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I’m Anxious When I’m Driving

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From the U.S. I’m 21. I got in car accident with my younger sister. I was the driver. We are both okay, but that accident left me with out driving for about 2 months. I’m still scared of driving. I pray to god every single time while I’m driving to take care of me and others on the roads.

That accident left me scared of driving in the night or being in a car. I also went through a phase where I didn’t want to be around people. I didn’t feel protected. I just wanted to be home where I was safe. I sometimes I find myself crying cause I can’t get the image of my accident out of my head. I could hear that hard hit on my car.

This happened 10/7/2014 on my sister’s birthday. Mind you I do drive now, but it’s not the same anymore. I have this fear in the back of my [mind] this life isn’t promised and at any minute it could be taken away. I’m terrified sometimes my heart beats so rapidly because I overthink so much and I don’t know how to stop it.

I’m Anxious When I’m Driving

Answered by on -

A.

I’m so sorry you are still reverberating from the accident. This is not unusual. You had a real brush with death and you perhaps understood for the first time how precarious life can be — not only for yourself but for people you love. What you are describing is a very heightened anxiety that hasn’t settled down.

It’s been almost year since the accident. If you could recover entirely by yourself, you would have done so already. I therefore strongly urge you to see a therapist for a few sessions to learn techniques for bringing your anxiety level back down to your own baseline. Being more cautious is a good lesson learned but the level of anxiety you are experiencing isn’t at all helpful.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I’m Anxious When I’m Driving

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I’m Anxious When I’m Driving. Psych Central. Retrieved on January 17, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2015/09/30/im-anxious-when-im-driving/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.