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Fear of Freeway Driving

4918 Views 10 Replies 11 Participants Last post by  Vicky
Hi guys,

I just visited the SAS store and was surprised to find media about a fear of freeway driving being sold. I'm inclined to think that I'm just generally a fearful freeway driver because I haven't had much experience driving through freeways, but seeing that 2/3 of the media being sold had to do with driving makes me wonder if this fear is a common disorder secondary to social anxiety. If so, does it have a name?

I got my license when I was 21 (I'm 22 now), which I know is relatively late. It only took me one time to pass the actual behind-the-wheel driving test, but I spent nearly $400 on private coaching, and after I passed I still felt pretty high anxiety driving through side-streets. Only about a year later did I start to feel okay strolling across stride-streets. This was after I graduated college 'cause then I lived near campus and so could just walk to get to class. Since then I've had much more practice and so have alleviated most of my driving nerves.

But I still have a huge fear of driving through freeways :afr . I'd say I've done so less than a dozen times. I suppose this is because of my lack of practice, but I don't understand why the freeway is so anxiety-inducing for me that I try to just avoid it entirely all together if possible. Nobody else seems to have this seemingly irrational fear. Friends and family were super eager to get their driving license (during their teens, mind you--and I still wasn't in the least bit excited to do so even at 21), and when they finally did, they seemed to have no qualms at all about driving through the freeway!

Perhaps it seems absurd for this to be at all related to SA in some way, but for some reason for me personally it makes perfect logical sense for there to be an association. I can't put my finger on it exactly, but I can't help but to feel that if I were out-going and social, I would have been super excited to drive around and actually go places, thereby giving me many opportunities to practice. Maybe that's it. Can anyone relate or does anyone have ideas?

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I was telling my therapist about my driving phobias, and she said these are really common to people with anxiety disorders, and that lots of people with Panic disorder have panic attacks when driving. I'm not exactly sure what the correlation is, but there definitely is one.
I don't have panic attacks, but I've always been a really nervous driver, and it's mostly related to drivng places I am unfamiliar with. When I moved from a small town to a city, I didn't drive at all for a few months. Now, I am pretty much okay, but still like to avoid the freeway (especially at rush hour) even though I have done it lots of times. It's just stressful. When I was taking an antidepressant before, all my driving anxiety went away completely.
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