View Full Version : Hi new to this forum
Hi all, :)
I'm new to this forum....and frankly scared. I have been driving for over 30 years now. I have never, ever had a problem driving anywhere ....I've driven hundreds of miles in NJ and between NJ and NY since most of my family lives in NY. I've owned both shift and automatic vehicles over the years. Yesterday I was on my way to NY for a family wake (sister-in-law's mother). I was driving for approximately 1 hr and 1/2 on the GSP where I HAD to pull off in a rest area. I was hyperventilating in the car, feeling light headed, tingling sensation in my hands - I COULD NOT BELIEVE WHAT WAS HAPPENING TO ME! I tried singing, talking to myself (out loud) and praying but nothing was stopping the awful feelings I was experiencing as I was driving north on the GSP. By the time I pulled off the parkway into one of the rest areas, I was trembling and hysterical crying. I called my husband who calmed me down enough to not proceed north to NY but rather head back home. I had a small bite to eat and some water before getting back into the car to head south now on the parkway. "Home" I thought...surely I would be ok. Maybe I was just nerved up about attending the family wake. Well, I made it only a few exits where I again HAD to pull off the parkway. I started hyperventilating again and felt as though I was going to pass out - if not, throw up! I called my husband again and told him I could not get back on the parkway. In fact, I told him I couldn't drive....I felt SO PARALYZED and he knew I was scared. My husband came to get me and we had to leave our 2nd car in a lot overnight. Today we returned. Thinking yesterday's panic attack was a "fluke", I insisted on driving to where we had left the other car. With my husband in the car, I figured I'd be ok. And I was ok initially but then those "feelings" started happening again. I stayed in the far right lane staying within the speed limit of 65 and when I felt the "lanes closing in on me", I slowed down to 58-60 mph. I kept on talking to my husband about everything and anything under the sun hoping the feelings would not intensify. Thankfully, the panic attack was not as fierce as the one yesterday but I still had it enough where I HAD to get off the parkway, 1 exit before our regular exit so I could take the local road home. Today I've read alot on the internet about panic and anxiety attacks. Right now, I'm fitting more into the panic attack mode from what I've read but I'm concerned knowing WHAT caused it after all these years of loving to drive. I'm not going to give up. I will try again. When I was young, I fell off a horse but I got right back up again because I knew if I didn't I would never ride another horse. Likewise, I will not give up driving on highways. I wish I knew what brought these panic attacks on. I don't want this to get worse.
Can anyone out there tell me how they overcame these attacks? Were you able to do it on your own (through reading) or did you wind up having to see a "professional"?
09-27-2006, 04:12 PM
Welcome to the site, I am so sorry that you had such a bad experience of a panic attack. I know exactly how you felt as I too suffer with panic attacks. Had you ever felt like that before? I ask because you knew that it was hyperventilating and also that it was a panic attack. I can imagine that you were more tense than usual because you were going to a wake, not a nice place to go! You can nip this in the bud I'm sure, especially as you are looking for help straight away. The hyperventilation cause the dizziness and tingling and feeling sick, so if you could get that 'down' you wouldnt have the other symptoms. Can I just say that I'm not a professional and I'm just going on experience. You will find everything you need to know about hyperventilation and panic on the home page down the left hand side. It's all about controlling your breathing and breathing techniques.
I wish you the best of luck and I hope you soon feel better. There is always the chat room to go in if you want to talk to anyone.
Hi Libby, :)
Thanks for answering my wordy e-mail. To answer your question...yes, I have hyperventilated before. While I have no problems flying places (did a lot of that..business and vacations), I have a problem with heights - when I can relate....like diving off a high diving board. I know exactly when this fear cropped up. I was very young ....mayben 9 or 10 years old at a summer camp and I climbed a ladder to dive (jump) off a 12 foot diving board. They wouldn't let me come back down the ladder...so eventually....(seemed like an eternity)...I jumped! Well, two years ago and almost 30 years later while on vacation with family I decided to try and overcome this fear by parasailing. Only my husband knew how terrified I really was but I was a trooper ---and did it anyway. I didn't make a fuss in front of the guys that were operating the boat. Thankfully, they did not leave me "up" long and did not let me go "up" too far but ....as I was seeing the entire island we were visiting from the sky, I started hyperventilating. I immediately looked out (not down) and prayed ...and kept on praying that they would soon reel me in since other members of the family were waiting to go parasailing. Yes, I did it but I would never do it again. Been there...done it..as they say...chalk that one up.
Libby, I believe I know why this is happening to me. My husband is retired from law enforcement. Suffice to say, he drives very well with confidence but he drives at very high speeds. We've only been married a few years and I have asked him repeatedly to slow down when we go on long trips involving highway driving. I never asked him to "crawl" - just to stay at the speed limit or slightly above. In all my years of driving, speeding for me may be 5-8 miles above the speed limit. My husband is not "normally" an aggressive driver...he is just so use to high speeds from his line of work. As many times as we've been out and I've "begged" him to slow down, he doesn't and tells me, I have no confidence in his driving ability. I tell him, I have the utmost confidence in his driving abilities - BUT I DO NOT LIKE SPEEDING! :(
I finally got to the point where I just close my eyes :blink: and wait for us to be at our final destination because I don't wan't to ruin an evening out alone or with family or friends. Maybe it's all caught up now ....where his speeding has immoblized my driving. I don't know. I certainly don't want to blame my husband for these UNBELIEVABLE panic attacks I've experienced the past two days but I don't like it ---AT ALL! I have a beautiful, loving family that is in NY. Granted, since being married...my husband has done the majority of the driving (long "above the speed limit" trips) and I haven't taken a trip into NY to see my family without him. Libby, I was shocked with what happened to me the other day and today. While it was a wake, I wanted to pay my respects but I also knew I would see my whole family. My husband would have come but I have a step-son at home along with 2 dogs and 3 dogs across the street that I committed to taking care of for some friends.
I'm rambling again. Sorry. No matter what caused this - I need to get OVER IT!
Thanks again for response.
09-27-2006, 05:28 PM
Prolly ure panic attacks are stemming from your hubbys fast driving, and he should slow down a bit for you, sorry to say but it seems disrespctful to you if he doesn't. You should speak to him more about how you're feeling, tell him you have confidence in his driving but NOT when he drives too fast and as a member of law enforcement he should know better! Does that sound harsh? Sorry if it does, but frankly I wouldn't get in the car with him if he made me feel like that, but he's not my husband and you have to do what you think is right. If he realises how upset you are about it, perhaps he'll slow down. However, the cure for the panic attacks are still the same no matter what started them, and that's the breathing techniques as I said earlier. I'm so sorry that you're having such a bad experience with panics I know that most of us here know what you're going through, and feel for you.
I hope that you can sort this out quickly, there is no need for it to go on for a long time as you're tackling it straight away. Take care Meg
Hi Libby :)
You know that old saying...you can't teach a dog new tricks. But I agree with you wholeheartedly, and I wasn't offended by what you said. I've told him so many times to slow down when when I'm the "passenger" but it only creates unpleasant conversations. Like ...you don't trust me....don't you know I can drive...yadda...yadda...yaddaa. I keep telling him it has nothing to do with his driving ability or my trust in his ability and that I just DON't like speeding and shifting from lane to lane because someone is going too slow for him. Funny you said you two things that hit a cord with me. 1) if he respected my feelings and concern, he would oblige my request to slow down; and 2) not getting into the car with him if he doesn't change his driving habits for me. Well, I can tell you that over the few years we've been married, I did NOT want to go out because of his driving...and there were also times around the holidays that I dreaded because I knew we would be doing a lot of highway driving (between NJ and NY) where he speeds like he was still on the job. Ultimately I would wind up at my family's house (or his) with a head ache and severe pit in my stomach. My husband is retired from law enforcement for 2 years, and I'm retired from corporate life for 5 years. One would think after someone retirer from law enforcement that they would "chill out" and slow down (he even said he thought that would happen!).
But I have not seen that since we've been together. He keeps telling me he can't change his driving (he says he gets phobia attacks staying in the far right lane!) and that I should trust him. I really do trust him ---but I do believe that MY recent "panic attacks" were a result of the past few years of being subjected to someone who really doesn't understand a terrifed passenger, and I have built up a very strong resentment even thinking that he has caused my "panic attacks" while now driving alone.
Thank you so much for listening to my ramblings and I will focus on those breathing techniques. Thx again,
Much appeciated.... :)
09-27-2006, 07:11 PM
welcome. Panick Attacks really suck. I have had to deal with them for 5 years and im only 27. It could be a driving phobia, it could be an anxiety attack from something else in your life. My first one I had no clue why until a few months later. If it keeps happening and you feel that you may harm yourself or others seek some help,maybe get a referal to a therapist from your GP. Thats just me though....I just state my experiences and give advice on what I should have done in the past. But either way you will be fine! dont fret too much over it,it will only make it worse. take care meg and good luck!
09-27-2006, 07:13 PM
Your welcome Meg, take care of yourself.
Thanks for the response. I was so happy to find this forum. :)
Just being able to talk about this horrible experience with others who can really relate was so comforting. As you pointed out, perhaps these attacks...whether they are "panic" or "anxiety" related ---could have been brought on by a culmination of "not so pleasant events" in my life, and maybe all it took was my husband's speeding to ultimately trigger them at this point in my life. But whatever the cause (or causes), I'm neither embarrassed or ashamed to seek professional help especially when my life and the life of others on the road is at stake. Should I experience even one more attack regardless of the severity, I will be contacting my GP for a referral. Thx for the words of encouragement. :D
DEAR MEG http://bestsmileys.com/welcome/18.gif
SORRY TO HEAR ABOUT YOUR EXPERIANCES BUT HOPEFULLY AS YOUR AT AN EARLY STAGE O YOUR PANIC YOU CAN GET IT NIPPED IN THE BUD BEFORE IT GETS WORSE
I HOPE WE CAN ALL HELP YE IN SOMEWAY OR ANOTHER
09-28-2006, 03:05 PM
Welcome to the forum. I know you will find much support here. Wonderful warm and caring people use this forum and chat.
I'm sorry to hear that you've been experiencing these panic attacks while driving. They sound dreadful and I feel for you. It sounds however like you're straight onto addressing the problem which is excellent. As others have said, as you're tackling the problem early, you should be able to nip it in the bud.
I actually don't drive so I can't really help you other than to say Welcome! :) and that there are many others who use Phobics Awareness who have driving phobias. I'm sure you'll find some words of wisdom from them.
Wishing you all the best
Petal http://bestsmileys.com/cars/18.gif I'm imagining this is you behind the wheel managing to drive without any difficulties.
Meg here again.... :huh:
Well, I had a second attack today while driving on the GSParkway. When I had my first (very bad) attack in September, I was alone and my husband had to come get me. Today I was with my husband. We decided to do some shopping at a mall that is about 305 minutes south of us. He drove there and said I would drive back home. Once on the parkway, we were about 15 minutes from our exit and out of nowhere I started feeling lightheaded (dizzy)...and began hyperventilating....I told my husband to talk to me ...that it was happening again...he did but those awful feelings were not going away even with his reassuring words. I HAD to pull over on the shoulder of the parkway so I could slide into the passenger seat. I started crying and trembling...angry and not understanding what brought on another attack. I really thought the first attack was the last. Since the first one, I've had no problems with local driving and, in fact, drove on the parkway maybe once or twice if for only a few exits. I was not even thinking of the first attack I had in September....my husband and I were just talking (nothing stressful) when out of nowhere the dizziness started ....etc., etc.
I suppose the only way I will find out what is bringing on these attacks is to seek professional help. For all who have experienced these attacks while driving, please tell me there is hope where I will be able to drive on a parkway/highway again without fear of an attack springing up out of nowhere. :mellow:
11-16-2006, 04:10 AM
Meg here again.... :huh:
Well, I had a second attack today while driving on the GSParkway.* When I had my first (very bad) attack in September, I was alone and my husband had to come get me.* Today I was with my husband.* We decided to do some shopping at a mall that is about 305 minutes south of us.* He drove there and said I would drive back home.* Once on the parkway, we were about 15 minutes from our exit and out of nowhere I started feeling lightheaded (dizzy)...and began hyperventilating....I told my husband to talk to me ...that it was happening again...he did but those awful feelings were not going away even with his reassuring words.* I HAD to pull over on the shoulder of the parkway so I could slide into the passenger seat.* I started crying and trembling...angry and not understanding what brought on another attack.* I really thought the first attack was the last.* Since the first one, I've had no problems with local driving and, in fact, drove on the parkway maybe once or twice if for only a few exits.* I was not even thinking of the first attack I had in September....my husband and I were just talking (nothing stressful) when out of nowhere the dizziness started ....etc., etc.* *
I suppose the only way I will find out what is bringing on these attacks is to seek professional help.* For all who have experienced these attacks while driving, please tell me there is hope where I will be able to drive on a parkway/highway again without fear of an attack springing up out of nowhere.* :mellow:
Please seek professional assistance.
I've been suffering panic attacks whilst driving over the past 6 months, as it is effecting my life in a big way, now I've started getting professional help. It will involve a desensitation programme which slowly introduces me back into the trigger area's of my driving phobia. i.e motorways(highways), traffic jams and long distances, but under my control until eventually my brain will stop reacting to the panic situation. I've not discovered the reason for the panic attacks or the mental trigger for my driving phobia, however I'm a natural worrier and my stress levels have been elevated over the last couple of years. On the whole I think my state of mind over the last year has also been negative which would not have help me.
It's good to talk with people in the same situation, stops you feeling isolated.
Thnxs for the response. :)
Thankfully, I'm having no problems with local driving but I will be contacting my GP for a referral. I've been thinking lately if these attacks could be brought on by a past head injury. I had tripped and hit the side of my head on a piece of furniture. Had some size bump on the side of my head for a few weeks. Probably should have gone to the hospital but I kept telling my husband, "ah, it will be ok, the swelling is going down".... that injury happened in August...my first BIG attack happened in September, and this last one the first week in November. I'll bring this up when I see my GP.
12-21-2006, 01:58 AM
any updates? Im curious on whats going on. give us the scoooooop when you can!
best of luck,
02-04-2007, 06:51 PM
Wow... you type ALOT. :lol:
So... is it just when driving? Or do you feel these sensations at other times?
How about as a passenger (not with your hubby driving)?
One thing i suggest is having soothing music on in the car, some nice quiet classical tunes to make a relaxed atmosphere.
I tried it, and it kinda worked. But dont use meditation tapes... never while driving!
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