Amaxophobia, the irrational fear of driving

The number of customs and habits has become much more varied with the technological progress, And the exact same thing happened with the phobia repertoire.

Fear of driving or amaxophobia

As we saw in the article on strange phobias, it is not uncommon today to have a pathological fear of a myriad of elements, some of which only appear in fiction. The phobia we’ll be talking about today, however, is more related to everyday life, but it is still serious. It’s the amaxophobia or afraid to drive.

What is amaxophobia?

To put it simply, it is the fear of driving pushed to an extreme pathologicalIn other words, it creates problems and difficulties for us and worsens the quality of life of those who experience it.

The origin of the phobia can be found in past experiences related to driving experience, but it is also possible that it occurs in people who have never been able to drive for the first time. This means that at the onset of amaxophobia, first-person experiences but also preconceived ideas or information provided by third parties may participate.

Why is this happening?

Several psychological facets explain the fear of driving.

  1. In the cognitive aspect, fatalistic thoughts are usually given in which a fatal accident is anticipated. These thoughts can be stories embodied in pictures that repeat themselves over and over again without much that can be done to try to suppress them. There may also be memories related to traffic accidents that one has already heard about, statistics of road fatalities, etc.

  2. Emotionally, anxiety and stress experienced at specific times are normal. These emotional states are nothing more than the tip of an iceberg of which hormonal and physiological processes such as sweating, rapid pulse and muscle tension are a part. Blurred vision or nausea may also appear.

  3. As for the material aspects surrounding amaxophobia, there are a few rituals initiated before you start driving., The indefinite postponement of driving (although some responsibilities require you to take your own vehicle), driving at low speeds, etc.

These three aspects feed off of each other and perpetuate or even worsen the degree of driving phobia, as they have a circular effect in which fear and stress only increase.

Of course, it is not uncommon to experience fear while driving a vehicle, especially if you have little experience with it and a failure can endanger your own life and the lives of others (a situation that occurs on virtually all roads). However, amaxophobia is an irrational fear that cannot be justified and, precisely because of this, it’s hard to fight. However, the fact that it is not easy to treat does not mean that it is impossible to drastically lessen its effects.

How is the fear of driving treated?

There are several fronts from which the phobia can be attacked to hunt cognitive behavioral intervention.

First of all, it is good to realize the nature of amaxophobia, because in this way the person who experiences it will be able to understand what is happening to them and will know what it involves and what it does not involve being afraid. To drive. However, this measure does not serve to produce improvement in itself, as the phobia is not based on the rational. Either way, it serves to demarcate the problem and know how to deal with it from there.

It is good to train at self-study techniques to the person with amaxophobia. Following self-instructions involves following some kind of imaginary script to figure out what to do and in what order. This makes it possible to better understand at all times what is the immediate purpose of driving and to shift attention from anticipatory catastrophic thoughts.

Attacking the emotional side of the phobia is also imperative, and this can be done by following techniques to combat anxiety before and while driving. Those that directly involve the control of breathing are especially important, as it helps to have an appropriate heart rate and prevents the brain from being overwhelmed by the circumstances.

In addition to all that, it is common to combat it with gradual exposure to the source of fear. This means taking small approaches to driving by setting increasingly ambitious goals. It usually starts with someone’s company, but in later stages the person should be able to drive without any company. It is usually during exposure to the phobic source that results are seen, and this can work in favor of the person’s motivation.

It’s not all white or black

As in all phobias, to amaxophobia there are different degrees of severity. This means that for some people it can involve suffering a lot of nerves when driving at high speed on a freeway or freeway, while in other cases it can be scary to just start the engine.

The key point is knowing how to identify the extent of this phobia in each specific case and adapt strategies to combat it according to it.

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