- The next panic attack I had happened while I was driving.
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- Having a Panic Attack While You’re Driving Is Terrifying and Dangerous - VICE
- What It’s Like To Have a Panic Attack While Driving a Car
With a clammy hand, I fumbled for the car window and rolled it down. But the air, smelling of rock dust and diesel, did nothing to calm me.
The next panic attack I had happened while I was driving.
I was convinced I was going to crash and die. By the time I got home, I felt giddy and a little embarrassed. Thank god no one else was there to witness my random and unnecessary freak out. I wrote the panic attack off as a one-time incident and tried to forget about it. But the next time I drove, it was all I could think about: What if it happens again? And sure enough, it did. The next time was on a bridge. The time after that, in traffic.
Then on the highway. Soon the panic attacks were happening before I was even in the car. For 15 years, I was a fearless driver. I was among the first of my friends to get my license. I drove in the city, on highways and drove a motorbike all over Thailand. I often used it as a meditative strategy usually to come down from a fight with whatever boyfriend I was antagonizing at the time.
I would hop in my rusty, trusty Pontiac Sunfire, and drive until I felt better.
When I moved from western Canada to New York last year, I drove alone across two countries, covering almost 2, miles. So why, at almost 30 years old, was I suddenly getting panic attacks while driving? I finally did what any responsible person would do in this situation—I googled it. So I gave up on self-diagnosis and turned to the experts, who shared their theories on driving anxiety and how to overcome it. Simply put, agoraphobia is a fear of being trapped or unable to escape a situation.
I was fine in crowded subways and elevators. Well, unless the elevator stopped. And we were trapped in there for days, eventually forced to eat each other for survival.
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Okay, Neuman: 1, me: Still trapped in a tunnel. One percent of American adults have agoraphobia, and more than 40 million people are affected by some type of anxiety disorder. Mary Sloan, 23, works as a quality assurance specialist in Houston. Driving never bothered her, and she usually enjoyed her drives to and from work every day. Then one random day, she had a panic attack on the highway. Sloan spoke to a friend with driving anxiety, who recommended finding a way to calm the body during moments of panic; she recommended chewing gum or blasting cold air in the car.
After some experimenting, Sloan came up with a few of her own panic attack preventatives. Ken Goodman, a therapist in California who developed a program called The Anxiety Solution Series, says concerns about driving with others usually comes from a fear of judgment. Coke Zero Retro Electro Football. Crash the Robot Explosive Edition.
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