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  1. #11
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Quote Originally Posted by Kixxi View Post
    I can definitely relate there. I panic instantly when leaving my home alone. Unfortunately, the only way to fix it is to find what it is exactly that gets you fearful. For me for example, it was fainting or losing control.

    Ask yourself this?
    What is the worst that could happen?

    Then look for evidence for and evidence against?

    For example (in my case)

    I could faint:

    Evidence for:
    dizziness, blurred vision, loss of balance

    Evidence against:
    never fainted before, the symptoms are related to panic not fainting, when you panic your blood pressure goes up, which makes it almost impossible to faint, my blood pressure has been fine for a long time, etc...

    Once you get this filled in, you may be able to start looking at it in a different way.

    Kind regards,
    Yeah, i agree. Im also hypoglycemic, so I do worry about my blood sugar dropping while alone or driving. If i eat really well before driving, I do fine. I still struggle though. It's just a hard thing to overcome. I used to love being alone, but now i can hardly stand it.
    But you're really right! Thank you for your reply

  2. #12
    There are a dew things I think you can try. The first is re-directing your thoughts. Every time you find yourself imagining the worst when you are driving, nudge your mind onto something else. Maybe something concrete in the world around you, or some neutral physical sensation, or your breath.

    You say you are usually okay driving with someone. Do you think driving with a friend more often would help you ease into driving alone - and is that feasible if you need to drive to work everyday? Maybe carpool? Or do you think relying on driving with someone would be more of a crutch rather than a stepping stone to independence.

    You also mentioned that you fear being alone even when not in a car. Is that just because you are alone with your thoughts? If so, I think mindfulness practices and meditation can help with that. Practice being alone in general, and then maybe driving will be easier, too?

    I also think you can try 'exposure' therapy, but in small doses. Like, maybe sit in your car for 10 minutes every evening without driving. Just get used to being there, and associating it with safety. Or maybe even do visualizations where you imagine driving alone and being safe. If you are starting a meditation practice, consider doing the mediations in the car.

    Do you have an idea why the fear is driving in particular. You mentioned fear of death and injury, etc. Is it just that those fears have fixated on the car, or has something happened recently that has linked the fear? I.E. being involved in or witnessing an accident, or having a loved one go through it?

    Hope some of this is helpful. Good luck!

  3. #13
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2015
    Podunk Earth
    Also, if your fear is of driving by yourself, maybe using a bluetooth (if that's available to you) connection would help. It is hands free, you're not actually holding the phone. My brother uses his to speak to my Dad while he is driving. If you know someone who has a talent for calming you down, it might help.

  4. #14
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2015
    Here's a practical tip you can use as you begin to understand how to re-program your defense system: you need a diversion from your self destructive or at least unhelpful thoughts as you travel. The best and safest diversion is to begin to closely observe your environment as you pass through it. For example, you can start reading aloud every sign you see as you drive along; or begin a game of counting cars of a particular color - purple for example. Or you can take note of what all the pedestrians or other drivers are wearing. Think about their shirts and pants and dresses and colors. It may take awhile, but begin each day by observing and thinking about what you see on the way to the car as a way of conditioning yourself to observe outside your weird inner thoughts as you drive to work. Use positive affirmations as you're traveling: "I am actually doing very well and am pretty damned pleased with myself" and so forth. I do a chant when I'm in stressful traffic and that calms me down. Nah mi yo ho renge' kio

    Another helpful driving diversion is books on CD that you can learn from - language instruction for example. As you're driving, breath slowly and regularly by pushing out your abdomen. Begin a toe to head tense and release of muscles to loosen your tightness. "Tighten your feet to the count of 10, and release and move up the body." I have a website devoted to overcoming panic disorder: unagoraphobic.com I know you can overcome this with some education and work. Hal



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