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Driving anxiety

(16 Posts)
BlitzenandMikey Fri 12-Jul-19 09:51:38

Been having this since menopause kicked in.
It’s draining me. Yesterday I thought I’d be better off quitting driving. Every journey im clutching the steering wheel, heart racing, sweating. All since this god forsaken menopause. Have tried deep breathing, lavender, relaxing music and nothing works. Just don’t know what to do any longer. Just started sandrena gel, so far, feeling the same 😢

XXcstatic Fri 12-Jul-19 09:55:02

Sympathies, OP - I had the exact same problem, though not related to the menopause AFAIK as it was in my early 40s. Happened totally out of the blue. I was ok on small roads but motorways etc were almost unbearable - even though I'd been driving on them for over 20 years with no worries.

With me, it lasted about 2 years but then got better by itself. I didn't do anything in particular to get rid of it, but I know other people have found that self-hypnosis techniques can help.

BlitzenandMikey Fri 12-Jul-19 10:36:30

What do you think caused it XX, anything in particular? I’m okay on small roads too, but dual carriage ways and faster roads are becoming impossible at the moment.

XXcstatic Fri 12-Jul-19 15:48:10

No idea. I was in two potentially very serious car accidents when younger but was fine after both psychologically. The anxiety started years later and wasn't in the same situation as the accidents - in both accidents I had been stationary at a junction and someone ran into me at high speed.

The anxiety came from nowhere. It wasn't just driving myself - being a passenger was a real problem too. Sorry that I can't offer any ideas about how to get better but I hope it helps to know that I am 100% back to normal now smile

JinglingHellsBells Fri 12-Jul-19 16:03:17

I don't think in all honesty it's anything to do with hormones.
I get more anxious about long car drives than I did at 21. I sometimes drive for almost 300 miles on my own and do feel quite anxious before setting off compared to years ago but the traffic is much busier.

Maybe as we age we just become more aware of the potential for accidents and our own risks?

I think keeping doing it is the only way - gradually increasing motorway driving from maybe 50 miles to a 100 and more to build confidence.

BlitzenandMikey Fri 12-Jul-19 16:31:15

@jingling, on that basis, there's no hope for me then. Even a dual carriage way exhausts me. My heart races and I feel awful. Its speed that triggers it, not actual driving.

whatisforteamum Mon 30-Sep-19 17:14:35

On I'm the same!!.I drove for over 33 years.Then boom....dizzy spells and extreme a anxiety.I linked it to my df dying however I now believe it was menopause related.I still have my car.and I'm going to have lessons again.I miss my independence and it been 2 1\2 years now.
I just lost all confidence and everything seemed to much.

PeterRouseTheFleshofMankind Mon 30-Sep-19 18:08:35

I have the same except mine is not menopause related and its mostly motorway driving I struggle with. I used to drive anywhere, all over the country, by myself and have no issues. But in recent years I have developed what I guess is a phobia of driving.

I have been forced to do a bit more motorway driving recently so have really had to grab it by the balls, and one thing I have found really helps, as batshit crazy as it sounds, is talking to myself as I'm driving.

As in having fake arguments with someone, or telling someone some gossip or something! blush It really helps me because it totally takes my mind of the actual driving which is what I need, as if I suddenly realise I am in charge of a car going at 70 that is when I panic. So talking to myself helps me forget that.

I must look crazy to someone looking in, although hopefully they just think I'm on the hands free! grin

birdbrained Mon 30-Sep-19 18:29:56

I can also empathise. Have done lots of driving and commute daily. Find it very very stressful and on some occasions I've been close to having a panic attack. CBT helped a bit, help me to recognise partly why it happens and gave me ways to help deal with it when I could feel panic rising.

Rachelover60 Mon 30-Sep-19 18:48:56

I was the same only when I was thirty-five, completely lost my nerve and I haven't driven since. I'm not a good passenger either, very nervous and can always see an accident happening even if other cars are way in the distance.

Your anxiety may go, though. I hope so.

Please tell me, do you feel as though you are being pulled to the left while you're driving? I do have a reason for asking.

BlitzenandMikey Mon 30-Sep-19 19:41:07

Rachel lover, yes I do feel as though I’m being pulled to the left when driving! That’s one of my issues. I have been thinking some kind of vertigo, but I really don’t know.
I still have the anxiety and it’s pretty grim. However I have no choice but to grin and bear it as I live semi rural and you need a car. Not sure what I’m going to do. Maybe CBT unless there’s some physical reason?

Backintime4breakfast Mon 30-Sep-19 21:29:13

Ive had it for about 3 years......over the menopause.can only do very short local journeys.....about 4 miles max. i have found my reflexes , thought processes & reaction times have really slowed down. i find it all really stressful & if i could give up altigether i would. i feel sorry for my kids as there is a lot i wont do. have had refresher lessons which helped a bit at the time. i hate driving & i hate feeling like this!

Rachelover60 Mon 30-Sep-19 22:32:59

Blitzen, google: Motorists Vestibular Disorientation Syndrome.

Yes I know, sounds bizarre but does exist. Has been thoroughly researched at the Institute of Neurology.

whatisforteamum Mon 30-Sep-19 22:50:44

On interesting I used to feel dizzy on the roundabouts.after.a.dreadful.cold someone suggested vestibular neuritis.I could barely travel by bus either.
Awful odd feeling after.so many years driving.I hadn't done motorways in years but I do miss popping out alone.

swingofthings Tue 01-Oct-19 07:03:42

Oh yes, I can relate. As a matter of fact, that's how I started to recognise that a lot of my symptoms were related to anxiety.

I have always loved driving and always been very confident. Never ever been scared of driving and was communting one hour to work every day.

Suddenly, I started to feel 'weird' driving, like I wasn't in full control, and twice I almost fainted when I got to my destination. It was terrible. I noticed that it had started when driving in the dark in the mornings.

I had to do a 5 hours journey back and forth last year, and it was an absolute nightmare. It is now much better although it still falls upon me very occasionally. It's been two years too.

It is definitely hormones related and from what I heard quite common. I have three friends going through the menopause who experienced exactly the same thing.

BlitzenandMikey Sun 06-Oct-19 14:43:55

Rachel, yes I think that’s it. I fit all the symptoms. It’s getting worse and I should be off the road. What am I going to do?? First call the GP I think!!

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