Do you have a driving phobia?

drivingFear is a normal part of life, but sometimes those fears have a major impact on the way we live our lives; driving phobia is one of them. Driving phobia can really get in the way of getting things done. Let’s take a closer look.

What Is a Phobia?

A phobia is a fear that builds over time. When you have a phobia, your body reacts with feelings of anxiety. Typically, a true phobia sets off your fight or flight response where your body and mind believe you’re in great danger. You may realize your reaction is irrational, or at least more inflated than it should be, but there is no reasoning with yourself when you have a phobia.

Why Am I Afraid of Driving?

Driving is a normal part of life in the United States, so having a fear of it can make you feel isolated, embarrassed and even silly at times. You are not alone. Sometimes you can trace your phobia back to a traumatic event like a car crash, but other times, there is no clear reason for your fear. Your fear may increase gradually over time or may seem to come out of nowhere.

What Are the Symptoms of Driving Phobia?

Symptoms of driving anxiety/phobia can include:

  • Heart palpitations
  • Nausea
  • Chest pains
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Dizziness
  • Weakness
  • Sweating
  • Feeling like you may faint
  • Dry mouth
  • Visual disturbances
  • General feeling of losing control

Your body may shake, your heart may race and you may be thrown into a full-blown panic attack. Each person’s response to phobias varies greatly, depending on the severity of the fear. Some people just get butterflies in their stomach, and others may hyperventilate.

Can I Overcome My Driving Phobia?

The good news is your fear of driving is a conditioned response. Your body has trained itself to respond this way, and you can retrain it. This won’t happen overnight, but it can happen by taking baby steps. If you have a true phobia, simply saying, “This is silly. I can drive across the country today!” won’t work. You’ll throw yourself into a panic attack the size of Montana! Instead, you will need to break driving down into digestible bread crumb sized bites. Start small and build your way up to that trip across the country — well, maybe just across town for now. Work with a therapist, who might suggest you try various steps at your own pace. You may have to do each step for multiple days or even weeks. That’s OK!

It could be that you need some more support while you are working towards your goal of driving. If you suffer from driving phobia and could use assistance with errands, call Errand Works. We can do your grocery shopping, drop off and pick up prescriptions, handle vet and grooming appointments and more. We can also bring you to appointments, to the airport…wherever you need to go. We’re here to support you and make life easier. Contact us today for more information.