I am not going to let this moster take control of my life; I have had panick atacks for years; but I have had them in control...it never effected my driving; I will win this battle!!!!!! I am reading a lot of stuff on Cognitive Behavior Therapy http://www.thehealthcenter.info/cbt.htm this is all in our minds....it's not physical it's mental.....good luck to all and to all a good night.
  • It is always good to know you are not alone with this problem. I had and still struggle with, from time to time, problems when driving, especially during longer highway trips or stopped at an intersection, many times at the same intersection. There is no logic as to why this occurs. It just does. Drugs in the form of anti-depressants will mask the problem, not get rid of it. My anxiety/panic symptoms would start with the mouth getting dry, saliva building up, the throat muscles tightening so I could not swallow, and then some light headed feeling along with almost an out of body type experience. I would have a mouthfull of saliva and not be able to swallow it. Anxiety and panic would build until I had to pull over and spit out the saliva, calm down , drive some more and repeat, all the way to the destination. As I got closer to the destination, the symptoms would reduce, and I would be back to normal as I reached the destination. Not a lot of fun for a 7 hour drive. I also got this way sitting in a public place such as a theatre or Las Vegas show...somewhere where your emotions would run higher. Action movies would tend to trigger me more, especially if I was more fatigued as well. I talk about my experience in my blog at http://www.panicattackscausesinfo.com . In the about me section, you may also be surprised to learn I am an airline pilot. This stuff can happen to anyone folks. I should mention that my blog is absolutely true, but it is an affiliate site and I am recommending a product that helps tremendously with anxiety and panic attacks. I do get paid if people go through and buy the product. I want to disclose that. That is not my intent for you here. I just sincerely want you to know you are not going crazy and that there is help. For me, excluding the product I am promoting which helped me, exercise, diet, deep breathing, and meditative practices saw me through. I love cycling, and practice tai chi and qi gong, which calms you and keeps you centered in the universe. I was at one time on a light dose of Zoloft, but I felt the side effects and long term usage of these drugs would cause health problems, so I weaned off of them with Dr guidance. Just hang in there and find solutions that help you. You can control panic attacks, but what caused them is always with you. Like an alcoholic who recovered but now is taking a drink, we have to control the emotions that trigger anxiety/panic to improve our quality of life.
  • Bless you for asking and all answering. I seriously thought I was loosing my mind when I started fearing driving anywhere with my husband and getting panic attacks. Now I know I am sane. Lol
  • drive slow
  • I have lots of panic attacks while driving, sometimes so bad I have to pull over and get my shit together! I take a big, deep breath, and count to forty.
  • Response to Aries RSA: You know, I wish I knew why anxiety or panic attacks are triggered in one case and not the next. It is almost impossible to rationally figure it out. Mine used to happen when I drive or when I am a passenger. Most of the time it does not make sense and you say to yourself, "what is wrong with me?". We can only learn to control our response to it and in time "tame it" to the point where it doesn't bother you to the degree that it did. This is very achievable.
  • I've had experience with panic attacks. There is medication for this you may want to talk to your doctor about it.
  • go see a psychiatrist about it
  • I share your concern. A few years ago out of nowhere I panicked as I was driving over a bridge. I have never had any kind of driving phobia until that day. Seriously, the only way to combat any fear is to face it. Start small, driving down a little hill, and focus on breathing. I mean, if you can avoid hills for the rest of your life while driving, I suppose that is an option, but facing our fears, any fear, is the only way to truly combat it. I am working on my fear of driving over bridges by staying in the slow lane and trying to be lucky enough to get behind a diesel, since they drive slow. I know that must sound silly, but it's my way of doing the baby steps on conquering my stupid anxiety. Good luck.

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