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Rafael M.T.Therapist
Rafael M.T.Therapist, Psychotherapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 3191
Experience:  MHT-MHRS-MS-MA Integral Psychotherapist & Life Coach
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Hi! I got here because I am in search of someone that can

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Hi!

I got here because I am in search of someone that can help me overcome my problems. I live in a foreign country(Denmark) and therefore, seeking for help here is next to impossible as I won't be able to express myself correctly in the foreign language.
My number one problem is fear of driving. I used to be fine with driving, I failed on my first exam try but passed on my second. However, at my first driving exam, when the policeman failed me he told me that he did that not because I wasn't driving right but because he wasn't feeling safe with me driving. And I really didn't make any mistakes other than not being able to parallel park on a hill while backing up (he really wanted me to fail, I must assume).
But ever since then, I feel very afraid of driving, I feel like I am not there when I am there so even if I'm behind the wheel, I feel like someone else may be driving.
I can't seem to focus and I am extremely afraid of not being in control with what I am doing (engine dieing, shortage of reaction). For example, if an ambulance would need to pass by me and I would have to make a decision of stepping on the walking zone or something, I don't know if I would be able to do it.
The engine dieing is the worst. I am afraid that my engine will die and I won't be able to stop the car (press break or whatever) and will just roll intro traffic.
I feel very very thirsty when I do have to drive and my heart is beating so fast that I can hear it. I also feel like crying almost every time or even at the thought of having to drive someone somewhere on known roads.
I am not afraid of being in a car, as a passenger, if my boyfriend is driving it or my father a bit. Otherwise I am also afraid to just riding.. I am afraid of being in taxis and other cars if I am not 100% sure that the driver knows what he or she is doing. And if they do seem to know what they're doing, then I constantly try to look at their feet and attitude to try to copy it or figure out what it is that I am doing wrong.
What bugs me the most is that I didn't use to be afraid of trying things, especially not driving.
A couple of "forget to set in the right gear" or break now! or mistakes that did not cause any disturbance in the traffic but maybe might have had consequences in another situation and I'm back on the floor again.
I usually think that a successful drive is one where everything goes smoothly but that doesn't happen often.
For example, maybe I need to stop at a gas station..in which case I am very confused of where I should park. I don't understand these Danish roads and sings and ways. A lot of them simply park the car next to a tank and go in to buy something. That's not something we do in my homeland. You need to find an appropriate parking place.
Also, these Danish roads and infrastructures confuse me. Everything looks exactly the same (all houses are red, small, bricks, low landscapes, water everywhere) and I tend not to know where I am or where to turn. I finally got a new phone and planning to use it as a GPS but it's embarrassing when I have to put it on to go to the center just because I need reassurance that I am going in the right direction, especially since I KNOW I am going in the right direction..
I don't know, I kept reading on the Internet and found out that this is a real problem that people struggle with and that somehow gives me comfort. There's so many people ..smart or less smart :) driving just fine and I have 3 bachelors, a great job in a foreign country, really doing a lot of things and managing a lot of situations and confrontations that put a massive stress on me, yet I am not able to drive.
The only time when I felt the heart palpitations was once before, at my new job, where I really think I just had a panic attack based on all the requests that were coming in. I am a Consultant front-end developer at an IT company here.

What do you think?

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Hello, I am Rafael. Thanks for asking your question - I'm here to support you. (Information posted here is not private or confidential but public).

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

I am very sorry to know about your situation, one that seems truly overwhelming.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

What you have described seems to show at very high levels of anxiety leading even to panic like symptoms. Apparently they started when you failed your first driving test, it seems that could have been a traumatic experience for you, intense enough to trigger this anxiety disorder.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You have mentioned you have been facing a lot of stress from different fronts including starting a new job. i would say that, all these stressors just debilitated you even more, making you more vulnerable to develop this anxiety disorder -phobic reaction to driving.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

This is not an uncommon scenario, most times people developing these disorders already present high levels of anxiety, are very sensitive persons and when challenges or difficulties get tough, any new problem could become a traumatic event.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Please do look for "online counseling" using any search engine like Google in order to start getting some adequate support to reduce anxiety and learn how to better cope and rehabilitate from this phobic-panic symptoms. Ideally, if you could get a local fluent English speaking psychotherapist that would be the best for you, but in the mean time, online counseling could give you some necessary support to work on your rehabilitation.

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

Does it make sense?

Customer:

It does make sense! I will go ahead and search for online counseling. Thanks

Rafael M.T.Therapist :

You're very welcome. Please feel free to try rating support again once it was not available before. Thanks. Bye.

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