Which people does it affect and how do we deal with it?
Vehophobia, the fear of driving, is a new type of anxiety disorder that strikes people. It affects women more, but more and more men are also complaining. Fear of driving is a “modern” problem. The reasons for it are intense traffic, waiting in traffic jams, little experience as a driver, the fear of creating a traffic accident. If you have once been involved in a road accident, then your fear of driving is guaranteed.
This is a problem that occurs very often in people who have an anxious personality structure, who have little driving experience, but at the same time have a great desire to drive their personal car. When they hit the road at rush hour, they have a sort of mini panic attack.
The signs and symptoms of a panic attack include:
-Pounding or rapid heartbeat
-Feeling short of breath or being smothered
–Nausea and stomach distress
-Feeling dizzy, light-headed, or faint
-Feeling chills or hot flashes
–Numbness or tingling
–Feeling disconnected from the situation or one’s self
-Fear of losing control of self and emotions
-Fear of dying
This happens because, firstly, they are in a column, secondly, they are blocked and cannot in any way leave the place of the traffic jam, and thirdly, if they take any more drastic actions, they can become the object of a traffic accident. Such people are usually the cause of minor accidents at traffic lights – they release the brake, hit a front, side or rear road user, lean on mirrors… This is precisely what creates a fear of driving in them.
In most cases this state is transitory and is associated only with such situations. Some people do not cope, others over time “push” these types of thoughts back into their minds by engaging with more recent psychotraumatic events. This phobia is characteristic of more anxious individuals. Women are more prone to it because they are more emotional and drive less. In most cases, when there are two cars in a family, the female partner takes care of taking the children to kindergarten, to school… Driving with children, one is much more tense and careful that something does not happen. There are men who worry more than women.
Vehophobia is situational – there is a situation – there is fear, there is no situation – there is no fear, but subconsciously the thought remains. It can always lurk and manifest itself. For example, if we are not directly involved in a traffic accident, but only observe it, passing by it, fear can be triggered on the principle of post-traumatic stress.
There are people who even avoid places and intersections where such an event has happened to them, or they have had a panic attack. Some have not even driven for years.
The big problem is that traffic is becoming more intense, drivers are getting younger and younger and do not have the necessary experience to avoid situations.
Vehophobia may also be known by:
- Amaxophobia – sometimes used to express a fear of riding in the car, rather than driving the car
- Ochophobia – the name for a fear of vehicles
It is a basic phobia, no more special than any other. Some people manage to master it themselves, others seek help from specialists. Therapy with serotonin stimulants is possible. It contains the main precursors of serotonin and is non-addictive.
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