Getting behind the steering wheel of a car for the first time is exciting as well as a scary experience. Most people become more confident and comfortable after a few days of driving, but it is the other way round for some people. They start to panic, experience stress and may even experience anxiety attacks. This feeling prohibits them from driving and they prefer other modes of transport.
What is Vehophobia?
Vehophobia is the fear of driving and is not an uncommon thing. The word is derived from the Latin word ‘Veho’ meaning vehicle and ‘Phobos’ meaning fear. This phobia need not necessarily impact only those who have involved in auto accidents but can also impact those who have not. People who suffer from this phobia do not drive a car altogether due to anxiety and fear which can be disruptive to their lives. Some people also suffer from other phobias in addition to Vehophobia. This may include the fear of traveling or the fear of riding in a car or motor vehicle.
How to Overcome Vehophobia?
There are many people who suffer from this condition but the good news is that it can be overcome. Experts from GetOverPhobia.com suggest that people with this condition should not find excuses to avoid driving. But instead, look for effective treatment options to overcome this fear. Some of the options to consider are:
Defensive driving courses
This is a specialized driving course. In this course, people who fear driving are made more aware of the other drivers on the road. They are trained to react safely to all kinds of unexpected situations. That will boost their confidence and reduce anxiety while driving as they know they are in control.
The fear of driving is due to the subconscious mind carrying fear. Using hypnosis, the therapist explores the feelings and thoughts associated with some painful memory and aid in confronting that fear.
One of the most common therapies to treat this condition is cognitive-behavioral therapy. It teaches the patient to alter their behavior and thought process so that they can recover from the anxiety of driving. Another therapy used is exposure therapy which uncovers the root cause for this anxiety and helps in overcoming Vehophobia.
Learn relaxation techniques
There are many relaxation techniques like deep breathing and meditation that can be helpful. Before you start driving spend a few minutes doing breathing exercises or calmly sit focusing on only the present. Staying mindful of your actions while driving also helps to focus better. Try driving for a short distance in a known location where there is no traffic. Try to avoid external stress factors like dealing with other drivers, taking directions, etc to feel more confident.
Join a support group
There are many support groups and online communities where you can talk to people who have a similar condition. It helps when there is someone who understands what you are going through and supports you to get better.
Treating Vehophobia takes time. Ensure that you take small steps to build your confidence instead of rushing through it.