I find myself in a state of constant nervousness whenever I have to drive with anyone else, even good drivers (like my husband a good friend). I'm suspecting that it's because I had 2 accidents in the past 3 years--one where a speeding car in the middle of the day T-boned me, one where I scraped the car along a railing in a construction area (might have dozed off?), and one where I caught someone's bumper when doing a U-turn--he came out of nowhere. I also have had a couple of close calls while a passenger: scary! Since we have to drive dangerous freeways and mountain roads frequently for our business, I find myself in white-knuckled terror during a good part of the trip--this drives my poor husband crazy, since he is a very safe and considerate driver. I should also mention that my sister, a dear cousin, and my uncle (all very close) have also all passed away during the last year and a half. Other than taking drugs or seeing a therapist, what else can I do? Can I somehow talk myself out of this?
For something such as this, therapy can really benefit. It sounds like the accidents you have been involved in and the loss you have dealt with are getting to you in the form of anxiety. Im so sorry for your losses...you must be a very strong person.
Therapy helps get to the root of things and then a therapist would work with you to build you up to be able to deal with things such as driving as a pasenger. They can give you techniques that will help you get through it.
Anxiety is all mental...so techniqly you can talk yourself out of it. A lot of times anxiety is sub-contious too though, in that case you really have no control. Therapy would help with that.
Something I recently bought were rose-tinted sun glasses. Sounds weird, but the color red suposibly helps ease anxiety. So whenever I am feeling anxious I put them on. You can try leaving a pair in your purse and wearing them during car rides...also chamomile tea helps ease anxiety. Maybe make some before you drive as a pasenger and put it in a mug for the car ride.
Or maybe even try like, making a CD or play list for the car filled with songs you love...upbeat songs that you can like, blast and sing along to haha. That can be fun, and get your mind off things...just an idea.
Some really great advise up there, I even want to try the rose colored glasses! I had another thought that might help with your highway fears. I'm sorry you have been through two accidents in the last two years, that isn't easy. I'm sure that's where the anxiety comes from. Is there any reason you couldn't take a seat in the back instead of in the front? It feels a lot safer from back there. Then with time I'm sure your confidence will return after you have had some good road time with no accidents. Just a thought for you.
I agree with all the good advice above and just want to add one thing. Have you tried reading or anything to distract yourself from all of this? Anything that takes your mind off of your worry will help. You could work crossword puzzles...things like that. I do this when a passsenger on a long car trip and the trip flies by! I understand where this fear has come from and you're doing all the right things to overcome this! I do think distraction is key here...something that has you concentrating and not watching traffic or the road. I hope this helps and take care!.
Distraction definitely works...practice it all the time when my teenage son is driving! Also you could probably benefit from some controlled breathing. This will bring you back down so to speak and then you can distract yourself with music, sleep, books, etc.
Those who took the time to offer suggestions re my extreme anxiety
Thank you so much, kind people! I'm going to try the rose-colored glasses. Sitting in the back seat or reading could work part of the time, although I don't want my long-suffering husband to feel as if he is just a chauffeur. My original post should say 3 accidents in 3 years (I said 2 but described 3). It's amazing that after years living in this area, just driving with him (or anyone) where it involves changing freeways, getting close to construction on the right or even too close to a curb on the right, or even someone merging from the right, I get super-anxious: I feel as if we're going to fly off the cloverleaf instead of making the curve, as if we're going to scrape the car on the construction walls, or as if we're going to drive over curbs on the right, or that the merging car is going to slam into us. Distraction: I have successfully worked out a song with one particularly harrowing cloverleaf, where I count to 44 while humming it. Sorry to go on and on, good people--thank you SO much!
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