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

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

  1. wore out

    wore out Numbered Classic

    Jun 5, 2013
    You can’t walk around in the what if’s and almost world. You’ll never get anywhere if you do. Sure you had a roll over 1 helluva crash I’m sure....don’t look at it as I almost.....or I coulda been......see that you wasn’t and lightning rarely strikes in the same place twice.

    Not to be an ### but dealing with grown up troubles is part of being grown. If it’s something you can’t overcome move on. A nervous wreck on the road is no good.

    It’s only as hard as you make it......
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  3. 2tone379

    2tone379 Bobtail Member

    Dec 1, 2016
    St. Anthony Idaho
    Sounds like you need to talk about it ! You’ve probably relived it in your mind and talked to your other half about it or someone close, a little bit. How much detail have you gone into.
    Most stories start like any other. How did yours start. Was it a bright sunny day or was it dark and gloomy night. Right now we are just looking at the stripes. You were in a roll over. Ok. Just as the case with any accident. All people see is the stripes ie the carnage on the side of the road. They make a presumed judgment off what is seen or heard. What’s your story???
  4. Octrucker

    Octrucker Light Load Member

    Sep 9, 2013
    I used to suffer from panic attacks when driving in LA traffic. This is how I cured it. I'd start driving like normal and then put on my hazards and then force myself to pull over for a few minutes. I would do it a few times if I had to.
    It will reinforce the idea that you are in of control the vehicle. Hope that helps
  5. PhoenixTJ

    PhoenixTJ Bobtail Member

    Aug 13, 2020
    I agree with the advice to see a professional counselor. Sounds like you've had a serious trauma and you need help working through it.

    I'm no professional, but I've had some success working through some of my own traumas, so I'll share what worked for me. Sometimes we experience things at an emotional level that we aren't capable of dealing with at the moment, but that doesn't mean they go away (i.e. "feelings buried alive never die"). They just lurk there in your subconscious, waiting and trying to get your attention. One of the best things I've done is to sit and just let myself feel whatever emotions me come up, no matter how painful or uncomfortable they may be. Your feelings can't do you actual harm, so this is a good practice. You can think of those old, subconscious emotions like a battery that's keeping something powered that you want to turn off, but there's no switch. You just have to drain the battery, and the way you do that is by sitting and listening to those feelings until they subside. You may have to do it over and over again, because sometimes there are layers upon layers of things to work through. Also had good luck with expressive writing. I write about the uncomfortable things I'm thinking/believing/feeling, then shred/burn the paper.

    Best of luck in your journey. You may find yourself working through a lot more than just the anxiety and panic attacks from driving, and your life may be a lot better for it!
    Rideandrepair Thanks this.
  6. Lexuslane

    Lexuslane Light Load Member

    Oct 22, 2021
    The previous advice is good
    Eat healthy meat and vegetables, not processed or fast food .

    avoid caffeine and turn off the tv and use the smart phone for phone calls only .

    just stay off the internet totally for a while

    and especially stay away from the news

    there is. I thing that happens in this world that affects you that you can do anything about .
    It might affect you but you can’t do anything about it so don’t watch it and don’t worry about it .
    And don’t be afraid to find a therapist or someone to talk to .
    Rideandrepair Thanks this.
  7. streetglider

    streetglider Medium Load Member

    Aug 21, 2011
  8. spindrift

    spindrift Road Train Member

    Dec 2, 2014
    Often times I find it far more constructive to commiserate with those who have had the same experience as opposed to someone who learned it in a book.
  9. TallJoe

    TallJoe Road Train Member

    Apr 12, 2016
    I rolled over 17 years ago 2004 in late October at the Cicero ramp on I-294 in IL, under the bridge, nearby tollway maintenance terminal. They just scooped the rig with a bulldozer and pushed it up on its side to their site. The stupid thing about it was that I messed up by initially going south instead of north, on the earlier entrance ramp, and that Cicero exit was a turn around. I was loaded with motor parts in crates which were loaded up to the roof with half a trailer. The ramp was rebuilt since then but at the time it was advised no more then 20mph on it. I most likely should have been going even much less than that.
    I was just thanking God that I did not fall onto anyone.. and the chance for that was high because it was 10-11 am, and the traffic there is usually high. I did not want to drive anymore. I took two weeks off and tried a different job, not CDL related but it did not work out so I came back. Yes, the first moment back in the truck was overwhelming but after a day I was feeling completely calm.

    So ... these traumatic effects will subside but they need some time, for some longer for some less. Now with a time perspective, the only thing that bothers me about that day is the thought that it could have been much worse, had I squashed a four wheeler or so with all that heavy junk I was carrying.

    As far as the legal consequences, I received a ticked from a state police "Failed to reduce speed to avoid accident" but the police trooper, who issued it, was not present at the time of the accident and did not show up in court later, so it was dismissed. I worked for a owner who was leased on to a carrier which....shockingly, tried to make me drive the very next day in one of their own trucks and their were short handed but I refused. The owner did not have any insurance, so had I been seriously injured, he would not been able to cover the expenses. I had a very bad beat up hip but I did not feel the pain until later that day...went to ER to do some X-rays but all was good. Handful of Advil pills took care of pain. I had to use a crutch for the next tow days.
  10. PsionicFrost

    PsionicFrost Bobtail Member

    Nov 6, 2021
    As someone that deals with panic attacks due to agoraphobia, I second those recommending deep breaths when you feel it coming on. When panicking, hyperventilating makes things much worse. Also, it helps for me to talk to myself and reassure myself that everything will be fine. You can also be prescribed Xanax for acute attacks and also asthma inhalers are extremely useful for increasing airflow.

    Now all that is only good for acute help. You should visit a therapist (most health insurance covers telehealth for mental health for free or a really low co-pay which is fantastic for a trucking lifestyle) for PTSD; that was a very traumatic experience you had and having someone to just listen and understand how that affected you is invaluable.
  11. Wargames

    Wargames Captain Crusty

    Jul 22, 2010
    i can not tell you how many times i have seen rock haulers , dumps, driving way too fast. Many times, when they TRY to stop, every tire
    on that truck Locked up Smoking for 50`. I believe its because they get paid by the load, so run like hell, and try to get a certain number of
    loads to make the day. These guys are some of the most dangerous drivers on the road.
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