My driving anxiety attack was one of the most terrifying experiences I’ve ever had. Of course, I didn’t know it was an anxiety attack. It wasn’t until later that it was diagnosed. I had never suffered an anxiety attack before, let alone one while driving. Those of you who have had this experience will understand just how I felt. Here’s my story and how I overcame my fear of another driving anxiety attack…
My Anxiety Attack Happened While Driving Into the City
There I was driving into the big city with my wife — we were going to the cinema to see Slumdog Millionaire — when I suddenly felt ‘queer’. I couldn’t put my finger on it but I didn’t feel right. I must have given a start, because my wife asked me what was up. I remember all I could say was “I don’t feel right, I need to stop”.
I Thought I Was Having A Heart Attack!
I felt as though I was ‘out of my body’ for an instant, woozy, faint. Luckily we managed to park very quickly. My heart was now racing, I was shaking, my breathing was erratic, I felt breathless, woozy, fingers tingling, and I felt a tightness in my chest. No matter how hard I tried to regulate my breathing my symptoms seemed to get worse. I really did think I was having a heart attack, no kidding!
The Ambulance Folks Thought It Was An Anxiety Attack
An ambulance was called and came pretty quickly. I was questioned and tested for all manner of things and heart attack was ruled out. They concluded that I had had an anxiety attack. They gave me a minor tranquilizer to calm me down. After about 10 minutes I was just fine.
My Doctor Confirmed Anxiety And Prescribed Antidepressants and Anti-Anxiety Pills.
I then visited my doctor with the reports I had been given. He diagnosed an anxiety attack while driving, and after asking a ton of questions, said that I was suffering from general anxiety. He prescribed a course of antidepressants and anti-anxiety pills (tranquilizers) to put under my tongue if I felt the symptoms of another attack.
But Their Horrible Side Effects Shocked My Wife
At home, my wife read the internal medication notes and told me flat that there was no way I was taking them. Their side effects were scary in themselves. I also didn’t want to go about in a daze and maybe become dependent. So I had to figure out a better way to deal with things.
I Found The Answer On The Internet
Of course, being me, I trawled the Internet and read everything I could. And I signed-up for several free e-mail courses that gave me good, solid information and tips that I used to good effect.
But the most important thing I learned from one of them was to banish the ‘fear’ of another driving anxiety attack. What I discovered was that the very fear of another attack can in itself cause another attack.
Think about that for a moment: You’re driving in your car absolutely petrified of another attack and that fear actually causes the attack. Or, even worse, you’re so scared of another attack that you don’t even drive anymore. So you can see why I rate this as the most important thing I learned and took action on.