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 – Fear of Driving: Introduction
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.
Vehophobia – Symptoms
Fear of driving can cause unpleasant symptoms of a physical nature for a sufferer who is behind the wheel. They include (amongst others):
- Panic attacks.
- Dryness of the mouth.
- Profuse sweating
- Involuntary shaking
- Confusion of thoughts.
- Thoughts of losing control of the vehicle.
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.
Fear Of Driving – Treatment Options
It is recommended that one seeks professional help to get over Vehophobia and also ensure that other conditions such as claustrophobia and agoraphobia are not present. If left untreated the phobia is seen to worsen with time.
Neuro-linguistic programming (NLP) is seen to be helpful in reconstructing beliefs that have actually caused the fear. Counseling and reasoning sessions with a therapist can help to lessen the fears.
Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) helps to allay the fears through repeated practical exercises. Gradual desensitization by exposing the victim to the fearful situation again and again and teaching him/her how best to handle the anxiety that develops is seen to gradually reduce the effect of the fear.
Hypnotherapy helps by re-programming the subconcious mind to react in a rational manner when behind the wheel.
In addition to these normal treatments other things can help too. Group therapy in which individuals with similar problems discuss and find solutions and understand the fact that they are not alone is seen to help in lessening Vehophobia. Relaxation techniques may help to overcome physical difficulties that occur as a result of anxiety. Meditation and yoga are seen to give more mind and physical control. Virtual therapy is another method that is emerging as a popular treatment option.
The Fear Of Driving Self-Help Treatment
Because driving is such an important, everyday part of life and because the condition is so common there are quite a number of self-help treatment programs available on teh market today. Some are very good, and some not so good. If you’re considering a self-help program then do your research but remember that nothing works for everyone all the time. What works for one may not work for the next. Some can be fairly costly too so be careful not to waste your money!
If the fear of driving is affecting your life then we suggest you check out the Overcome Fear Of Driving program which represents fantastic value for money and works incredibly well. We absolutely love this treatment option and we think you will too.
We already know how effective hypnotherapy is as a treatment for the fear of driving. But this program is a self-hypnosis audio download which you can follow at your own pace and in your own time (and discretely). It costs less than $15 so is incredibly cost effective. Better still, it comes with a no questions asked 90 day money back guarantee. This means if it doesn’t work withn 3 months you get your money refunded in full! That really is some guarantee we think you’ll agree? You therefore really have nothing to lose apart from your fear of driving.