Post # 1
Sorry I post here a lot but you guys seem to always give helpful advice even if I’m not the best at responding I appreciate every comment.
I have a dilemma I’ve been avoiding for years, I don’t have my driver’s license. I know how to drive and I will on occasion but not without having a mini freakout. I start to get tense and just can’t relax behind the wheel.
It’s starting to affect my life and others around me in a negative way and I just need go get over it but I’m unsure how to.
Do any of you have active on how to get over a fear like this?
Post # 2
Take some driving classes and get your license. There’s no reason you should ever be driving without a license.
once you’re properly licensed, you can get more experience which will probably help you get over your fear.
Post # 3
I really feel you bee, I have my full licence but over the past few years have come to absolutely hate driving and have started to avoid it at all costs. I know it is stupid and detrimental to my life but I seriously just hate it, I get super anxious if I ever have to drive somewhere.
I agree with PP, you need to sign yourself up for lessons and make yourself get your licence. The only way to get over your fear is to continuously expose yourself to the situation until it becomes common and a normal part of your routine. If you give in to the anxiety and chicken out from driving, you are teaching yourself that it is something to be scared of. Avoiding driving is negatively reinforcing your anxiety. But I really really get that this is easier said than done.. I need to start taking my own advice!
Post # 4
- Wedding: November 2018 - Australia
I’m a little confused. You don’t have a license but know how to drive? Have you already got your license when you’re younger but never renewed it?
But anyway, exposure is probably the best way to desensitise yourself. I’d find a good driving instructor experienced in dealing with anxiety (read their profile and reviews, contact them to check) to renew your skills, and be upfront about your fear so they can work with you effectively.
I didn’t get my license until recently at the age of 30+. For the longest time I couldn’t even visualise myself being able to drive. Well, I’m driving alone now!
Post # 5
The only way to get over this is to practice. I would take lessons, get my license and then start really slow. You don’t need to drive across town right away. Just do small local trips and slowly work your way up as you feel more comfortable. You can do it!
Post # 6
Horseradish : vickie2018 : I have my temps and drive with my husband in the car.
I was driving confidently in my early twenties but was a passenger in a car accident and that scared me ot if driving for a few years, we couldn’t even go past the point where the accident happened without me getting upset. No one was hurt thankfully but the car was a total loss.
sapphire27 : lola5 : Thank you.
Post # 7
A bit out there, but driving more won’t necessarily help. Especially if you had or got close to another minor incident, which is more likely if you’re very nervous and second guessing.
At this point it is an irrational fear and mental blockage – an emotional response rather than a logical one.
Ever thought about hypnotherapy or CBT (Cognitive Behavourial Therapy) or NLP (Neuro-linguistic programming) ?
They are ways to train your mind to bypass / work around the irrational route it is taking when you think about driving. I did a few courses in NLP when I was younger and part of it can be use it for things like irrational fears and phobias.
Just an idea. Worth some research maybe to see if there’s any practitioners in your area that specialise in fears/phobias.
Post # 8
butternutter : I agree. it doesn’t sound like OP has a fear of driving because they don’t have experience, but likely it’s a result of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from the accident. Even if you think you’ve gotten over it, you could still be affected subconsciously. Talking to a counselor who specializes in trauma might be able to help.
Post # 9
nerk : I don’t have a solution, just wanted to say I have the same problem. I have my learner’s permit and I can drive but after being a passanger in a car accident (same type as yours) I am afraid not only of driving but also being a passenger. I have had lessons with an instructor but I’m afraid I might need therapy to get over the fear of cars in general. Can’t afford that ATM so I’m lucky I live in the city where there’s no point in having a car. Hopefully time will help :/
Post # 10
- Wedding: February 2018 - UK
I hate driving, it terrifies me. I’ve had my licence for about 15 years, and I’ve never been particularly confident about driving. I had a nasty car accident about 6 years ago, I was driving and I was injured. It totally destroyed what little confidence I had in the car. I have to drive 45 minutes each way to work, and I can’t tell you how much I hate it, I’m on edge and scared the entire way, especially this time of year when it’s dark and icy. If I have to drive anywhere other than my commute, I panic completely, my husband does all the driving. And don’t even get me started on parking!
I agree with a PP about CBT. I drive every day and it hasn’t helped my confidence, but a professional might be able to help. You can also do post-collision courses, someone will take you out in a car for the day, and help you get over some of the stress about accidents.
You’re not alone with this one bee, good luck!
Post # 11
If you have panic attacks while driving please for the sake of the safety of others DO NOT DRIVE.
theres driving therapy available for this sort of thing before you attempt to drive anymore. You need to be comfortable behind the wheel to be safe.
Post # 12
I got into a car accident exactly one month after getting my license at 18 and I still can’t drive without panicking years later. I was the one driving so it makes me so so scared it’s going to happen again. Thankfully, like with yours no one was hurt, but my car was totaled. I unfortunately don’t have any advice to give, but I definitely understand exactly how you feel! My fiancée drives everywhere we go except on the rare occasion I drive part way on long trips (only if we’ve done the trip multiple times and I’m completely familiar with the route). I only ever drive to and from work and even that short 10ish minute drive makes me panicky. I’m sorry that you’re going through this too, it really does suck. Hopefully you’ll be able to find something that helps ease your anxiety 🙂
Post # 13
- Wedding: September 2019 - City, State
nerk : I used to be JUST like you! I didn’t get my license until I was 23 (I’m 29 now).. What pushed me to get mine was graduating college and how I knew my life was going to change drastically….no longer was everything within walking distance or on the bus line (I lived on campus)and I knew if I ever planned to live a decent life or find a decent job I had no choice, also my family pushed me very hard which I am now thankful for. My step dad would come to pick me up from work if I got off at night and he would MAKE me drive the car home. I would practically have a panic attack all day at work because I knew I would have to drive home lol…..I finally got up the courage to go and try for my license and got it on the first try! I have now been driving ever since and can now do it with my eyes closed.
Good luck to you.
Post # 14
Where I live you can drive at 17, and I put it off till I was 26 due to severe anxiety. I eventually made the decision to learn in an automatic car (most people here learn in a manual, I got a LOT of flack for this) and it was the best decision I’ve ever made. I now realise that much of my anxiety came from not being in control – I actually feel safer as the driver than as a passenger.
Post # 15
You may have a bit of PTSD from the car crash, it’s very common, but too often overlooked. It would probably worthwhile to get that checked out and also learn some anxiety management skills.