Phobia: Tara

Tara (Driving)
Grants Manager
Austin, TX

I've had problems with driving-related anxiety for the last twelve years. If I drove on the highway, I would have a panic attack about once a week. I avoided highways and took other routes. One out of every three times I got on the highway, I would panic. Austin is surrounded by highways and in order to get anywhere you have to hop on one. The anxiety was affecting my quality of life. I couldn't be spontaneous about going places with people in my car because I didn't want to jeopardize other people's lives with my driving because I was always fearful.

I once had an anxiety attack when I was driving with my husband on a foggy bridge over Lake Michigan in Wisconsin, it was horrible and we had to pull over. Up to that point, my husband hadn't realized how bad the problem was for me, when he saw how bad it could get, it shocked him and after that he was always fearful about me driving.

I would try the highway, but I would always have an escape route. I'd always know what exit was coming up so that if I had to pull over and get off at the exit I could do that. I would stay in the right lane if I needed to pull over on the shoulder. I never felt in control, the panic always had control of me; it had a grip on me no matter what I was doing. I was always anticipating the fear and the panic whether or not I was driving.

I've tried different things to stop my panic attacks: drinking water, having snacks, and preparing for my trip well in advance. I had supplies on hand. When I started to panic, I would pop a tic-tac or drink some water to help me breathe. It helped me get through it, but I would often have to pull over anyway until I could calm myself down.

I was looking online for hypnotherapy in Austin and I find out about A New Day Hypnosis on yahoo. I had been hypnotized before in a comedy setting, so I knew it would work. I really didn't want to go on medication and thought that this would be a good option for me. I noticed a change in my behavior after the first session. I wasn't planning my routes as much and I was much calmer and I didn't have a panic attack. My husband also commented that I wasn't carrying around water and tic tacs in the car.

I feel more in control now because I can drive anywhere. I've done overpasses and I've gone on the highway every day since I started this without any problems. I was always afraid to drive my husband's car because it was brand new and I didn't want to have a panic attack and wreck it, but now I'm able to drive it because I feel in control and his car is really fun for me to drive.

I feel more confident now because I don't balk at the fact that I might have people in my car when I'm driving on the highway. I can drive anywhere and I've proven to myself that I can change and I know now that I don't have to live with this anymore.

The most important benefit for me is that I don't have anxiety when I get into a vehicle. I overcame that fear and accomplished that goal in my life. I would recommend A New Day Hypnosis to anyone who has anxiety about driving because it works. As long as you believe in yourself and set your mind to it, you can change anything. I'm confident that I'm free of this problem permanently because after living with it for 12 years; I've gone a month without an incident and that tells it all for me because it really does work.