The initial source of what I'll call my anxiety condition and still the main ailment is driving. It came very suddenly for me around 18 months ago. I was out, driving people around in my car and suddenly got a panic attack when 'stuck' in dense traffic at a set of lights. It didn't creep up from there, it was like a switch, before that no driving anxiety, after that can barely drive without getting panic attacks.
Over the past 18 months I worked hard to get myself mobile, seemingly expanding my 'range' by a street at a time. Even roads I previously knew, unless I had taught myself I could drive on them with anxiety I got panic attacks. I particularly struggled with traffic lights initially, but seem ok with them now. I can't drive highways, the second I merge onto them I get a massive panic attack, feel like my whole body is going numb and dizzy and have to merge straight off.
I spoke to a psychologist about this. They tried to help, but I never felt there was any progress. They kept saying without knowing a real 'cause' of the anxiety its hard the treat and didn't really give me any directions short of build up to it.
I've been really frustrated of late. I feel about a month back I made real progress. I was driving more or less freely on all semi-metro and connecting roads without any real anxiety symptoms. But it really seems to be two steps forward, three steps back. Suddenly one day I felt "off", went for a drive, had a panic attack and I feel I've regressed drastically again.
I seem to just be able to drive easily within a say, 10km radius of my home. Which is enough for the basics, but not enough for any real freedoms. I'm seriously considering taking anti-depressants to see if they have any effect as I just can't stand not being able to drive freely anymore.
Has anyone been through this or has any input? It seems now the entire time I'm driving instead of just driving confidently, I'm 'scanning' the roads for the ability to pull over, like I'll have to do that any second. If I get to a road thats busy, backed up, full of traffic lights, or no space on the side of the road my body freaks out.