phobia of driving out of city limits
I have had panic disorder for about 8-9 years now and have been more or less able to deal with it until recently, when I developed an intense fear of being more than a certain distance from home, especially when driving out of town. I did post this question on the panic board and got some good advice from hry33, but thought I might get more responses here. I really need help!
I am terrified of being far from home even when I am taking my Lorazepam (a benzo, like a tranquilizer). I can drive all around my small town but even a couple miles out of town scares the (heck) out of me. Even when I am with my husband or my mom. It started this winter when my in-laws were looking for a new farm. We went with them to look at one that was about 30 miles out and as soon as we left town I instantly started panicking bad. There were five of us in the car and I knew I had a good hour drive ahead of me. I should mention that I had not told my in laws about my panic disorder. I don't think they had ever even heard of it. I had to keep telling them to pull over so I could get out and get air. They must have thought I was completely nuts. I ended up calling my mom on my cell but the further we got out of town the worse our connection became and at some points I had no service whatsoever. The panic never let up the entire time until we got back into town. It was probably the worst attack I have ever had. Ever since then I am petrified of being out of city limits.
This is a huge problem for me and my family. My in-laws live about 15 miles out and my husband's grandparents live about 70 miles out! He is very close to them and we used to visit very often but for the past 3-4 months I have not been able to go along. Just to go the 15 miles to his parent's house I have to take 3 times my usual dose of Lorazepam or I freak out. The worst part is that summer is coming and my parent's have a lake cabin where my entire family spends every weekend. It is about 1 1/2 hour drive and already my husband and daughter are getting anxious to get back out there. I don't think I will be able to make it out there. The other day, I had my hubby take me out for a practice drive after taking only a normal dose of lorazepam. I made it about 5 miles out before I started to freak and had to go another 3 miles to an exit. By the time we got turned around I was completely in a panic and didn't calm back down until we got back into town.
Has anyone got any insight or advice on how I can overcome this fear? I am starting to lose hope and it is putting a big strain on my marriage.