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What is the reason

I can physically drive, BUT where did this sudden fear that every car is is to close too fast too loud too scary
Come from???
I need to get out
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  1. I get what you're saying, . We live in a car centric country and it's hard to not have the independence that being able to drive a car can offer.

    If you haven't discussed your driving anxiety with your doctor yet, I definitely would. There are any number of reasons you could be experiencing this new fear. Your brain may just be working so hard to take in all the data necessary to drive safely, and it's feeling overloaded. Maybe that's why your perception is feeling off when it comes to oncoming traffic or cars in the lane next to you. It kind of sounds like you are experiencing sensory overload. While many of our articles on this topic focus on sensory overload and sound, it definitely applies to visual overload, too. And the weird thing with sensory overload is that you may not feel it creeping in until it's pretty darned noticeable!

    I thought you might find this conversation from our forums relateable -- You're definitely not the only one experiencing this!

    Best, Erin, Team Member.

    1. Perhaps, it is your startle response. I have noticed I will jump to the ceiling if someone surprises me or sneaks up on me. It was not always this way. I figure this is due to our damaged nervous systems.

      Maybe if you practice mindfulness meditation before you drive, you can help calm your response. I find meditation to be very helpful for focus and calming the “monkey mind” (picture wild monkeys swinging around the trees).

      Meditation is about quieting the mind. To do this, focus on one thing (like your breathing) then eventually let your focus on that one thing go.

      Awareness without attachment is the goal. Through awareness (this is not spacing out), you are a sentry that observes intrusive thoughts and then sets them aside. Do not judge your thoughts or get frustrated during this time. Just be aware and return to quiet. Then, let the quiet be your teacher.

      I hope this can help.

      1. thanks for sharing what works for you. Meditation certainly is a nice way to calm the mind and the nervous system. It certainly is a practice that takes time, so starting small and having patience with yourself in the process is helpful.

        Here's an interesting article about startling easily. It something that many people in the community deal with.
        Alene, Moderator

    2. I know what you mean! I'm the only driver in my household, and some days I dread having to get into the car! I have to visualize the route before I leave and I use music in the car to distract myself from getting too anxious. Doesn't help that I've had anxiety attacks since I was in middle school. I know that for me, my startle response is the worst culprit when I have difficulty driving. I get the electric shocks through my whole body and my hands and toes clench. I hope you find some ways to work through this, wishing you all the best!

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