Hi. I feel so uncomfortable even writing about this issue of mine. I've had a drivers license for about ten years and I drove for about three years right after I got my license. During these three years I was very anxious behind the wheel and started getting panic attacks while driving. I gave up and stopped completely as it was both physically and mentally so exhausting. Even thinking about driving now makes me want to cry. In the past few years I have tried driving twice in rural, quiet areas with a friend's car, but both attempts ended in anxiety induced tears. I happily use public transport and even cycle when there's separate cycle paths available, but not being able to drive has had a major impact on relationships, traveling and my career progression. I haven't been able to see friends and relatives as often as I'd like to because I can't drive, I haven't been able to go on roadtrips, I have not been able to take on new amazing job roles because they required me to drive. Now me and my partner are looking to move outside the town and the only way to get around is driving. I went through some CBT but it didn't work for me. Does anyone have any advice how to get back into driving and somehow get rid of the anxiety around it?
I would think some sort of analytical therapy like psychotherapy. I would seek out someone who has an understanding of spectrum disorders though to ensure the assessment is purely from an NT’s point. It’s very unlikely to be driving itself. Having said that for someone with ASD there are potentially so many triggers or combinations of, it’ll all need unpicking carefully. Good luck.
Firstly congratulations on getting your driving licence, obtaining a licence is not easy at all! I have had similar anxieties whilst driving, I think part of it is that driving involves having to think about lots of different things at once which can be overwhelming. Have you tried meditation or breathing exercises before you drive? For me before I drive I sit in the car and do some deep breaths or a quick meditation session (headspace is good for this). I also chew chewing gum whilst driving (calms me down). Once you feel a bit calmer you could start slowly and drive round some quiet roads or a car park to start with and work your way up. You’ve shown you can drive as you have passed your test and so you can definitely do it. I hope this has helped, good luck :)
I dont know but wanted to say well done on gaining a licence, hopefully you can overcome your hurdle and become confident again
I try to 'Motivate' myself when driving by pretending I can still hear my Instructor.
However, I have a more critical voice in my head - of a pontificating relative - doing the rounds if I make a slight misjudgement.
My main issue is consistency with the rearview mirror. Especially on twisty roads; which may have Motorbikes - or Transit Vans - approaching me.
I call Transit Vans 'Irish Ferraris'.
I just wanted to say that you've done amazingly to get your driving license! I am 34, with a strong academic background and professional career, and I have never managed to get as far as taking the test! I struggle very much with anxiety related to driving because I find trying to keep track of all the different inputs whilst trying to get my hands and feet to do different things is just beyond my capabilities honestly! I used to really beat myself up about it, but I don't anymore. Everyone has their strengths and difficulties and I've come to accept mine.
I had an anxiety attack during my test in 1991 and still passed. I just found a safe place to pull over and the examiner was impressed that I didn't just freeze-up in the middle of the road. I still have attacks now when driving but have never caused any accidents.