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Panic attacks in cars
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Panic attacks in cars

Hi all,

Yesterday I had a terrible anxiety and panic attack. I was in our family car for nearly 30-40 minutes. It was rainy and almost night (5:15 PM). Some time before the event, while still in my home, I was feeling anxiety and palpitations, because I knew I am going to travel with the car. I was extremely nervous at the beginning of the travel, but later I managed to relax. During our way back, there was one more person in the car (unknown to me) and the big traffic made me even more anxious: we were waiting on red light but unable to pass for three red-green changes (!) because the car in front had problems.. Three times! I got extremely nervous, hot waves, hot ears, I was feeling like I was going to die or freak out, explode or something like that... I wanted to get out of the car immediately. The fact that I was going to have a panic attack in front of unknown person next to me was terryfing! I really had it... for several seconds. Hell! Then, when I was in home, my blood pressure was slighly higher for a while - 5-10 above the norm, I was feeling cold and need for extra clothes, trembling, pain in my left hand and difficutly controling it.
I knew it! I usually avoid traveling with cars and buses because they make me feel insecure and can increase my anxiety to the point of panic attack. :(

Anyone that can relate to my problem? :(
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7 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar f tn
Yep!  I suffer from agoraphobia and have experienced the same thing many times before.  It is ALWAYS worse for me when others are in the car - when I am with a close friend or family member I do not have any problems.
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Avatar n tn
I have suffered the lovely panic attack in the car numerous times.  I used to carry a brown paper bag in my car at all times.  I also keep a Xanex with me for those emergencies.  
Still today I feel so much more at ease when someone is in the car with me.  I absolutely refuse to drive a long distance by my self - silly I know.

Carbaholic
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Avatar f tn
Interesting!  Ive seen many people state that they dont like to be  a car alone and are more at ease when someone is in the car with them.  I am the opposite!  No problems when I am in the car alone but being in a car with people can contribute to the PA's.  I guess it all depends on the anxiety disorder.
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Avatar m tn
I am just like you. If I am alone, it is harder to have panic attacks. But when I am not alone in the car or another situation, even when I am only with my family, it is easier to get anxious and have a panic attack. Probably my social anxiety disorder / social phobia is the reason for this. And the longer the distance, the bigger the anxiety. Maybe the fact that I travel with car once in several months contributes to this. I also remember I had a panic attack 5 years ago in the car, just the same feeling, and I had no anxiety disorder by that time.
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Avatar f tn
For me, the feeling of having some "control" really helps.  "If" I had a PA in a car and I am the only one there I can do whatever I want - stop the car, get out for a walk etc.  I feel more restricted when others are in the car because its not as easy to request some of these options that may help me through the situation.
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Avatar m tn
Yes, exactly. Same here. And knowing that fact could contribute to our anxiety.
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Avatar f tn
Im same.  Im fine when Im driving or by myself. My severe panic is when Im a passenger in a car. Feel horrible for my 16 yr old who's had her permit since May. She dnt get nearly the driving practice she shld have because of the way I am. I have suffered from MS more than half of my life and since all lesions are on my brain, I always assumed that was my problem..   her Dad passed when she was 12 & he wldnt have had an issue like this....
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