Fear of driving (Vehophobia) is an issue suffered by many people, especially those who have been injured in serious car accidents.
Many of those who suffer from vehophobia choose not to drive due to fear and anxiety. This can be extremely disruptive to someone’s way of life. Common causes of anxiety while driving are:
- The fear of getting into another accident, despite the fact that they have been driving for years
- The fear they may suffer a panic attack while driving, which they think could cause harm to them or others
- The thought of driving causes them to suffer crippling and extreme anxiety
- Extreme fear that they may harm or kill someone else
Regardless of the reason why some people become afraid of driving after an accident, the consequences can be extremely debilitating.
If you have ever suffered an anxiety attack, or panic attack, in your life, you realize how scary this can be. Apart from causing the general uncomfortableness, this phobia can also impact everyday routines. The sufferer cannot perform routine tasks such as picking kids from the school, fetching groceries from the nearest store, or driving to work.
Thankfully, there are therapies available for the treatment of this Vehophobia. In this post, St. Louis auto accident attorney will discuss some of these treatment options.
Medication is a useful tool to help reduce anxiety, but most therapists attempt behavioral therapies first. In cases of extreme and debilitating anxiety, medication is used alongside other therapies. Beta blockers and sedatives are most the common medications used for the treatment of vehophobia.
Psychotherapy is the most commonly used technique for the treatment of anxiety disorders, alongside medications. Behavioral and cognitive therapies are two forms of psychotherapy. Cognitive therapy is used to help the patient adapt to their anxiety causing thought patterns. Behavioral therapy helps patients contest undesirable fear-related behaviors.
Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE)
Prolonged Exposure Therapy (PE) is a form of cognitive and behavior therapy used to treat post-traumatic stress disorder, obsessive-compulsive disorder, and anxiety disorder. The therapy consists of the patient re-experiencing the anxiety-inducing traumatic event by revisiting the painful memory or by way of exposure to the fear.
Hypnotherapy, also referred to as hypnosis, uses intense concentration, guided relaxation, and focused attention to help the patient process specific tasks or thoughts. Hypnosis is helpful as an aid to psychotherapy and helps the patient confront the deeper issues involved in their phobia.
Taking a defensive driving course can also help overcome the fear of driving after a car accident.
If you or someone close to you has developed vehophobia after a serious car accident, make sure you are adequately compensated for your mental suffering as well. Contact a competent and qualified St. Louis car accident attorney to get help with your claim.