A phobia of driving is a specific type of phobia consisting of an irrational, disproportionate and inappropriate fear of driving. People with this syndrome will always worry, tremble, panic when they have to directly control the vehicle.
What is Amaxophobia?
The fear of driving, also known as Amaxophobia (Ancient Greek for horse-drawn carriage) is a persistent, excessive fear of driving. Clinically, the American Psychiatric Association, 2015 (DSM-5) and World Health Organization, 2011 (ICD-10) consider this a specific phobia.
Currently, the number of people using transport to move is very high and this is considered an activity done every day, and it has also become a stressful problem for many people. different objects. Based on research data, the fear of driving is more common than we thought, it currently affects nearly 33% of the population worldwide.
The MAPFRE Institute also conducted a study on this issue together with Dr. Antonio García Infanzón. It was found that nearly 7.2 million Spaniards have a fear of driving and they have different manifestations. In which, about 82% shared that they feel nervous and nervous when they have to drive, especially when they have to drive in difficult situations such as raining, dark, foggy or having to carry children, women and children. pregnant women, the elderly.
The results of this study also show that up to 6% of people with Amaxophobia completely lose the ability to control vehicles. They often face crippling fear, feel anxiety and panic when they have to get in the driver’s seat. This is also the reason that many people accept to give up their license and only move when someone else is driving.
Scientists also added that women are the most likely to suffer from fear of driving, accounting for 64%. Although this syndrome does not directly affect human health or life, it will limit daily activities, making it difficult for you to move.
Causes of fear of driving
To be able to overcome the fear of driving well, you need to be clear about the cause of that fear. According to experts, the fear of driving can come from many different causes, including both external and internal factors.
1. External causes
The fear of driving can come from external factors and conditions. For example, some people feel scared when driving a vehicle at night, where there is little light or there are also some cases of anxiety and insecurity when driving in crowded places, driving at late hours. Peak.
So it can be seen that weather conditions or adverse external factors can also be the reason why many people feel scared and anxious when driving. Therefore, many people refuse to drive when they realize that the outside conditions are not favorable, they will easily become panic and confused when having to control a vehicle at times like this.
2. Inner condition
The fear of driving can also be triggered by past phobias. This fear may be linked to a traumatic childhood event, especially a traffic accident. This is considered the main possible cause of the symptoms of fear when driving in people with Amaxophobia.
However, this does not mean that everyone who has been in a traffic accident will develop a driving phobia. In cases where people with agoraphobia have never experienced an accident, their fear may be psychological and it is linked to the symbolic aspect of the act of driving. transport.
Accordingly, experts share that Amaxophobia people will always have a feeling of fear when they have to control something, which in this case is driving and controlling a car. In fact, this fear is broader in scope, including the fear of taking responsibility.
Signs of a person with a fear of driving
Like other phobias, Amaxophobia is characterized by an irrational and unrealistic fear, specifically, of driving. People with this syndrome will always feel anxious, stressed, insecure or even panic when driving. Or there are many cases where just thinking about driving makes them feel scared and bewildered.
Some common symptoms are:
- Feeling afraid, panicking.
- There is a feeling of terror, excitement.
- Heart rate increases rapidly.
- Unreal feeling.
- Breathing becomes rapid, short of breath.
- The body sweats a lot.
- Dizziness, nausea.
- There is always a tendency to want to refuse to drive.
However, not everyone with a fear of driving has the symptoms listed above. Depending on the cause, level and tolerance of each person, the manifestations are somewhat different, the severity of symptoms has also changed.
What are the effects of fear of driving?
The fear of driving causes significant effects on people’s daily activities. Also, because patients will always tend to avoid driving any means of transport, they will be limited in their mobility, unable to drive themselves to work or any other place that they cannot afford. desired body.
People with this syndrome are always dependent on others because they are completely unable to move on their own. They often use public transport or ask relatives and friends to take them. However, being passive in moving will cause them to face a lot of obstacles from work, study to surrounding relationships, including financial.
In addition, people with Amaxophobia will always have feelings of anxiety and insecurity when they have to interact with vehicles. They often feel stress and panic when participating in traffic on the road. Therefore, when moving, they are often irritable and easily agitated.
Not only that, people who suffer from a fear of driving due to their own helplessness are more likely to turn to alcohol, stimulants and drugs to relieve their fear. There are even many people who actively drive after being drunk to show that they are no longer afraid and this is extremely dangerous, not only affecting themselves but also more likely to involve those around them. around.
How to overcome fear of driving
As shared above, the fear of driving can become a factor that hinders and reduces the quality of life of many people. Therefore, to overcome this fear, you can refer to some good tips below:
1. Apply relaxation techniques
Relaxation techniques are always recommended for most cases of any phobia. When applying these therapies, the body will be relaxed and reduce fear of anxiety and insecurity. Depending on the preferences of each person, you can choose for yourself a few ways to help your best friend relax and control fear. Some great suggestions such as deep breathing, meditation, listening to music, gentle exercise, using essential oils, etc.
If you can perform these techniques well, negative thoughts, worries and fears will gradually disappear. Not only that, it also helps you regain positive energy, feel more free and independent when behind the wheel.
2. Choose a companion
If you feel anxious about driving or you have been away from these vehicles for a long time, the best way is to ask for help from a relative, friend or driving teacher. You can take a few lessons with your teacher to recall your previous driving technique or find yourself a travel companion.
However, this measure should only be used for a short time, the first few times when you start to face your fear. This will help reduce your anxiety and also make it easier to handle dangerous situations if you become impatient.
3. Start little by little
There’s no way you can control your fear right away. Overcoming the fear of driving needs to be done gradually and requires patience over a certain period of time. Therefore, you should not be too hasty, this will only make you panic more.
The best way is to start over with different levels of the car. Try driving on empty, wide and simple roads and run for short distances. Then when you feel more stable then start upgrading, moving faster. Do everything little by little, don’t try too hard and gradually your fear will be well controlled.
4. Invest in your car
A clean, neat car with smooth machinery will make you feel comfortable and extremely safe when driving them. Especially for those who want to control a car, they have to pay more attention to the space inside the car, arrange everything neatly, decorate a few small eye-catching decorations or best always keep it. Gives the car a pleasant scent.
5. Get expert help
The best option for those who are suffering from a fear of driving is to consult a specialist. In cases where the fear stems from past psychological trauma, it is necessary to receive therapy to be able to untie the knots and fine-tune the negative thoughts in a more positive and healthy direction.
In some particularly serious cases, the specialist may also prescribe a few more prescriptions to help you control your fear well, limiting possible negative behaviors. To improve your fear well, you need to strictly follow the instructions of doctors and experts and try to adjust within the prescribed time to gradually better control your psychology and balance your personal life. core.
A fear of driving is not an uncommon condition and can be well treated with a variety of measures. Hopefully, through the information above, readers will understand more about this fear and have the most effective way to overcome it.