With driving phobias, not only does the driving itself become physically and emotionally exhausting, but huge amounts of time and mental energy are used in planning and then driving alternative routes or else using public transport.
This is life in the slow lane.
The avoidance and manipulation takes effort too.
All this starts to put pressure on work, social and family life. No longer being able to drive to work, go to the shops, visit family and friends, take the children out on trips and holidays or just drop them off at school and parties has a huge impact on day-to-day living.
Add in the embarrassment and self-doubt (“what’s wrong with me?”) to the loss of freedom, independence and spontaneity, and driving phobia becomes a real limit on living.
Amazingly though, many sufferers will accommodate driving phobia in their lives for years and even decades, believing that they are alone and no-one will understand their fear of driving or be able to help. Some will be lucky enough to have opportunities not to drive at all: perhaps their partner does it all, or they live in a metropolis with congested roads and good public transport or have a private driver.
Most drivers though will get to a point – maybe because of a particularly uncomfortable incident or a change in personal circumstances – when they think “enough is enough” and do something about it. And get help.