I suffer from anxiety, but have been pretty good for about a year until I moved to California. I have always worried about being in a car wreck, but these new symptoms as a passenger are very frustrating.
The moment I know that we are going to get in the car....me as a passenger, I get sick to my stomach. We then get in the car and close the doors and I immediately feel like I can't catch my breath and it feels like there is a lump in my throat blocking my breathing. We then take off to our destination with me trying not to think about my symptoms, but they just get worse. My mouth gets numb around it and then my nose area gets numb and it feels like there is pressure in and around my nose like I can't breath correctly. My legs start to feel like wet noodles, my stomach gets bloated, and I just feel sooooo bad. I don't understand how riding in a car can create all these symptoms. It seems like the air pressure in the car is messing with my breathing, or maybe just my mind?
Please...is there anyone out there that feels like this when they ride as a passenge? I can drive just fine without any of this happening.
I only experience this when I feel like someone who is driving the car isn't a safe driver . I feel nervous because they may be speeding or running in the front of other cars when it looks like the car is about to run into the one I'm in. I was in a car accident about 9 years ago and although none of us were severly hurt , it was just minor things that happened , it was bad enough to scare me ! Awhile after the car accident I started to be nervous about getting into cars thinking I was going to get in an accident . But, after awhile I got over it . I sometimes still feel nervous about it . Maybe you feel this away because of an experience you had with cars and it was scary, or when you get in the car your anxiety messes with you because you are in a closed area. Either way just learn to relax and keep telling yourself cars are transportation that helps me get from one place to the other . I hope I helped , Good luck I hope it gets better for you soon!
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Karebear, You are alot like me when it comes to this. I'm going to tell you the reason behind why I get this way, it may be different for you though. When you are a passenger in a car, you are not the one that's in control. It's very common for people with anxiety/panic issues to have this feeling of having to be in control of everything they do. When being a passenger, you are basically giving that control to someone else, and it's making you extremely anxious. I hope you understand what i'm trying to say. It's little confusing. But when you have to ride in a car as a passenger, take some xanax or something ahead of time, it makes it alot easier. Hope this helps you some, Fox
Last edited by Foxxii; 11-27-2011 at 08:34 PM.
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I have had Panic Disorders for 30 years. I hid it from everyone in the first 15 years, as these things were not excepted by employers as being an illness, unless they had it. Everything you described, I have had in symptoms of attacks, there are just different things that cause them with everyone. It is only the fear, not the actual riding. I use this term many times, but it is only "brain tricks". Your brain can mimic every known symptom as it is what tells you that you have the symptom. Once your mind even gets the thought of riding, you jump right into an oncoming attack. The only way to beat this is to work on it. You have to just not care anymore and let your mind know that you no longer fear this. It takes time but you can. Of course, there will be ups and downs doing this. It is almost like telling you brain, go ahead, I don't care, show me something new, I am not afraid of anything you do anymore. Of course you will come up against things that cause fear and your mind will jump right into action again but at some point you will reach a time when you will just think, my lips and nose are numb, darn anxiety and keep moving on with what you are doing. I guess the main point is to get where you don't panic but except the reality of what the symptoms really are. This way they don't get to a point where you can not continue on with what you are doing and you just ignore them and forget about it. You just have to work on it and many people do need medication to help with this unfortunately. The medication does help but the reality is you have to get to this point as I said, with meds or not. Seeing the right kind of Doctor, getting medication if you need it may be your answer but learning to except things for what they really are and are only, is how you get the problem to a point of control that it does not interfere with your entire daily life. I Wish You Well my Friend.
i'm like this, too. Particularly in the backseat. i've discovered that beyond the panic i have, there's most likely a touch of claustrophobia as well. Phobias are usually more treatable, so if its potential that that's whats getting to you, it'd be something to target.