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Here are some questions and answers for coping with and solving driving anxiety

Anxiety questions and answers.

- Why do I have so much difficulty trying to drive like most people do? Because you had experiences early in life that has over sensitized you to perceive driving as threatening and believe there is little you can do about it. image

Try to think of three people attempting to cross a busy street. Observation will show that they do not all choose to cross at the same time. Why? Well, all three people know that crossing the street is dangerous, and therefore a threat to their safety. If two of those people cross the street safely, why does the third person continues to wait longer when they were all standing together? The answer is that after the real threat had passed, the two people who crossed the street first had also evaluated the situation and determined that the danger was minimal enough to cross when they did. The third person - you -- stayed behind temporarily paralyzed because your sense of danger is still on high alert.

This is what driving anxiety is like. Since the first two people were able to cross safely, it can be said therefore that the third person may have street crossing anxiety; that is of course owing to the fact that all three are crossing the road legally.

So, the answer to the question is that most people are able to extinguish the stimulating effects of anxiety by reduced threat reassessment, whereas others - you - always perceive the threat to be present, even when it's minimal. We all have anxiety. The difference is in how we react to it.

Fine, that's all understood. So, why do these people react so differently from the same threats? The answer may be serotonin - a complicated chemical that among other things helps to define personality. If you have unusually high levels of serotonin in your brain, you may be compulsive, extremely tidy and cautious as in crossing the street.

Q - Can my anxiety cause headache or migraine? Keep in mind that a migraine is simply inflammation of some sort, especially of a particular nerve in the head - (trigeminal  neuralgia) caused by an outside stimulus, such as food, smell, sight or anxiety, or damage to the nerve (high blood pressure may also be an issue).

My experience is yes. The majority of students with high anxiety have frequent migraines. The reason is that when people become stressed the pituitary gland along with the adrenal gland releases cortisol, including many other hormones into the blood stream. That's what gets you all revved up.

This becomes a problem when high amounts of cortisol remains in the body too long, because among other issues, low serotonin is one negative result. Serotonin imbalance may trigger the formation of neuropeptides which can cause pain in areas known as meninges. Low serotonin can cause you to crave crabs and sugar, which easily gets stored as fat. This may be a good remedy for obsessive-compulsive disorder, but too low can make people overly impulsive.

Cortisol is a product of insulin which carries tryptophan to the brain, thus low insulin level affects tryptophan transport because it creates serotonin which makes you feel better. Serotonin then creates melatonin which helps to get you sleeping well. There are many reasons why these hormones may not function correctly (too high or low), but when they are out of whack, anxiety becomes a difficult problem to solve.

With migraines, simple stimuli such a particular smell or sweetener products may be your trigger. The migraine may persist because after the stimuli have passed no deactivation signal has been sent (neurotransmitters). Blurred vision, zigzag lines, nausea, or strange lights are precursors.

In the case of migraine, avoid milk consumption since it increases inflammation. Stress and inflammation do not mix well, but do consume cocoa - ( except when you are anxious) it is an antioxidant. When stress becomes a mood disorder with headache effects, the circadian rhythm can be affected resulting in deep R.E.M sleep interruptions. You can also check out migraine head bands for more help. Cortisol is a stress hormone that in high concentrations can cause problems when it remains in your body for too long. That in summary is the destructive issue for anxiety victims. My conversations with students indicate that something stimulate migraines into action. That something has a lot to do with stress or fear, although as in anxiety, inheritance is a factor.

Migraines may also occur when the pituitary gland is unable to deactivate stimuli after the threat or fear has gone. High adrenaline along with cortisol and their effects may be proof of this. A doctor can test your stress level - cortisol - by a simple saliva test. This is important because mirganes are a risk factor for stroke.

Q - Without therapy, is there anything I can take or do to help me to overcome driving anxiety??

This is not a real solution, but some people may find it relieving to drive a larger vehicle (SUV) in order to increase their sense of control and confidence.

First, do not assume anything.You are here for help. Minutes before an important event, or exam, write down or draw out everything about any negative feelings and thoughts that you have. Anxious people are usually obsessing about too many unnecessary thoughts. You need to find a way to dump the negative feelings so that your mind can focus on the task at hand. This really works, so try it.
Also, when you anticipate an anxiety provoking event, such as a driving lesson or road test, it is possible to calm yourself by dimming the lights in your room, with doors closed and soft music to help subdue the feeling. Focus on your breathing, while tensing and relaxing different muscles in your legs, arms and stomach. It is because of this reason why yoga is often a first step when trying to ease the discomfort of anxiety. You can even try to induce or provoke your own anxiety causing events by simulation. You may contact me for additional help on this.

Here is my favorite resolution. Go back to the event or condition when you first experienced the anxiety. It was not a pleasant experience, correct? Now what you need to do from here is recreate or relearn the bad experience just like it all happened in a good way. Yes this will all take place in your imagination, but where does anxiety exist? You know the answer. By performing this exercise, you can begin to rationalize the anxiety to its cause and gain a sense of control when you realize that all events can have two outcomes. Focus on how you could have made the traumatic event better, and accept your realization of that truth. Now do an analysis of your beliefs. Use the real activities of your daily life as a measure for the validity of any irrational beliefs.

Next try this for migraines: Avoid drinking coffee completely, then when you feel the migraine coming on - have a cup of coffee. It will stop or lessen the severity. In worse case situations, anxiety can be the result of dyspnea or potentiate dyspnea, benzodiazepines and removal of environmental stimuli can improve anxiety and possibly improve breathlessness.

Natural herbs may be of interest also, especially St. John's wort, it has few side effects and appears to alter serotonin function.

Prozac prozac - fluoxetine (and paxil) was invented at Eli Lilly. It works by inhibiting the reabsorption of serotonin into neurons. This increases the amount of serotonin in the brain, and thus lessens the feeling of anxiety and depression by making people more optimistic. Some doctors may use botulinum toxin - Botox or even blood pressure medications. Treatment with Tofranil is intended to desensitize by breaking down nor-epinephrine and serotonin. Then there is Lithium - a mood-stabilizing drug available in nature (salt).

Note: Some drugs have terrible side effects - blurred vision, constipation, drowsiness, sexual dysfunction, weight gain, nausea, insomnia and even death when mixed with cold medications or Tyramine foods. Be aware that these drugs require a doctor's approval.
There is also the choice of using electroconvulsive therapy when drugs are ineffective. This form of therapy is geared at changing brain chemistry by affecting neurotransmitters through use of quick electric shocks in the brain that produces seizures.

Great foods for relieving anxiety and stress. It is possible to take tryptophan supplements with fruits before bed, because it needs insulin to do its work before serotonin, which makes melatonin. You can also do this before driving since serotonin makes you feel good about what you are doing. Also, check out vitamin B-6, it helps to promote neurotransmitter effectiveness. Next, definitely snack on blueberries, dark chocolate, fatty fish and omega-3-rich foods including sunflower seeds - a staple snack at baseball games.

Finally, avoid driving during the early evenings into darkness, because as melatonin increases serotonin levels decreases, otherwise you will need more tryptophan uptake to make more serotonin. You can do this by eating more carbohydrates such as snacks which creates insulin in the pancreas. So, by changing your eating habits and behavior, you can affect your anxiety by changing your serotonin levels.

A doctor should be consulted on the use of opioids for the treatment of shortness of breath, due to the potential side effects.
Now smile and go out there and drive with RoyDrive