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Hi All

(20 Posts)
Barbara13 Thu 03-Sep-20 15:41:22

I wonder if you can help me.
I have started to have panic attacks whilst driving on the motorway. I am 69 years old and have always been I very competent driver. No fears like this before. I don't really know what to do. I also don't know other peoples experiences. Will this stay with me. Or do others know of solutions? I would really appreciate your views, advice.

ayse Thu 03-Sep-20 15:50:03

I’ve put my feelings of panic down to the realisation that my reactions are not as fast as they were in the past, although I’ve never really liked driving. I’m fine when I know the roads or driving on non-motorway roads. I did wonder if having a driving lesson would help. To date, I’ve never had an accident although I used to drive to Ireland on a regular basis via motorways, whatever the weather.

I just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in this and hope that others will come up with some helpful advice.

Esspee Thu 03-Sep-20 15:55:31

Your doctor can prescribe something like Diazepam to deal with the panic attacks but you really need to sort out what is causing them.
Motorway driving is so much easier than congested streets. Is it perhaps the speed?
I am older than you but the minute I feel I cannot cope with driving I shall stop. I would never forgive myself if I caused an accident.

merlotgran Thu 03-Sep-20 16:00:14

Try taking a herbal remedy like Ashwaghanda (Indian ginseng)
Very good for relieving stress and helping to prevent panic attacks.

Septimia Thu 03-Sep-20 18:09:54

I don't like motorways and would try to avoid them. Would it help to use something like the AA Routefinder to plan routes that don't involve motorways? You can specify this on the website.

Sometimes there are viable alternatives. For example, long sections of the A1M have the old A1 running beside them. It's a good road and much quieter.

Grandmabatty Thu 03-Sep-20 18:30:48

For me, it's the thought of driving on the motorway which causes anxiety. Once I'm on it, I'm gone as I have to concentrate on driving. Then I feel fine.

Grandmabatty Thu 03-Sep-20 18:31:46

I'm okay, not gone. I should have proof read, sorry.

grandtanteJE65 Thu 10-Sep-20 15:37:57

Could you take a couple of driving lessons? Tell the instructor why, and ask him to be absolutely truthful about your motorway driving.

If he says you drive well then that might help your anxiety.

Otherwise, I think it is time to stop driving, or stop using motorways, if either are feasible where you live.

NotTooOld Thu 10-Sep-20 15:59:10

I sympathise. I have been driving since I was 20 and it is only in recent years that I have felt panicked on the motorways. All other roads, congested or not, are fine. The motorways are always so busy these days also bigger and with wider lanes and more road signs, many of which seem contradictory. As for those 'smart' motorways with no hard shoulder.........well, they just seem plain dangerous to me although I believe no more are going to be built. I am better driving on my own than with DH who is prone to 'advising' me but if I am on a motorway on my own I am one of those who drives on the inside lane as far as possible, especially if I know there is a turning off coming up soon which I need to take. You are not alone - motorways ARE scary.

silverlining48 Thu 10-Sep-20 16:12:45

I don’t like driving on motorways these days, even as a passenger am nervous. It’s so fast with big lorries thundering by. I do it if I have to but try to avoid and go on quieter roads if I can. Think sat navs can be set to avoid motorways.
If I am honest I don’t drive as much these days because my confidence is reducing and my dh is happy to do so, but I know I must get a grip.
Panic attacks are scary, and diazepam would help relaxation in normal circumstances but not sure about using them fir driving because of the concentration required.

TwiceAsNice Fri 11-Sep-20 09:21:57

Please use other ways to help your anxiety or only drive on A roads. It would be very dangerous for you to use Diazepam and then drive, worse than if you’d been drinking and you wouldn’t do that

DanniRae Fri 11-Sep-20 09:42:05

merlotgran - I like the sound of Ashwaghandra and it is available from Holland and Barrett! Have you tried it? I suffer from anxiety in certain situations and this supplement sounds as if would really help me.
Thank you x

Callistemon Fri 11-Sep-20 10:20:53

TwiceAsNice

Please use other ways to help your anxiety or only drive on A roads. It would be very dangerous for you to use Diazepam and then drive, worse than if you’d been drinking and you wouldn’t do that

Thank goodness you said that, TwiceAsNice!
I would say, if you take a tranquilizer, do not drive.
Would you drink alcohol and drive?

There are so many drivers on the road who have taken drugs, whether legal or illegal and it is frightening.

merlotgran Fri 11-Sep-20 10:46:42

DanniRae

merlotgran - I like the sound of Ashwaghandra and it is available from Holland and Barrett! Have you tried it? I suffer from anxiety in certain situations and this supplement sounds as if would really help me.
Thank you x

I have tried it and it's OK in short bursts but after a week I found I was drowsy in the evenings and if I dozed off I didn't sleep properly when I went to bed. I take antihistamine for hay fever so I don't think they work well together.

I used to take ginseng years ago when I was much more active and it was great for maintaining energy. Ashwaghanda is a kind of upgrade but I guess a low dose is better for an older person?

DanniRae Fri 11-Sep-20 11:21:22

Thank you so much merlotgran for your reply. I think I will give it a try on the basis that H&B wouldn't stock if it wasn't ok smile

merlotgran Fri 11-Sep-20 13:36:44

Let us know how you get on with it, DanniRae. I will probably try it again in November when I stop taking antihistamines.

DanniRae Fri 11-Sep-20 13:42:55

I am about to order some and will definitely get back to you with the outcome - merlotgran smile

travelsafar Fri 11-Sep-20 13:47:12

I too find Motorways very scarey, the amount of vehicles, the speed and the constant changing of lanes!!!!

Charleygirl5 Fri 11-Sep-20 15:34:54

Please be careful with tablets you buy from H&B because they may interact with drugs which have been prescribed.

I only drive very locally now and most of the time I know the route very well.

Mancjules Sat 12-Sep-20 20:27:53

I have enjoyed driving for many years but for the last few (I'm 64) I seem to have lost some confidence. Had an eye test and mentioned it to my optometrist. She advised I needed "clarity" lenses. I have only ever needed reading glasses so was surprised...but wow! They made my world HD again lol. Driving became a lot more enjoyable too. Just a little tip to make life easier.