Every human being on this planet has some sort of fear. There are different phobias and each of these have a designated name. You may fear spiders and that’s called arachnophobia. Acrophobia is the fear of heights. If ghosts are scary to you, then that’s called ‘phasmophobia’. There’s another one in the list and it is the fear of driving. While some people fear the idea of driving anywhere, there are some people who fear driving in specific areas. And that includes fear of driving on the express highway or freeway.
Here is an elaborate post that talks about this type of fear. Let’s get started!
What is a freeway?
A freeway is a highway that is created specifically for high-speed vehicular movement. The traffic is smooth on an express way because this road is not bound by traffic signals. There are no at-grade crossings or intersections, and there are no slow driven cars in the freeway.Many drivers enjoy the traffic flow of the freeway since the opposing direction is strategically separated by traffic barriers like boulders or grass.
Driving through a freeway allows you to speed up and reach your destination in time. But, if you cannot overcome fear of driving on the freeway, you seriously need help.
Sign up for therapy sessions
It is true that many people suffer from freeway phobia, but not all of them actually seek professional help. The main reason why you would shy away from proper treatment is the thought of embarrassment. It is a normal human response to feel shame about phobia, but you must not let fear control your life. See a psychologist and sign up for therapy in order to overcome your anxiety. If you are ashamed to let people know about your condition, you can seek a therapist in another town or city. However, you can rest assured that doctors are bound by patient-doctor confidentiality, so your secret is safe.
Freeway phobia treatments
Never ignore your freeway phobia.As much as you want to avoid the express highway, you cannot use the main roads forever. There will always be reasons to drive fast and arrive at a location immediately.Plus, avoiding your phobia is no way to treat it. Fortunately, your specific fear of driving on a freeway can be treated. And treatment is better if done with a professional therapist. But, you can treat yourself if that is what you want. Two of the most common treatments are the following:
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – this treatment allows you to figure out the mistakes in your thinking when you are clouded with fear. It is quite normal to have irrational thoughts when you are gripped with freeway phobia. But most of the time, your fear is unfounded, and that is what CBT aims to correct. This treatment involves allowing you to see through the distorted fear and let reality kick in. You are taught how to distinguish between imaginary threats to real ones. Basically, the cognitive behavior therapy helps you face your thoughts and transition them into good and real ones.
- Exposure Therapy – freeway phobia is associated with agoraphobia, and it is a feeling of being trapped in a situation with no escape. Exposure therapy can help you handle your anxiety over freeways by helping you face your fears. You will have to spend some time in a freeway, and the time increases as you go through the therapy.
Face your freeway fear
“Face your fears” is one of the most popular phrases spoken by many inspirational speakers all over the world. Though some people snort at these words, and you can even argue that it is better said and done, those three words carry a lot of truth. It is not easy, but once you learn how to handle your anxiety when faced with a freeway, your quality of life improves.
When you are about to get on the express highway, you usually feel like you are having a panic attack. It is difficult to breathe, and you sweat and tremble all over. Your typical response is to go to another direction and avoid the freeway altogether. At this point all you can think about is being free from the awful feeling in your gut, and escape from the cause of it. But, if you think about it clearly, what you have accomplished is avoiding your driving fear on a freeway. You are not addressing the problem, which can lead to the mounting of fear and anxiety in your life.
In therapy, you will learn how to address the triggers of your anxiety, and know how to cope with fear. You will figure out that the best way to overcome your distress is to face your fears. It is not an easy road to take, but therapy is your ticket to eliminate this freeway phobia from your system.
See the positive side
Freeways are a bit dangerous, if you look at it with a perspective of a slow driver. This kind of highway is designed to allow cars to speed up without road restrictions. And that could pose a problem for people who follows traffic lights, respects pedestrians, and drive carefully. However, if you can broaden your understanding, you will surely realize that driving on an express highway is actually safe.
Vehicular accidents happen often due to reckless drivers who engage in sudden U-turns to change lanes, or people crossing streets without regard to the pedestrian traffic signs, or by vehicles appearing without warning from the intersections. But in a freeway, you will encounter none of those. There is no pedestrian, no sudden car inserts from another road, and no one can U-turn since the opposing lanes are separated, and not connected.
Driving on a freeway gives you the freedom to drive fast. And though it is scary sometimes, an express highway is still your best option to arrive at your destination quickly.
Whether you are in therapy or engaging in self-help programs, one main component of overcoming freeway phobia is facing it.There is no other way about it. You have to face your fears and drive on freeways as much as you can. Until you can drive through without feeling suffocated with fear, you must continue using the express highway. Always remember to take back the power that your fear stole from you. Do not allow your freeway phobia to dictate how you drive and where to go.