What is Driving Phobia?
Most of us who drive have probably experienced moments of intense stress or even fear while on the road. Maybe your car broke down on a busy street. Maybe you almost got sideswiped by another car. Those short, temporary moments of panic are completely normal under those circumstances. For someone with driving phobia, on the other hand, even the very idea of getting into a car may make them feel the same way.
Do I have driving phobia?
If you feel intense fear or anxiety that keeps you from driving to certain places or in certain situations – or if fear is keeping you from driving altogether -- you probably have driving phobia.
Driving phobia symptoms include:
- rapid heart rate
- feeling disconnected from reality
- fear of being unable to control your car or yourself while driving
...whenever you get in a car, or even, in some extreme cases, when thinking about having to drive somewhere.
Additional driving phobia symptoms are:
- avoiding driving
- avoiding certain routes or driving conditions that are not particularly dangerous
Many people don’t talk about their fear of driving because they may feel embarrassed. After all, driving is commonly perceived as a relatively simple part of daily life. But driving phobia is more common than you think. Just one fear of driving forum you’ll find online has nearly 16,000 members. If you have driving phobia, you are not alone.
What are the negative effects of driving phobia?
Most of us need to use a car to get where we’re going. When you can’t drive yourself, your life becomes inconvenient, or even downright challenging. In addition to losing a major part of your autonomy, if you become dependent on someone else to drive you places, the relationship could become strained.
What causes driving phobia?
There are a variety of causes of driving phobia. The most common are:
- The aftermath of an accident or other incident on the road. This type of driving phobia is often classified as PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), and it may only flare up when drivers find themselves in similar situations to the initial accident/incident.
- Early impressions of driving. For example, if your parents were anxious drivers or if you were exposed to graphic accident footage in drivers education courses.
- A result or symptom of another phobia, such as:
- claustrophobia (fear of enclosed spaces)
- feeling pressured by the responsibilities that go with driving (performance anxiety)
- social phobia (making conversation with passengers, etc.)
- agoraphobia (often explained as a fear of having a panic attack in a public place)
- fear of accidents. Even people who haven’t been directly involved in a car accident may develop driving phobia from witnessing an accident, hearing about one, or seeing images on television or films.
How to cure driving phobia?
There are a variety of treatment options for driving phobia. Here at Transformational Therapy, we use techniques derived from traditional therapy methods, as well as new and innovative processes, for a unique way to help you understand your condition and change the way you perceive challenges related to it.
Over the course of a 6 or 10 session program, we’ll explore your driving phobia and change what you’re telling yourself when it comes to driving, so that you can genuinely get control of your life again.
If you want to get behind the wheel, call Karen at Transformational Therapy on 0409 777 116.
Don’t let fear put the brakes on your life.