Scared to drive, because of a previous rollover. Panic attacks.

Discussion in 'Experienced Truckers' Advice' started by Scaredsparkles, Oct 15, 2021.

  1. Capacity

    Capacity Road Train Member

    Jul 28, 2019
    Neenah Wi
    Your not alone , i get the heebee jebees sometimes just climbing the stairs.
    It goes away when i hit the highway , best of luck to you.
    Rideandrepair, D.Tibbitt and The_vett Thank this.
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  3. The_vett

    The_vett Bobtail Member

    Jan 8, 2021
    We get panic attacks from our subconscious mind. It wrongly thinks it is protecting you. The subconscious mind takes care of all of the functions of our body and mind that we don't have to think about. Keeping us breathing, heart beating, fighting off illness. It just does what it thinks is best for us , like not wanting us to roll in another wreck, so it gives us something to stop us for our protection. Hence in your case a panic attack. This is about your wreck but it will do the same kind of thing no matter what it was that terrorized you.

    If this is a panic attack (which is described as terrorizing and making you feel you are going to lose your mind or die, one or the other) It might help you to know it the actual attack is going to go away soon , it will last up to 9 mins. You can trick your subconscious, and one of the ways is deep breaths in through the nose and out through the mouth. Deep slow breaths , and this helps because when we are in trouble we breath shallow and fast. So the deep breathing tells it , hey no need to panic , the body is calm and breathing deep. If you can think of any activity you may do that is something you do when relaxed, like find a song you like on the radio or whatever it is you do , will also send a message everything is ok , no need to panic. Use imagery, picture yourself happily driving your truck , make it detailed and run this tape through your head often. Just give these things a try and if they don't help get to a doctor, you might possibly need something temporary to calm you but that is only for a doctor to say , and I am sorry you are going through this and I wish a rapid recovery for you.
  4. Lennythedriver

    Lennythedriver Road Train Member

    Feb 14, 2020
    Panic attacks have nothing to do with your strengths. They’re just some thing that can happen randomly to some people. The key is to don’t become obsessed with them because when you become obsessed with them they’ll continue to happen just out of fear of having another one. It becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy at that point. Just think of something funny and make yourself laugh and it will go away. And then don’t dwell on it. A panic attack is no more harmful to you then doing some brief brisk exercise to elevate your heart rate and breathing. You’re just doing it based on a mental fog. So it feels strange and freaks people out.

    Maybe three months away from driving a commercial rig wasn’t long enough for you. I had an uncle who was a lifelong owner operator and he rolled a truck and was severely injured. Truck driving was his life. It took him seven years to get back on the truck.
  5. ParochialNimrod

    ParochialNimrod Bobtail Member

    Jun 25, 2020
    I do the 4, 7, 8 breathing method when I feel the anxiety starting to hit me.

    Breath in through your nose for 4 seconds.

    Hold that breath for 7 second.

    Forcefully exhale that breath for 8 seconds.

    It's sounds so stupid to me, but I was desperate to find something to keep me feeling like I was not losing control of my senses and this actually works for me. The more I do it the better I get at controlling the anxiety. I'm starting to get days with zero anxiety knowing I have something to fight it off when it hits.

    Best of luck. It sucks having a mental thing suddenly cause problems, it's really hard to overcome. I only get anxiety when I drive. I don't understand why either. Nothing ever happened to me that would explain it.
  6. LoneRanger

    LoneRanger Road Train Member

    Jun 3, 2018
    Been in the same situation we’re an accident prevented me to going back to what I liked. Maybe it will work for you maybe not. But all I did was just start doing it again and pushed myself through when the anxiety kicked in, I forced myself to keep going and after a few minutes i was clam and no more anxiety in me. Comes and goes once in a while but I keep pushing through when it does.

    Good luck and push through, as I believe this is one of those times where you have to.
  7. MM71

    MM71 Medium Load Member

    Jun 28, 2008
    Was a front seat passenger in a serious accident 10 years ago. Nothing changes. Anxiety will be with you forever. How you cope may change a bit. Fear has turned into rage for me ... tailgaters really get a good taste of my PTSD.
    Rideandrepair, The_vett and D.Tibbitt Thank this.
  8. Deadwood

    Deadwood Medium Load Member

    Dec 24, 2016
    I ran into an old Crete driver who took his 10 at the Love’s just south of Norman, OK by the Riverwind casino. He got up, pretripped and then went in to get some coffee. He talked with his dispatcher for about 15 minutes in the front seat with his lights on and engine running.

    He took off but was stopped by other drivers waving frantically before he could get out of the parking lot. Turns out he had run over and killed a Love’s employee who crawled under his tandems trying to clean the parking lot.

    The Cleveland county D.A. saw the video and declined to prosecute. Crete looked at the video as well and kept him on. Turns out the employee had some severe learning disabilities. He still wasn’t “over” it but needed to make a living so he did his job, one day at a time and put the feelings down until after his shift.
  9. tallguy66

    tallguy66 Medium Load Member

    Oct 18, 2018
    that’s awful
    Badmon and Rideandrepair Thank this.
  10. streetglider

    streetglider Medium Load Member

    Aug 21, 2011
    It’s amazing to me that we have so many truck drivers that are or were dr’s
    Rideandrepair Thanks this.
  11. Boondock

    Boondock Light Load Member

    Jul 20, 2019
    God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things that I can and the wisdom to know the difference.
    Sometimes writing things down can help. Maybe get a note pad and write down the exact circumstances and reasons for what happened, under the heading
    " Things I cannot change" And then write down all the things you could have done differently and are going to do from now on. All the things you can change and all the things you are in control of.
    I hope this helps you conquer your fear.
    Rideandrepair, The_vett and D.Tibbitt Thank this.
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