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Anxiety For Many Worsens During Holiday Season


November 2008, MADISON, WI., - As the holidays approach, for most of us, itís a time of happiness and excitement as we anticipate gathering with our friends and family to celebrate the season. But for a growing number of others, the holidays are a time of fear, anxiety, dread, and depression.

When you think of any classic holiday scene, you probably think of a family exchanging presents by a tree and the roar of a cozy fire, or gathered around a overflowing table, laughing and enjoying the feast. But what you donít see, what most take for granted, is how everyone got there. You probably didnít envision the drive over to Grandmaís or Mom and Dadís houseÖbut if youíre one of the many with a fear of driving, you most certainly did.

Fear about driving, or anxiety about a particular driving situation such as driving over bridges or on the highway is a serious concern for many, and the increased travel requirements of the holiday season fill what should be a joyous time with anxiety or even panic.

Driving may now lead to panic attacks on the road, sudden, terrifying episodes of intense fear characterized by symptoms such as a rapid heartbeat, sweating, trembling, a choking sensation, fear of a loss of control, and other scary, irrational thoughts such as the fear of driving off the road, into oncoming traffic, or off a bridge.

Itís not uncommon for those with driving anxiety to avoid driving for years to avoid their fear, even decades. The cost of avoidance is high - occupations are limited, socializing is difficult, and confidence is shaken.

The good news is that there is hope for those that suffer from a fear of driving. There are coping techniques that can be learned in a relatively short amount of time that can dramatically decrease the symptoms of the anxiety.

Rich Presta, author of the Driving Fear Program at, a self-help program specifically designed for the fear of driving says, ďOnce an individual learns why they react in an anxious manner to driving, and how they can actually control and influence that reaction, they realize they are in a position of power over their fear and not controlled by it. This can be extraordinarily liberating and literally open up virtually limitless options the sufferer previously didnít feel were available to them due to their fear.Ē

This holiday season, as you drive to your loves ones home to gather with your family, remember that the activities you take for granted can be very difficult for some, and you truly are fortunate. If you have a fear of driving, remember that help is available, itís something you can overcome, and youíre not alone. By taking steps to overcome your fear, this could be the last holiday season you need to endure your anxiety about driving.

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If you would like more information about or the Driving Fear Program, or to set up an interview with Rich Presta please call: 1-800-256-9148 email:


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 driving anxiety
 driving phobia

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