One of the hard facts of life is that your abilities are often unable to overcome phobias. Commonly, people with phobias find it impossible to rationally confront their fears. For older persons, this can often manifest as a driving phobia. Why is this, and how can older Americans confront it?
Overcoming Driving Phobias
What is a Driving Phobia?
Driving phobias usually surface as a fear of driving through tunnels, over bridges or under overpasses. Sometimes, driving phobias are extreme enough that they manifest as an outright fear of being behind the wheel.
Often, older persons will find driving phobias they’ve not thought about in years coming back in older age. Often there is a catalyst that reignites the issue, such as a significant other who always drove passing away. Sometimes, life events like the moving away of grandchildren can cause the phobia.
Overcoming the Phobia
Overcoming such a driving phobia can be a complex process. Sometimes it’s enough to rely on public transit and services like taxis or ridesharing apps. However, other times, such measures are impractical for daily life. If you want to drive like you used to, or like others do, you might need to speak to your physician.
Your doctor can recommend you to a therapist to help you tackle your phobia. They will likely be able to show you come coping mechanisms that allow you to calm your mind, still your thoughts and take on driving.
Take it Slow
Starting slow isn’t a bad thing. Have a close friend ride with you. Practice mantras, or even consider taping them to the dashboard on a piece of paper. Try meditation, deep breathing and other calming activities to keep you calm behind the wheel.
In time, you may find simple exposure to the act of driving helps you overcome any anxieties or phobias you were having. Then, over time, you can rely less and less on your coping mechanisms and find yourself driving just fine without them!