How to Get Over Your Fear of Driving in Madrid

Published 18/01/2019
miedo a conducir en Madrid

Amaxophobia, or the fear of driving in Madrid, is an illness that currently affects many drivers at varying degrees. It is characterised by an intense feeling of constant and disproportionate fear every time you have to drive or even when you imagine yourself behind the wheel of a car.

Factors that make you afraid to drive

This feeling is accompanied by a very high level of anxiety that incapacitates and cripples you. In addition, it conditions you to avoid exposing yourself to the situation that you fear the most. It should be noted that this pathology is very different from the insecurity you may feel when you’ve just gotten your driver’s license, since this type of fear disappears on its own as you gain experience at the wheel. On the contrary, this disorder that we’re talking about here requires professional help due to the fear and anxiety you suffer from.

Studies indicate that most patients feel fear and anxiety at the wheel mainly due to the way that other drivers drive. However, as with other specific phobias, the origin of this pathology can be due to multiple factors.

Just like post-traumatic stress, which is also one of the most common reasons for suffering from this disorder, having a traffic accident or a mishap on the road of lesser or greater magnitude can cause high levels of tension, anxiety and panic.

In the same way, it’s not strictly necessary for you to have experienced this type of circumstance first-hand in order to be extremely afraid of driving in Madrid. It could also be the result of the experience of a loved one or a close friendship.

Also, having little experience at the wheel, being insecure and not having enough self-confidence can be other factors that predispose you to suffering from amaxophobia, in addition to leading a busy lifestyle or exposure to continuous episodes of stress and tension in your day-to-day life.

Another reason is if you are prone to suffering from stress, anxiety and depression on a regular basis, or if you fear not being in control of your circumstances.

What to do if you are afraid to drive in Madrid

Overcoming this fear requires perseverance and hard work, but amaxophobia can be treated and cured by addressing it the right way. Next, we will give you a few strategies that you can carry out to get your fear under control.

1. Acknowledge the problem

There are many people who suffer from fear and anxiety while driving. Therefore, don’t feel embarrassed about it and ask for help from a phobia specialist. It’s important that you learn to identify how your fear manifests itself, when it appears and to what degree.

2. Use relaxation techniques

Learning how to relax is one of the best methods to both prevent and control excess anxiety. In addition, it helps you to concentrate on the present and prevents your thoughts from anticipating events in a distorted way.

The best thing to do is to practice these techniques when you feel relaxed, so that you can then apply them without difficulty when you are experiencing elevated amounts of tension.

3. Control your breathing

When you experience an episode of anxiety and fear, your breathing is often altered and becomes quick and superficial. This causes your panic and tension to increase even more. Deep breathing, or diaphragmatic breathing, is one of the best tools for calming your nerves and clearing your mind.

Diaphragmatic breathing consists of breathing in through your nose and letting the air go all the way down to inflate your belly. Hold in your breath for about five seconds and then release it slowly through your mouth. You must repeat this process three or four times in a row so that your breathing returns to normal.

4. Virtual reality

To overcome your fear, you must face it gradually. When you have a disorder like amaxophobia, you start by practicing with a simulator. This helps you overcome your disorder little by little, while strengthening your driving skills.

5. In vivo exposure

The treatment of amaxophobia is finished when you are able to drive normally in real situations. To do this, you must start with short, simple routes that you are already familiar with. Progressively, and once you gain confidence in yourself, you proceed to travel longer distances with more traffic.

In conclusion, the fear of driving in Madrid is a very serious disorder that affects many drivers in varying degrees. It’s extremely important that you identify this problem as soon as possible and ask for the necessary help. You will then be able to not let the fear control you or prevent you from leading a normal life.

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