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Depression, Anxiety, and trouble Driving
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Depression, Anxiety, and trouble Driving

Hi I'm a 31 year old male desperately seeking some help.  At age 12 I was diagnosed with depression, and anxiety.  I was on antidepressants until about 5 years ago and have been doing ok until about 6 months ago.  Now every time I get in the car to drive somewhere I'm ok until I get on a busy street, or go more than a few miles away from home.  That's when I get this sinking feeling like something bad is going to happen, and in the worst case scenario my heart feels like it's going to beat out of my chest.  My mind also starts me thinking that there is no way you'll make it if you keep driving.  Before 6 months ago I never had trouble driving at all.  It seems like the more I try to drive the more anxious I get so I know it's not a phobia.  One example was a month or so ago when I had to drive over a bridge near my home.  I did it twice that day, but the third time I felt that feeling that I just can't do this and turned off on a side road.  The doctor wants me to take Paxil, and Zanax.  I'm currently on Amitryptilin 20 mg but that does'nt seem to be helping.  Will these other medicines help me, or am I not going to be able to drive the rest of my life?
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Well, Zanax is a tranquilizer, so yes, it should be able to control anxiety and panic, which is probably what you suffer from. When you are driving, at certain times, you become overanxious and panic due to a thought process not in your control. So, Zanax should be able to help. Similarly Paxil is an anti-depressant and an anti-anxiety medication. Since you have a past history of depression, your doctor probably wants to add this drug to take control of any depressive thought you may still have. Amytrptilin is an anti-depressant only. So, it may not be helping you during a anxiety and panic attack.

Along with this, cognitive behavior therapy may help you. This includes muscle relaxation training, breathing relaxation training and gradual exposure to situations that cause you to panic under expert guidance. Then you are taught to modify your response to the situation that is brings about the anxious or panic reaction. Stress can be reduced by adopting yoga in daily life. Also sessions are held to understand your thought process that leads you to panic. Modifying this thought process helps avoid the panic attack. Psychodynamic psychotherapy is another option that helps take care of unconscious mental conflicts raging in you. Talk to your doctor about these therapies and see where you can easily avail it.

I sincerely hope you will find this information useful in your journey towards better health.
Good Luck and take care!
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