Amaxophobia is the fear that some people feel at the wheel of a car. It can manifest in different situations and one of the common features is that the fear of driving them paralyzes and does not allow them to use the vehicle.
Why are you afraid to drive?
The feelings experienced by those who have phobias of conduct are diverse. In some cases, they fear to cause an accident or make mistakes with the pedals, in others, the problem lies in the place where they drive (highway, highway, large avenues).
There are also those who are afraid to use the car at night or at higher speeds. Amaxophobia is composed of three levels:
This is related to thoughts about accidents, loss of control, fear of death or harming others.
Emotional or physiological
You feel anxiety muscle tension, insecurity, nausea, and excessive sweating. You may also experience blurred vision, increased heart rate diarrhea or tremor in the hands and legs.
Driving is avoided, or only under special conditions such as, for example, being accompanied, following certain roads, not exceeding the minimum speed, driving during the day, driving in the less traveled streets , etc.
The severity of the fear of driving varies according to the disability or difficulties caused by this phobia as well as the level of discomfort that the person experiences.
Some can not settle directly in the driver's seat, others prefer to drive another car walk or take a taxi and it does not matter if they have to take a more leisurely route. take twice as long to reach their destination.
This fear can interfere with everyday life. Rejecting jobs that require driving, spending a lot of money on public transportation, or not being able to take someone on an emergency or take advantage of a weekend getaway.
Fear of driving tends to affect less experienced drivers (under 2 years old) and, to a lesser extent, experienced drivers. There is also a high incidence in women around age 30. Some of the main origins of the problem are:
- To have suffered an accident (or to have witnessed it)
- Having received an education based on fear or mistrust of one's skills
- Feelings of anxiety or stress due to problems other than driving (work, family problems, etc.)
Can you overcome the fear of driving?
If, for various reasons, you can not drive your vehicle or a foreign vehicle because the mere fact of getting into the car scares you, we give you some advice that can help you:
1. Create a relaxed atmosphere
There are friends or family members who can make you more nervous if they accompany you. You can tell them to sit in the back seat or not directly with you.
2. Practicing abdominal breathing
When you feel that you have no control over the situation and are about to have a panic attack, the first thing to do is to opt for abdominal breathing.
Let the air get into your nose deep in your lungs. Your belly should expand as much as possible. Then exhale slowly so that the body relaxes. Repeat several times.
3. Use positive affirmations
All those phrases or words that allow you to have more confidence in you are welcome if you are afraid to drive. For example, you can say aloud:
- I drive very cautiously and am in the speed limit.
- I am an alert and prepared driver
- I drive in the right lane to feel safer.
- I have planned this trip, I know where I am going and I am well prepared.
4. Face his fears
The best way to control the phobia of driving is to drive. In periods of light traffic we must start slowly in the streets with little traffic and very low speed. As you gain confidence, fear will disappear.
Exposure Therapy is one of the most effective ways to overcome fear. If you do nothing about it, the fear will increase and it will be out of control.
5. Take small steps
If you have scared to drive, you will not be able to use the car to travel long distances overnight. Therefore, it is best to complete some steps or levels until you feel ready . Start by putting your feet on the pedals for a few minutes, then sit in the car.
Drive on a single street, go around the block, go to a main street with a traffic light, take the right lane of the highway until the first exit, go on the second way, drive on the road, etc.
6. Ask for help
Around you, there are many people who can help you eliminate the fear of driving. You can ask them to accompany you during your first outings or at least listen to you and give you their opinion.
Sometimes is enough to talk about the problem and the feelings it provokes to start the recovery.