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Car phobia

(20 Posts)
CRS Thu 11-Aug-11 23:57:50

I am being unreasonable, I think. Has anyone else had to ask the driver to pull over so they can get out of the car due to pure fear? And then have the choice of go back (nearly as far) or carry on to destination (SIL's 21st birthday meal), and arrive in tears, and then get mildly drunk in anticipation of the journey home?

I expect not. But it was a crap evening, although I tried hard not to show the fear during the meal!

squeakytoy Thu 11-Aug-11 23:59:16

Are you always like this in a car, or was it being driven really badly? Or was this just a one off thing?

Macaroona Fri 12-Aug-11 00:02:06

sad poor you! It does sound like a proper phobia. I suffered from agoraphobia and panic attacks at uni and couldn't standon a train platform or watch fast cars, or go on escalators, or lots of other normal things.

Have you tried to address the issue either by understanding why you feel this way or by seeing your doc to get CBT or some drugs?

Macaroona Fri 12-Aug-11 00:03:19

Sorry I should have said it might be a more broad social panic / agoraphobia type thing that manifested itself with the car this evening. Look after yourself.

CRS Fri 12-Aug-11 00:03:42

It's this particular road (A14) - it makes me shake. There is no rhyme or reason to it really, except people seem to pull in and out at will with no signals and it's quite fast. And a close friend of mine was involved in a very serious accident just before junction 11, which is where we have to come off to go to my PIL. She was lucky not to die, and had 2.5 YEARS off work.

CRS Fri 12-Aug-11 00:06:37

Macaroona - all of yours too! These have developed over the last couple of years - heights particularly - escalators and shopping centres becoming almost no-go areas.

Kladdkaka Fri 12-Aug-11 00:14:02

Was my sister driving? YANBU

CRS Fri 12-Aug-11 00:19:58

What's ridiculous is that my partner is the claustrophobic one - doesn't like travel AT ALL unless he is driving - but now I am terrified of going in the car! I honestly thought I was going to be sick tonight going down a perfectly normal dual carriage way for about 25 minutes - it felt like HOURS, and we had to stop at the petrol station so I could get out! It was a terrible journey, made worse by the fact that in my terror at going in the first place, I forgot my SIL's present (just vouchers) and so had to arrive shaking, in tears without gift! Thankfully, my BIL was very drunk and gave me a hug and said "Don't worry about it - stay outside for a minute and have a cig, and we'll go in together!" (Partner had to go straight in, as we were late due to my stupid impromptu stop on the way!).

squeakytoy Fri 12-Aug-11 00:24:42

Do you drive yourself?

Often if you feel more in control, you can overcome that sort of fear, and being a passenger does leave you feeling you have no control.

CRS Fri 12-Aug-11 00:26:03

I can't drive, no. My partner also thinks that learning to drive would be an answer - but I've tried, and I HATE it!

Macaroona Fri 12-Aug-11 00:26:47

CRS - I'd urge you to go to your doctor. I know how debilitating it is, and how easily it becomes just normal part of your life. It's also bloody impossible to explain to people!

I don't know what you'll be diagnosed with, my doc was pretty unhelpful in that his first response was to try to give me anti-depressants (I'd been recently bereaved) which I really didn't want. It's severe anxiety anyway, whatever label they give it may or may not be helpful to you.

He did however give me beta-blocker tablets (propanolol) to take for particularly stressful situations, which allowed me to do some things like go to the cinema which I couldn't face otherwise. They don't work on your mind but help you to relax by slowing your heart rate and preventing other symptoms like shakes or sweaty hands.

Hope you can get on top of it x

CRS Fri 12-Aug-11 00:35:47

Thanks for that - I do need to get over this, or we'll never see my partner's family! Or go to the shopping centre in town, as I am VERY unkeen on the (upwards) escalators. I know I'm being silly, but it is starting to be a bit of a problem, especially with the car - I now am very reluctant to let our son go in a car, for no good reason.

squeakytoy Fri 12-Aug-11 00:36:56

I take propanolol for anxiety attacks too, there is no need to take them all the time, just in situations where you know you may feel nervous or on edge. They really are very good, and not addictive or strong either.

If you can rethink the driving lessons and give them another go, I really do think that would help in a huge way. Perhaps an automatic car would make it easier too if you only tried in a manual before.

squeakytoy Fri 12-Aug-11 00:40:05

I would also say, that it is very easy to let these fears develop into a huge issue that does affect your day to day life, and as you are already aware of it, you owe it to yourself to get it sorted out. There are lots of different ways to overcome irrational phobias, and I am sure you will find a way that suits you and works for you too. smile

Dont let it spoil your life. I wasted ten years of mine on a phobia of something, which was completely irrational, and I wish I had confronted it long ago, but I just let it carry on and so regret that.

CRS Fri 12-Aug-11 00:41:18

I have only tried in a manual - but it's not so much the technicalities of driving but the fear of death to me or my passengers that cripples me! <begins to think is actually mad!>

squeakytoy Fri 12-Aug-11 01:28:52

I think you have to give yourself a good talking to.. and I mean that in the nicest way, because that is what I had to do too.

Statistically, you are not going to die in a car crash. Yes, it happens, but thankfully rarely. Less chance of it happening on an A road, even less chance of it happening if you are going at a sensible speed.

As other people have said, CBT can be a very effective cure for many people, and is certainly worth giving a try. smile

startail Fri 12-Aug-11 02:01:07

As everyone else has said GP, Monday morning.
I suffered for years from splitting anxiety induced head aches, loosing sleep and worrying I had a brain tumour.
I eventually went to see the GP who checked very carefully and gave me some pills. Mine were called sematile or something similar, but it's almost 20 years ago and there are different ones now.
But they worked, with practice I learnt to ignore the first twinges of pain and not let it spiral out of control.
But it needed the pills to show me that the out of control feelings could be controlled, that there was no real course for very scary symptoms.

piedpiper4 Fri 12-Aug-11 10:22:48

I've got a similar phobia, and have had for nearly 20 years. I drive, and have 'given myself a good talking too' as 1 poster suggested, more times than I can count.
I finally went to the GP recently and he took me seriously. I have to admit the highlight of the conversation was...
Gp: 'You'll have to go to xxx centre'
PP: 'Where is that? If it's there, I won't be able to drive there. If it's here, I can, but only just.' Followed by me uncontrollably sobbing.

His closing remark was...you walked in here saying you had a problem that was going to make me laugh. Whilst we can laugh together at the thing that's making you scared, the fear is very real and we can't laugh at that. I must admit I nearly hugged him for showing such compassion and understanding.
Please go to see your GP, and feel free to PM me.
Good luck

SnapesMistress Fri 12-Aug-11 13:57:41

It may be only an occasional thing. I'm normally fine in cars but had a complete breakdown once. We were in a minibus in Israel which broke down by the side of a very busy road, I wanted to get out but everyone said it was fine. I was at the back and kept imagining exactly what would happen to me if another car smashed into us. One came really close and rocked the car and I started screaming and crying. Everyone got out after that and I was fine again.

If it is only specific situations then maybe just make everyone aware of them before you get into a state so they can take measures like avoiding that road.

CRS Fri 12-Aug-11 17:21:01

Thanks for replies - it is only really on this one road for some unfathomable reason, but is now spreading to any motorway or dual carriageway! <is obviously finally losing the plot completely>

I think I will go to the GP, otherwise I will eventually find myself permanently trapped in this village!

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