Fear of driving can be a complex issue, and it can severely limit your daily activities. For this reason, it is important to deal with the fear, and there are a variety of ways to accomplish this. Identifying the source of the fear may provide suggestions for how to proceed. Some options for overcoming the fear can include driver training, self help programs, hypnosis, various forms of therapy, and medication in some cases.
The first step in overcoming your fear of driving should be identifying the source of your fear. Understanding what causes your fear can provide important clues to help you choose a method for overcoming it. Different fears may respond more readily to one type of help over another. Once you've identified the source of your fear, you can select a treatment option likely to help and begin your recovery.
One method that may help in overcoming a fear of driving is to take a driver training course. If your fear comes from a lack of confidence in your driving skills or from experiencing minor accident or moving violation, a driving course can be very helpful. A course will help you improve your skills which should give you confidence in your capabilities behind the wheel. Once you feel better about your ability to drive, you should be able to do it without fear.
Various self help programs may assist you in overcoming your fear of driving; these may be helpful if your fear is mild enough that you are still able to drive or if you are afraid of just one aspect of driving, like traveling over bridges. These programs often involve positive visualizations, in which you picture yourself driving safely, calmly, with pleasure, and able to handle any situation. By performing these visualization exercises repeatedly, they become your new expectation for the driving experience, replacing anxiety with peaceful feelings and confidence.
Hypnosis is another option some people with milder fear of driving, such as generalized anxiety, find helpful. Hypnosis can be performed by a professional therapist or hypnotist, or it can be self-induced using audio recordings. The hypnosis is supposed to train your mind to react to the experience of driving with relaxed confidence rather than fear and anxiety.
If your fear is more severe, perhaps caused by a traumatic incident such as a serious crash, your best option may be to consider professional counseling and therapy. Working together with a professional, you can gradually confront your fears in a safe environment. Techniques can be used that build up exposure to driving in a controlled way until you are able to do it without fear. Group therapy can also be helpful so you know that you're not alone; in the group setting, tips and techniques are also often shared about what works in overcoming fear of driving. Medication can also sometimes be prescribed help to relieve anxiety as another alternative to dealing with issues causing your fear.