Phobias?

I have had anxiety issues since I was very young. I'm 36 years old now and I am terrified to stay at home alone or drive alone. I will also not go anywhere with someone that I do not feel could "help" me in the event of an anxiety attack. 

This all started when I was about 18 and driving to my then boyfriend, now husband's house one night. He only lived about 3 miles from me but I had a horrible anxiety attack while driving there. It was night time and I was alone. I pulled off of the road and got out panicking trying to get someone to pull over to help me. 

I was so scared. Finally someone pulled over that I knew and helped me. The lady drove me in my car to his house and her boyfriend whom she was with followed us. I did not drive again for about a year. I had another panic attack driving from work one night a few years later and stopped driving alone again. 

That was many years ago and I will not do it. I have tried but when I get to the end of the driveway I start panicking. Also, I can only stay at home "alone" if my elderly grandma who lives beside us is at home (which she is pretty much housebound sadly so she is home the majority of the time). If she has to be taken to the doctor I have to find someone to come stay with me if my husband is at work, or I will go with her and my aunt and uncle who take her to the doctor. 

As you can imagine this is very disruptive to me and I feel like such a burden to my husband. I cry a lot due to it but do not know what to do to get better. Our area is limited with resources. Any suggestions? 
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  • I am very sorry about your situation. Do you have any idea why you started having those anxiety attacks? Did someone leave you in the past, causing you to be this way at present? I think one of the reasons why it persists to this day is that you are not aware of what caused your anxiety in the first place. If you can trace it, I have a feeling you'd be able to cope better. Let me give you an example.

    I myself have anxiety attacks every now and then. They're not frequent, though. They usually happen less than 5 times in a year, depending on the state of my mind, emotions and physical health. Because I know exactly what causes them (the fear of losing the people I love and dying before your time), I can breathe much more deeply, adjust my thinking and find ways to relax myself.

    You really need to see an expert when you have the time. While searching for an available therapist in your area, you may want to do these activities to take off some of the weight from your shoulders: exercising such as doing yoga, pilates, simple jogging or zumba, drinking tea for relaxation or taking up activities where you're constantly surrounded by people.

    All the best!
  • I am sorry about your situation; I would suggest you get to the root of your anxiety attacks so that a cure can be found. 

    I had a car accident two years ago after dropping off my son at creche. I was a new driver and did not step on the brakes, instead stepped on the accelerator and the car flew into a ditch. I broke my lip and paid huge damages for the car and have not driven since then. I am not scared to drive but the scene still haunts me. When I am fully recovered, I will go back behind the wheel.
  • @xTinx   Thank you for your sweet reply. I am so sorry that you struggle with anxiety as well. I'm very glad that you know what causes yours and can control them a bit. I really do not know what the root of mine could be. I desperately need to get into a therapist but can sadly not find one that is close by. I am going to continue looking though. Ideally one that would do cognitive behavioral therapy is someone I would like to have. The thought of even trying is so scary but I have to face my fears. I'm just not ready to do so yet but think that I would get more of a boost from a therapist. 

    @darkrebelchild  Oh I am so very very sorry that you had a car accident. I am also sorry that you were hurt but thankfully it was not any worse and also I am glad that your child was not with you at the time. I'm glad that you are not going to let anxiety deter you from driving again. Best to you!  Thank you for your kind reply.

    I also want to add that I've recently started out walking up and down our driveway and it seems to really help make me feel better. I will incorporate more exercise soon. Maybe I can feel better by doing so. 
  • I would recommend you to get professional help about those anxiety attacks. Meanwhile I'd use xTinx suggestion and do something that distracted me from those thoughts.

    I have an huge phobia to water which is okay unless I think about going to the ocean or the pool. I can't swim but that's only because I'm so scared of water I never tried to learn. I still can't explain why, as I didn't recall having any bad experience with water.
  • @yeppeo  I am thinking that the best thing for me would be cognitive behavioral therapy but I am terrified of even trying to do the things that terrify me so much. I am really hoping to find a therapist that would help me out. 

    I am sorry about your phobia to water and I hope you are able to conquer your fear soon. It is a bad thing to have so many fears. Hugs to you and well wishes for you. 
  • I totally understand you. That's one of the reasons I never tried to get help for my own phobia, I'm just so afraid that, in order to overcome my fear, I need to actually go to the water. Thank you so much, and I hope you can also get better! Hang in there!
  • I'm very sorry you're dealing with this. I understand how it could be very troubling to your entire life. I am sure your husband understands. I agree with the others as to finding out the root cause of your anxiety. CBT may be very helpful as you mentioned too. I wish you all the best of luck!!
  • Thank you @yeppeo and @Bidnas. Today has been a particularly hard day and I feel like my phobias are some of the cause. I won't go into detail but I just feel like I can do better, yet I am afraid to even take that first step needed to get help. I just feel lost and have no idea what to do. 
  • Hi! I am sorry you feel this way. I have agoraphobia and don't like getting out of my home. I think you should spend a little time alone and get the hang of it. When I have to go outside, I do it a little each day and then work up from there. It just takes time.
  • This may sound a bit esoterical but fear is just an illusion. There is nothing to fear but fear itself! Once you manage to eliminate or overcome that fear, you won't believe that you had let it worry you for so long. All fear is the result of either negative thinking or negative past experiences. Your subconscious looks out for the potential negative consequences of your actions based on your past subjective experience. If you can understand that concept, you can eventually overcome your phobia.
  • @sillylucy I'm sorry you have agoraphobia. I have that as well but it is not as extreme as it used to be. At one point in time I would not leave the house at all. I get out a couple of times a week now. And I go outside daily. 

    @androl That is true..it is an illusion. I am just in fear of the fear I suppose. I have to get over this but I just do not know how. Maybe by means of cognitive behavior therapy. Just thinking about it scares me. 
  • I have no problems with this actually. Not big ones at least. The only mild phobia that I have is claustrophobia and it isn't terrifying but I do not like close and small spaces. It bothers me and it is probably because I like freedom and I always liked open spaces with no body around me. Just me and sky.
  • I'm sorry you have to go through such a thing. I hope it gets better soon.

    I would suggest walking to your driveway. You don't have to go all the way, and you don't have to walk down with the intention of getting into your car and driving away. Start slow. Take walks to the end of the street. And when you're finally comfortable enough, look into your car. If you can, actually sit in your car. You don't have to push yourself past your limit. Start slow and slowly build your way up to your goal.

    Best of luck!
  • Two words: Behavioral therapy.  I think in your case this is really worth trying,  because well... driving is so important and useful.  Plus if you let anxiety rule your life it surely will.  I know because I had a similar experience with my OCD induced anxiety. 
  • Currently, my wife and I both are suffering from anxiety. However, anxiety is very new to us. My wife experiences anxiety attacks and I have lost weight substantially. My wife is undergoing medication, whereas I am trying to control anxiety by meditation and breathing exercise/.
  • Thank you all for the replies. I have let this phobia run my life for a very long time and I feel that at this point there is no hope in getting better. I feel like I'll be this way for the rest of my life. I actually contacted a counselor today but he can not accept my insurance and I can not afford the money that it will take to see him unfortunately. 
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