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Anxiety with everyday life. I can’t drive anymore.

Community Member
So I’ve been dealing with a little anxiety over the past few months, but last week it came to a head. I drove to work and had an anxiety attack on the way. Now I’ve had a week off work and don’t think I can go back. I haven’t driven my car in a week as well as I’m too anxious to do that. I’ve seen an occupational therapist and I have my psychiatrist next week and started on my antidepressants 2 weeks ago. Everything seems to cause it, little things like cooking as well, not really sure where to go to from here? I’ve had a history of depression and I just hope that if I don’t go to work that my depression doesn’t come back. It really is debilitating at the moment. Any help would be appreciated.
6 Replies 6

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Leroymiss1,

Welcome to the forum and thank you for sharing how you've been feeling.

It seems like a lot of things have come to a head for you all in a few days so I think it's fair to go easy on yourself for a moment. If you feel like you can't go back to work right now, don't pressure yourself. If driving is going to make your anxiety worse, don't worry about driving anywhere for a little while. Public transport can be quite convenient as well.

It's great to see that you're already taking so many steps, like starting antidepressants and seeing a psychiatrist. It might take some time to see big changes, but you're absolutely on the right path. Just take things easy, buy ready made meals or order food if you need to, engage in the activities that give you comfort whether it's watching a favourite show, listening to music or going for a walk.

We're always here on the forums and if you need someone to talk to, Beyond Blue provides 24/7 support on 1300 22 4636.

Hope you're feeling well,


Community Member

Hi Leroymiss1,

I'm really sorry to hear you are struggling at the moment. I feel as though I know what you mean with "everything seems to cause it". I think when you get to that super frazzled state, you need to take a strategic step back. Remove as much pressure as possible - e.g. if cooking is a trigger, just prepare the simplest possible meals that still cover nutritional bases (e.g. toasted sandwiches), don't try to cook complex meals. As Beeee says, if driving is a trigger, avoid driving for a while. Try to simplify your life as much as possible - e.g. if food shopping is a strain, the supermarkets deliver to most places now for an extra 10 bucks, and you can save lists of regular items etc - it's a lifesaver for me as I find supermarkets super stressful.

Sometimes taking a step back can feel like a surrender, or like "letting the anxiety win" or something, but I think it's more a tactical retreat. Avoiding the biggest triggers temporarily doesn't mean avoiding them forever. You can still set little goals to push yourself towards, but when you get to that really frazzled state, I think you have to be careful to set really small, achievable goals, so they don't contribute more pressure, stress and anxiety, and that you suceed at these little goals often enough to get that positive reinforcement. E.g. if driving is a major trigger, you could perhaps resolve to each day walk a small part of the route you usually drive, then walk back home. If you cycle, you could perhaps resolve to cycle part of the route, then cycle back home. If after a few days/weeks you feel more confident, you could resolve to drive out the driveway and perhaps down the street a little, then back home. If the anxiety is managable, you can then try driving longer distances. When you succeed at one of these little mini-goals, write it down and celebrate it. Even though they may seem trivial accomplishments to an outsider, when you're in that super anxious/depressed place, each little step requires huge will-power, and is a major achievement.

Breaking everything down into tiny, tiny, little pieces like this, and working on them slowly, in a way that is compassionate and generous toward yourself, is I think a way to both accept where you're currently at, but also fight back against the anxiety and depression. Hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend 🙂

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Leroymiss1,

Wellcome to our forums.

Im so sorry you are feeling this way I understand it’s hard and debilitating.

I have a lived experience of severe anxiety OCD this condition was horrific to go through but thanks to the professional help I received I’ve now recovered.

One thing I learned about anxiety was don’t do the things your anxiety is telling you to do….. if you do this you will reinforce it.

Stand up to your anxiety you are so much stronger than it.

I remember when I was in the grips of OCD I felt as though I had to keep pushing through mirages due to the thoughts my anxiety was generating.

Im sorry you are finding cooking as one of the things that brings in your anxiety……..

Anxiety can create many intrusive thoughts that you may then obsess over because they feel foreign.

I think it’s great you are going to see a psychiatrist and have started your antidepressant…….. these can take up to 6 weeks to work.

Please don’t allow your anxiety to run your life, stand up to it….. defy it 💪

I found meditation helpful for anxiety and mindfulness.

You will get there, your health professionals can teach you many strategies so you can learn to manage your anxiety.

Please ask me anything

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni


Welcome to the Beyond Blue forums and thank you for being so open here. It sounds like you are going through a really tough time right now. We are all here to support you. Anxiety can be such an annoying thing to deal with, it can stop you from doing things you used to be doing.

You seeing your psychiatrist next week sounds like a great plan. Please keep us updated.

Stay safe and i am always here to chat.

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hi Leroymiss1


Anxiety attacks can be crippling, I am sorry you're facing so much challenge right now. Do you have any self-soothing techniques you have learned with your psychiatrist?

For me when I suffer a strong anxiety attack I need to ground myself with a few different tools. For example, if I am really distressed I stop what I am doing and pick up my journal to vent everything I am feeling, I do a deep breathing exercise (5-10 minutes) and if possible I get out for a short walk or distract myself by reading a book or watching something on tv that's familiar and comforting. Have you tried anything like this before?

Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi there,


I am sorry you are going through anxiety. I know how tough it is, and the positive to coming here is that you will find you are not alone - we are here to help!


You mentioned seeing a psychiatrist, this a great step! Seeing a psychologist and practicing CBT really helped me to get a hold of my anxiety, and I am sure you will find the psychiatrist to be helpful (hopefully), but it does take time - it takes work and things do not happen overnight, be patient with yourself. You are on the road to brighter days by seeking help, so keep your head up. This too shall pass. I know it must be very difficult right now, but all I can say is it will get better in time.


Please come back if you need more support,


Jaz xx