Anxiety/panic Attacks

Topic 13655 | Page 1

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Pianoman's Comment
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Hey guys, I've been solo driving out of training for about two months now with no major issues, but the last couple weeks I've started experiencing a ton of anxiety. I'm not worried about backing and driving in difficult conditions--I've been doing fine with those situations. I just have been finding it alot harder to think clearly and communicate effectively with people, and sometimes I just downright panic a little bit. Again, it's nothing that is negatively affecting my driving and causing me to be a danger to others out on the road, but I'm still definitely concerned about it.

I couldn't find any other info about this on the forum, so is this normal for a new driver? Is this just a temporary adjustment phase I'm going through or do I need some professional help?

Paul

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Pianoman's Comment
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I forgot to mention I think loneliness might be part of it too.

Errol V.'s Comment
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Part of this business is being alone for hours on end - even for several days. You can get on Facebook of Twitter, but those aren't the same as face to face talking with another human. I personally don't mind it so much but, sure, it is better to have a chat with somebody sometime. I do call my wife every day for maybe 15 - 20 minutes, buy that's me.

With a lot of time alone, it's possible your mind begins thinking about your driving and your job, and this thought pattern just goes downhill into worry and anxiety. That has happened to me sometimes. Paul, I can't offer you solution, but just know you're not the only one who might worry too much - more than you need to.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
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Good points. I talk on the phone. Play pandora too. Passes the time. My anxiety left as soon as I got my own truck. It was training. That made me crazy.

Have u noticed any triggers? Is it after u talk about home issues? During certain weather or time of day? Even after eating something in particular

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Part of this business is being alone for hours on end - even for several days. You can get on Facebook of Twitter, but those aren't the same as face to face talking with another human. I personally don't mind it so much but, sure, it is better to have a chat with somebody sometime. I do call my wife every day for maybe 15 - 20 minutes, buy that's me.

With a lot of time alone, it's possible your mind begins thinking about your driving and your job, and this thought pattern just goes downhill into worry and anxiety. That has happened to me sometimes. Paul, I can't offer you solution, but just know you're not the only one who might worry too much - more than you need to.

Thanks Errol. Thinking too much does seem to be a big part of it. I tend to not listen to music very much because it can be distracting, but I usually end up filling the silence at some point with my thoughts. I like it because I like to keep my mind working, but lately it's been turning into this downward spiral that really, really sucks. And after a while, I feel like I'm losing my mind. When I first got out solo, I absolutely loved the solitude and wasn't a bit lonely. It's funny--I didn't really think this was about loneliness, but now that you are helping me think through it, I can see maybe I was wrong.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

Good points. I talk on the phone. Play pandora too. Passes the time. My anxiety left as soon as I got my own truck. It was training. That made me crazy.

Have u noticed any triggers? Is it after u talk about home issues? During certain weather or time of day? Even after eating something in particular

Hmm, I hadn't really thought too much about triggers. I have insulin-dependent diabetes--that seems to be the biggest, or at least most consistent trigger. I do what I can to control my blood sugar, and I do a pretty good job (otherwise I wouldn't have made it through the process to get an exemption), but it still goes off track sometimes. I guess the other big trigger is when I start thinking about my health, finances, and goals. Third is being alone 22-24 hours a day. Lack of sleep might be another.

Dang, I hadn't really thought about it this way, just thought I was going crazy! Thanks for helping me think through this guys! Looks like I need to work on getting more sleep and finding ways to distract myself from thinking so much.

Brett Aquila's Comment
member avatar

One of the very first realizations I had about life on the road was the utter solitude. I mean, you spend like 20 out of every 24 hours alone and the four hours you're around people they're all strangers. Fortunately for me I was always a loner from the time I was a kid so I was able to adapt easily enough. But I succinctly remember having the thought, "If I'm going to spend all of my time alone I had better learn how to enjoy it"......and so I did. Of course this was in '93 before the Internet and cell phones were mainstream so I had a never ending cycle of paperback books, exercised quite a bit, and did a lot of sightseeing wherever I happened to be.

I would suggest getting some good exercise too. It's amazing how negative feelings tend to dissolve when you've exhausted yourself physically. Next time you're feeling stressed go for a good run or exercise pretty hard with push ups, pull ups, squats & jumping, or anything else you can come up with. A really hard workout followed by a nice meal and relaxing with a good book is a great way to end a day.

Actually now that I think about it audio books while you're driving and regular books while you're sitting would be a great way to get more productive and enjoyable thoughts in your mind.

Not getting good sleep can cause a lot of anxiety too. If you're feeling lethargic and having days where you just can't seem to get your head off the pillow you might not be sleeping well. It could be sleep apnea , it could be the stress is causing it, it's hard to say. Again, heavy exercise, a nice meal, and a good book are a great way to wind down and get ready for a great night's sleep.

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

Pianoman's Comment
member avatar

One of the very first realizations I had about life on the road was the utter solitude. I mean, you spend like 20 out of every 24 hours alone and the four hours you're around people they're all strangers. Fortunately for me I was always a loner from the time I was a kid so I was able to adapt easily enough. But I succinctly remember having the thought, "If I'm going to spend all of my time alone I had better learn how to enjoy it"......and so I did. Of course this was in '93 before the Internet and cell phones were mainstream so I had a never ending cycle of paperback books, exercised quite a bit, and did a lot of sightseeing wherever I happened to be.

I would suggest getting some good exercise too. It's amazing how negative feelings tend to dissolve when you've exhausted yourself physically. Next time you're feeling stressed go for a good run or exercise pretty hard with push ups, pull ups, squats & jumping, or anything else you can come up with. A really hard workout followed by a nice meal and relaxing with a good book is a great way to end a day.

Actually now that I think about it audio books while you're driving and regular books while you're sitting would be a great way to get more productive and enjoyable thoughts in your mind.

Not getting good sleep can cause a lot of anxiety too. If you're feeling lethargic and having days where you just can't seem to get your head off the pillow you might not be sleeping well. It could be sleep apnea , it could be the stress is causing it, it's hard to say. Again, heavy exercise, a nice meal, and a good book are a great way to wind down and get ready for a great night's sleep.

You know what? My wife, who is going to school right now for sports and exercise science, told me the exact same thing about exercising! I guess I should listen to her a little more...rofl-1.gif

I have noticed that listening to audio books while driving really helps pass the time and satisfy that desire to keep my mind active. I just haven't bought any the last couple weeks since I've been so tight on money--those things can get expensive! Maybe I should start budgeting $15-20 a week for audio books since they are so helpful though. I do read when off-duty sometimes--I will start doing that more.

Thanks for the helpful ideas. I think I'll try implementing these ideas and post back on this thread in a couple weeks to let you guys know if/how much they helped, so if someone else starts having the same issues they can read it and learn from my experiences.

Safe driving y'all!

Sleep Apnea:

A physical disorder in which you have pauses in your breathing, or take shallow breaths, during sleep. These pauses can last anywhere from a few seconds to a few minutes. Normal breathing will usually resume, sometimes with a loud choking sound or snort.

In obstructive sleep apnea, your airways become blocked or collapse during sleep, causing the pauses and shallow breathing.

It is a chronic condition that will require ongoing management. It affects about 18 million people in the U.S.

HOS:

Hours Of Service

HOS refers to the logbook hours of service regulations.
JakeBreak's Comment
member avatar

If anyone has Sirius radio and doesn't want to buy audio books channel 148 is the old radio classics station. They play all the old radio shows from the 50s

Truckin Along With Kearse's Comment
member avatar

Guess what? I write books and have free coupon codes for my audiobooks if anyone is willing to listen and write reviews. They are between 2 to 10 hours depending in the title. You can find them on amazon or audible.com under Rhoda D'Ettore. Suspense ..historical spy... thriller.. comedy.. and even a little erotica

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