Fear of driving or Vehophobia is a very common anxiety disorder you may be surprised to know. It even has an official name – it’s officially called Vehophobia! The phobia may be mild or it may be very severe.
The fear can vary significantly. Some individuals are scared of specific situations that they imagine they will encounter while driving. Many others are simply terrified of sitting behind the wheel. This phobia may cause individuals to stay away from driving at any cost. They may get someone else to drive them around or use public transportation, however expensive or inconvenient.
The most common cause of the fear of driving is the road accidents. Such a fear may have developed as response to a traumatic incident in the past. However, such responses occur only to specific driving situations that are related to the cause of the fear. Because driving is such an important part of life these days it’s really important to address this fear. If it’s not it’s going to severely limit your options and also affect your life.
Vehophobia is a pathological fear of driving. The fear itself differs from river to driver. To some it could be limited to a fear of driving in certain situations. This could, for examples, be in cities, dense traffic, motorways or freeways. To others just sitting behind the wheel is enough to trigger the fear.
Whilst it is mostly caused by some form of driving related traumatic event as we’ve just said, there coudl be other, more specific triggers too. One may have fear of losing control of the vehicle, fear of being criticized, fear of being in a dangerous situation, fear of crashing, etc. Fear of driving is classed as a phobia as the anxiety is disproportionate to the percieved danger.
The fear of driving may also be related to other phobias that are present, e.g., agoraphobia. This is the anxiety that is caused when in the midst of crowds, etc. Those who suffer from agoraphobia will avoid getting into situations that are threatening such as driving on deserted roads, driving a long distance away from home, driving on bridges and tunnels, etc.
Performance anxiety is also seen to be another cause. Claustrophobia or fear of enclosed spaces is seen to contribute to the fear of driving in some cases. Fear of authority, fear of travel, etc., can also contribute to the fear of driving.
Fear of driving can cause unpleasant symptoms of a physical nature for a sufferer who is behind the wheel. They include (amongst others):
If the fear is one associated with a previous traumatic incident, intrusive thoughts about the original event may occur which can cause irritability or lack of an emotional response.
You weren’t born with particular fears or anxiety – instead you have developed them along your life journey so far. In very simple terms Hypnotherapy works by re-setting the mind to produce the rational response to a specific situation or environment that you had before the phobia was initially triggered off. Find Out More >
Neuro-linguistic programming or NLP combines neurology and linguistics and creates a sort of programming that helps people change their thinking habits, help them deal with anxiety, stress, depression and overcome particular fears. In short, this means taking a specific fear or phobia and disassociating and reframing the experience to prevent the irrational response. Find Out More >
In simple terms Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT as it’s more commonly referrred to, is a talking therapy which takes your specific issue, fear or specific phobia and focusses on your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and how they affect your behaviour and emotions in respect of this issue. It takes on the notion that your thoughts (cognition) creates emotions which, in turn, controls our reactions (behaviour). Find Out More >
If the mere thought or sight of driving and vehicle fills you with fear and terror then take a look at one of our recommended, self-help treatment programs that are all guaranteed, proven and effective.