It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Panic Disorders Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 03-16-2004, 02:52 PM   #1
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 7
adam gregory HB User
Freeway panic attacks

I am a 50 year old woman. 15 years ago and completely out of the blue, I had a full blown panic attack while driving on the freeway. To this day, I become breathless, extreme heart rate, sweating, I feel as if I will faint whenever I attempt to drive the freeway. I have always driven (lots) and 15 years ago no one really knew/talked about "panic attacks". I kept this bizarre episode to myself and white-knuckled it for years, avoiding freeways if at all possible. I know every back road in Southern California -- I will do anything to avoid the freeway. My panic seems to be focused on the speed of the cars coming up and around the car. I am fine on other roads, even gnarly canyon roads. I am also fine on the freeway if someone else is driving, although I get nervous if the driver goes too fast. I finally told my sweet family and they are very understanding but I feel like I am a wimp for not overcoming this phobic-type panic attack. I have mitral-valve prolapse and sometimes my heart races regardless of what I am doing but never like when I try to drive the dreaded freeway. I have been in therapy for this (years ago), although it never really improved the problem. Also, initially when this happened I had panic attacks in different social situations but that cleared up and for many years the panic attacks are limited to the freeway only. Anyone have a similar situation or advice? Many thanks.

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 03-16-2004, 03:11 PM   #2
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 1
zoenabismom HB User
Re: Freeway panic attacks

Oh my goodness - that is me EXACTLY. I can't offer you any help, but I am hoping someone will respond who can. I am actually seriously considering trying the therapy thing again.

Good Luck to you and be sure to post if you come across any information elsewhere.

Regards,
Carrie

 
Old 03-16-2004, 03:49 PM   #3
Senior Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 967
billy7772 HB User
Re: Freeway panic attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by adam gregory
I am a 50 year old woman. 15 years ago and completely out of the blue, I had a full blown panic attack while driving on the freeway. To this day, I become breathless, extreme heart rate, sweating, I feel as if I will faint whenever I attempt to drive the freeway. I have always driven (lots) and 15 years ago no one really knew/talked about "panic attacks". I kept this bizarre episode to myself and white-knuckled it for years, avoiding freeways if at all possible. I know every back road in Southern California -- I will do anything to avoid the freeway. My panic seems to be focused on the speed of the cars coming up and around the car. I am fine on other roads, even gnarly canyon roads. I am also fine on the freeway if someone else is driving, although I get nervous if the driver goes too fast. I finally told my sweet family and they are very understanding but I feel like I am a wimp for not overcoming this phobic-type panic attack. I have mitral-valve prolapse and sometimes my heart races regardless of what I am doing but never like when I try to drive the dreaded freeway. I have been in therapy for this (years ago), although it never really improved the problem. Also, initially when this happened I had panic attacks in different social situations but that cleared up and for many years the panic attacks are limited to the freeway only. Anyone have a similar situation or advice? Many thanks.
The freeway thing is quite common in panic sufferers but I personally did not have this one. I would also suggest that you look into Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). I was on meds for many years before I found CBT and it cured me and got me off meds in a remarkably short period of time. CBT is not like other talk therapy, it's all about using the tools to learn to think more clearly and accurately about things and once you do your anxiety, panic and depression will miraculously begin to lift before your eyes. My favorite starter book on CBT is "Been There, Done That? Do This! by Sam Obitz. The more dedicated you are to the tools the faster and deeper the recovery regardless of how bad their anxiety was when they got started. Best of all once you learn the tools you have them for the rest of your life I still do the TEA form several times a week and my anxiety and stress levels just keep improving. Good luck and I hope this helps.

Billy
__________________
Don't expect anyone to help you, if you won't help yourself!

 
Old 03-16-2004, 07:29 PM   #4
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 7
adam gregory HB User
Re: Freeway panic attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by zoenabismom
Oh my goodness - that is me EXACTLY. I can't offer you any help, but I am hoping someone will respond who can. I am actually seriously considering trying the therapy thing again.

Good Luck to you and be sure to post if you come across any information elsewhere.

Regards,
Carrie
Hi Carrie, Thanks for the response. I am sorry that anyone has to deal with such a bizarre and frustrating condition although it is reassuring that I am not the only one out there! The post following yours sounds like it could have some helpful info for both of us. Thanks again and take care.

 
Old 03-16-2004, 10:52 PM   #5
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 123
Elana HB User
Re: Freeway panic attacks

Freeways and bridges were the worst for me! I was on lexapro and that helped some but too many side effects for me. It was not until I joined a cbt group last summer that I got over this and off all the drugs. I'd recommend looking into cbt. My group used the book by Sam Obitz that Billy mentioned and another called Mastery of your Anxiety and Panic-Third Edition by Michelle Craske and David Barlow. I would highly recommend both of these books.

 
Old 03-17-2004, 07:39 PM   #6
Newbie
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 7
adam gregory HB User
Re: Freeway panic attacks

Dear Elana, Thank you for your kind advice and relating your experience. I will read the books you mentioned. If I could actually get back on the freeways again it would be a miracle! There are a million places I want to drive to. Thanks again and take care.

 
Old 03-22-2004, 06:03 PM   #7
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 123
Elana HB User
Re: Freeway panic attacks

Adam, you are very welcome and I hope you are driving on freeways everywhere soon Please let me know how you like the books and how you are progressing? I think if I can do it, so can you

 
Old 03-24-2004, 02:40 PM   #8
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 11
accent HB User
Re: Freeway panic attacks

This is exactly what happened to me. I feel that if I cannot pull over if something goes wrong. My mind used to be in hyperdrive in the city. Before this I used to drive all over. I love city driving and backroads, I can stand a few lanes, but the major freeways forget it.

I used to have to drive to NYC from CT for meetings. I used to get off the highway and do my breathing and then start again. Needless to say I found a new job, actually this was many jobs ago. I drove to New Haven the other day to go to a client's site. No problem, the Tranxene 7.5 * 3 daily and wellbutrin have worked for me. I was on paxil for 6 years and zoloft for a year.

My wife used to hate highway driving, now she takes the wheel on long highway trips. One day while in Sears I joked that the 'riding mower' we were looking at was just my speed. What a mistake, I am now called the 'Lawn Mower Man'.

Panic disorder is biological and not a character flaw. Thank whoever for the meds! I have been on meds for 8 years. No increase in benzos, only decreases. I've tried tappering off meds before, but it all comes back.

Thanks for sharing your story. I can defintely relate!

Jonathan aka accent

 
Old 03-24-2004, 04:23 PM   #9
Junior Member
(male)
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 17
ixion HB User
Re: Freeway panic attacks

Thats called situational panic. Meds and/or CBT's will help with that. Contact a psychologist, make sure he's good, follow his instructions.

 
Old 03-26-2004, 07:31 PM   #10
Senior Veteran
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 967
billy7772 HB User
Re: Freeway panic attacks

Quote:
Originally Posted by ixion
Thats called situational panic. Meds and/or CBT's will help with that. Contact a psychologist, make sure he's good, follow his instructions.
Hi ixion
Good sound advice

Billy
__________________
Don't expect anyone to help you, if you won't help yourself!

 
Closed Thread

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Board Replies Last Post
Panic Attacks 10 Days After Quitting Marijuana PLEASE READ. Pez Dee Spencer Addiction & Recovery 11 12-08-2007 11:20 PM
What causes panic attacks and what are the symptoms? BumpkinPumpkin Panic Disorders 8 04-09-2007 01:06 PM
Freeway Driving cutiepie70 Panic Disorders 3 03-23-2007 08:46 PM
Anxiety/Panic Attacks the same? tamjas Anxiety 1 11-16-2006 07:12 AM
My Panic Experience Wowwweee Anxiety 30 09-07-2005 09:01 AM




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



mjewell (11), Andrea78 (7), Stormlover712 (3), sjb (2), crzybeautifulme (2), Anxiousgrl35 (2), panicremission (2), dwellhay1 (2), Nicksmom06 (2), tnmomofive (2)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1165), MSJayhawk (1000), Apollo123 (898), Titchou (833), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (758), ladybud (747), sammy64 (668), midwest1 (665), BlueSkies14 (610)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 01:49 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!