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Forums / Welcome and orientation / Fear of driving

Topic: Fear of driving

3 posts, 0 answered
  1. ManyApricot
    ManyApricot avatar
    2 posts
    5 May 2019


    So I'm a learner driver, and currently I have 3 hours and 45 minutes in my log book.... over the course of about 10 months. I started out driving being really optimistic, but on my first drive with my dad, I broke down crying after pulling out on an intersection without looking. I knew it was going to be difficult, but as soon as I get in the car, I have this shaky feeling and I start getting adrenaline and all that. I know how to drive, and I'm not that bad at it, considering I've only had 3h 45m. I really don't want to blame my dad, but he has been driving since he was 6 years old and doesn't understand the fear that I have. He doesn't understand when I tell him to only take us on the back roads. Instead, he took me to the middle of town. And he also yells at me while I'm driving which just makes me feel anxious and overwhelmed. I keep thinking that maybe if I keep doing it, I'll get better, but it just seems to get worse and worse. My friends and family think I'm just being a drama queen. Even thinking about driving makes me feel anxious. I really want to get my P's, but I just can't stomach the idea of having to drive 120 hours. Anything I can do to help this anxiousness?

  2. PamelaR
    Champion Alumni
    • Community champion volunteers who are not currently active on the forums.
    • A member of beyondblue's blueVoices community
    PamelaR avatar
    2740 posts
    7 May 2019 in reply to ManyApricot

    Hi ManyApricot and welcome to Beyond Blue

    Oh, learning to drive is hard. I understand your anxiety, especially when you get yelled at. Doesn't help does it?

    There are many things to do for anxiety. I'm just wondering if you have browsed of our forums? Under the Mental Health Conditions category, there is the Anxiety forum where a thread Self Help Tips for Managing Anxiety can be found if your are interested. This might be a good starting point.

    The other is - do you have anyone you can talk to about how you feel who doesn't think you're a drama queen? For example, do you see a doctor or a health professional? They may help you to understand anxiety, what happens and what may be the cause for you getting anxious (besides the obvious - your dad yelling at you).

    When I first learnt to drive - my dad took me out for one lesson (yes, he yelled to, but when I look back he had good call to do so, as I wasn't turning a corner just going straight ahead into someones yard.) He decided to not teach me and paid for driving lessons. He couldn't take it - it made him very anxious too. So 2 anxious people in the car doesn't help - at all. Maybe someone else in your family who maybe a little less anxious who could teach you to drive? Or I know in some communities there are people who volunteer to be the learned driver for learners. Is there anything like that in your community?

    What is it that would make your driving lesson less anxious? Could you talk to your dad (or your mum) about these things?

    Hope some of this helps ManyApricot. Your not alone. Keep reaching out if and when you want to.

    Kind regards


  3. Peacegirl101
    Peacegirl101 avatar
    3 posts
    9 May 2019 in reply to ManyApricot

    Hi Many Apricots,

    my mum has a severe driving phobia which has limited her freedom her entire life. Because of this phobia I too had one which meant I didn’t get my licence till I was around 23. I had to pay for lessons for most of it has my mum couldn’t teach me which cost a lot but was worth it. Apparently you can now get learning drivers that are trained to deal with people who have anxiety and are therefore more paitient etc.

    the people who mock you are being cold and just don’t understand how a fear can be so debilitating and dominate your life. Try to tell them that it’s like any other fear like heights or spiders and that it’s a real thing and ask them to please not mock you as it is hurtful.

    if you can find a councillor or physiologist to talk to about it I highly recommend it as it got me through uni and although they didn’t always get me it was nice knowing that there was someone out there looking out for me and someone was there each week solely to listen to me!

    hope this helps a bit - good luck you can do it! Keep trying and beaten deeply :)

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