The fear of driving, or driving phobia, is a form of anxiety that occurs when a person is driving a car.
Driving phobia is characterized by negative thoughts and feelings that are so vivid that the mind perceives them to be real. People suffering from the fear of driving may have been involved in a road accident, incident or a near miss themselves – especially during childhood – or may have suffered the injury or loss of someone close, and they may be experiencing some difficulty in healing from this form of mental trauma.
In some instances, people who are naturally cautious and careful can be most vulnerable to becoming victims of this condition. If you are suffering from the fear of driving, reflecting upon what past experience may have precipitated your anxiety may help you discover and build upon a strong inner foundation for overcoming it. In other cases, it seems that no seminal experience can be identified as a suspected impetus for the victim’s debilitating anxiety.
There are different paths toward beating the fear of driving, but giving natural techniques a chance to be effective may serve you well before resorting to medicinal remedies. Anti-anxiety medications can be helpful in making progress, but it must be noted that these are not really cures for driving fear, but rather temporary treatments that merely mask the symptoms of an unfortunate disorder. They may calm your nerves and aid you with temporary control over your emotions for a short time, but as with any medication, beware of potential side effects, especially after prolonged use.
Since the fear of driving is a state of mind, perhaps the most effective method toward overcoming it is by changing your state of mind. It is possible to overcome driving fear on your own and regain control of your state of mind with the right toolbox of self-help techniques involving relaxation, meditation, visualization, exercise and stress reduction.
Moral support from a willing friend or family member (or, ideally, someone who has already successfully defeated their own driving phobia) can also be essential in your efforts to regain your freedom to drive with confidence. Beating your phobia “by yourself” doesn’t mean doing it without any help at all. Don’t be embarrassed to share your troubles with a trusted loved-one or to seek input from an experienced former victim of the same problem.
You are not the only person suffering from this condition; there are so many people out there who have had this problem and have managed to overcome it. You can, too.
Of course, your mental health is as important to your quality of life as any other medical condition. If your symptoms persist, please seek the help of a mental health professional.