Dealing With Panic Attacks While Driving

Dealing With Panic Attacks While Driving

This is actually quite a serious issue and, many people who suffer from panic attacks when driving have ended up giving up using their car altogether because it’s just too stressful an ordeal. This is why we have decided to bring you some information that might help. There are all sorts of reasons why you will suffer a panic attack when you’re driving but, first you should understand how and why this happens.

How to Recognise a Panic Attack

This is possibly one of the strangest things your body and mind will go through. First of all, there are the physical symptoms. You may notice that you start to feel hot and begin to sweat. As the attack worsens your heart rate will go up which also causes your blood pressure to rise. Other physical symptoms you may suffer include shaking and a general feeling of weakness.

Mentally, it’s a pretty frightening experience and we ask you to remember the word “mental” here. You may feel like everything is closing in around you and you have no control over what’s happening. This brings on the “fight or flee” feeling which every human being is programmed with. Once you reach this stage in your mind, it can be pretty difficult to stop the whole chain of events.

What You Can Do

If you think you’re about to suffer a panic attack (and once you’ve had this happen once, you will know when it’s going to happen again) there are a number of things you can do:

  • Don’t forget to breathe slowly and deeply. At this point you may start to experience the onset of your panic and your senses will be heightened which means you’re probably more aware of potential dangers on the road than most people. So, try not to worry too much and (as hard as it may seem), stay calm.
  • If you’ve had this happen to you before try a distraction when you’re driving. This doesn’t mean hang loads of weird looking toys on your rear view mirror (that will just take your eyes off the road). Instead, try putting some soothing music on or, one of the best things to do is get an audio book. These are things that will take your mind off the stress that can start an attack.
  • Stay safe! If you drive recklessly, this will raise your blood pressure and that’s not a good sign as we have explained. Stick to the speed limit, and don’t get upset about what others are doing on the road.

If All Else Fails

If you’re already at that point where you feel you can’t get into your car again, you have to understand that panic attacks occur as a state of mind. This takes us back to the word “mental”. It’s not all in your head, the symptoms you experience are very real but, panic attacks are brought on by association.

For example, if you experienced your first attack because someone suddenly pulled out of a side road, this sort of thing can trigger the same experience again. If you’re truly at the end of your tether, try talking to a professional.

The one thing to remember is all is not lost and you CAN get over this!


Comments are closed.