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I have for many years had panic attacks when I would have to ride as a passenger in cars, bus's, anything primarily I was not in control of. This was not a good thing because I was a Ford Tech and subjected to this often riding with customers....I still can not ride with anyone else driving....riding in cabs or bus's is out...Never contemplated riding on an airplane...both for fear of flying and riding....Anyone else suffer from this? I've taken anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medication for years....Im also an IBS sufferer which is part if not all of the problem....
 

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Hi,I think a lot of people here could relate, including me. I find it difficult to be a passenger and not be in control. For me, I think it's the fear that I might get sick or need a bathroom or something. I want to be able to leave a place when I want to, or make a stop if I need to. I haven't been on a plane for years - that's a really tough one for me because I know that I can't go anywhere and "get away" if I need to - I'm "trapped" on the plane with all those people. I'm afraid I have no good advice, except to try being a passenger as often as you can. I think the longer you go WITHOUT being a passenger, the more difficut it will become. I know that's definitely how it was with me and the airplane thing. I used to fly every once in a while, so I wasn't really afraid of it, but now that it's been so long, I'm terrified of it.Good luck!
 

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I totally agree. I always want to take my onw car or be the driver. I think it is a combination of anxieties that have gotten me this way. The only person I don't mind riding with is my Mother. I had to ride downtown with her (with my evil stepfather driving) and as soon as we got out of the car I started throwing up with a terrible headache and instant D attack.
 

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I can certainly relate to absolutely hating being a passenger. My husband never drives as I feel the need to (concentrate on the road to forget my tummy troubles?). I rode with a friend last Wednesday night to a McD's less than a mile from where our kids were at an evening "Sunday School". I was anxious at first, but then I was ok. Don't know if I could do it all the time, but it was a first step. We haven't flown since December 2000, but I will make sure my diet is in order and I have my Immodium the next time we do (which I have no idea when -- not planning on it anytime soon with 2 kids!). I also have a problem sometimes with people (other than my kids and husband) riding with me -- too much chatter when I just want to chill and get used to being in the car. And I thought I was the only one who had this issue......I'm going to my GYN for a check up at the end of January and talk to her about anti-anxiety meds (instead of the Sarafem I take), to possibly calm me down. I'm also planning on seeing a different GI -- I had a colonoscopy last February, which indicated nothing (thank goodness). I really feel that I get terribly worked up when I get ready to get in the car. I'm fine up until the point where we're going to walk out the door. Would love to hear suggestions from others on how they manage this!
 

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I'm so glad to hear that I'm not the only one who insists on being the family "chauffeur." Driving helps me to keep my mind off my stomach. It's so weird though because I will be perfectly fine until I get in the car. The moment I leave my home, my stomach starts to hurt. I'm sure it's psychosomatic (sp?) but it's so frustrating. Interestingly enough, I don't have any problem with flying. My secret is that I always request an aisle seat near the restrooms and I always get a special meal. This way, I'm served first and get to use the restroom while everyone else is still finishing their regular meals. It's worked perfectly for me each time. And I've done it both on domestic and international flights with no problem.
 

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I have the same problem. I hate to ride in the car unless it is with my parents or my husband. I feel this way because it causes me to not be in control. I am also afraid of the embarrassment I may suffer in the event I need to stop instantly to use the bathroom. The one thing I have found that makes it easier is offering to drive and simply explaining that I have a stomach condition. The other thing that helps me is if I am not driving to make sure that I know where all of the restrooms are on the way there. This somehow eases my mind. I am getting better as the years go by.
 

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I'm with you all on this - can't stand being a passenger, because I can't control stopping when I need to or leaving when I need to. I also worry about flying for the simple fact that when the seat belt sign is lit prior to taking off or landing, there's a period of time that i absolutely cannot get out of my seat. That is precisely when my stomach starts to tell me it needs to go. As soon as I'm allowed to get up my stomach is fine, until landing and it starts again. Seems really freaky, but it helps alot that others have similar issues.
 

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Boy, can I relate to the seat belt sign on the airplane! I have not flown since before Sept. 2001, so I cannot imagine what my stomach would be like now with all the restrictions in place and getting up when you shouldn't! I need to get mine under control before I fly again! My mom lives in Hawaii, so other than the slow boat, that's the only way!
 

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I can't believe I found this board! I thought I was the only one in the world that has this driver control problem. My own family thinks I am so strange for always driving. My sister came for a visit and everyone piled into the car to go up to the snow and I insisted on taking my own car. They all thought I was crazy and I am sure they talk about me all of the time. Sometimes I take a chance and go as a passenger w/friends and then have panic/anxiety attacks in the car and then the ibs starts in. It is a vicious cycle. I am okay on trains (more space) but horrible on planes. We spent last year in Europe and we took the ship across the atlantic. It was a fabulous way to travel. Coming home after a year, I was nervous about flying the whole time. I worry about not being able to get up, use the restroom, have a potential accident. It consumes my thoughts to the point of nausea. I was heavily sedated and still felt sick flying but made it home on 15 hours. Have friends coming to visit next month and they all want to drive together somewhere. I can't stand a lot of people in the car so I think of ways to not go w/them. I probably need to explain to them the problem and get on with it...
 

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Gosh Gracie, I am the same way about having others in the car! It used to be, I didn't mind it because it meant I was doing the driving. Now, it bothers me. I'm hoping the Zoloft will ease some of those thoughts.
 

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Man, it's so good to read what you guys have to say! God bless you all! I've had the same problem ever since my first year university, so about five or more years now. I just panic whenever I have to travel. Like you all said, it's fine when it's your car, when your driving, or maybe if it's just you and a family member. But when you're with someone else, that you don't know very well and you don't feel in control, damn, it's torture. And don't even get me started on public transportation! Any buses, trains, planes etc, without a bathroom and I'm suffering. Anything longer than a half an hour is toture. You get nervous, which makes you feel sick, which makes you more nervous, which makes you more sick . . . it goes on and on. I'm very new to this site, but I feel so relieved to find you all are in the same or similar situations. I'm still in the process of dealing with my anxiety, it's so hard, as you all know, because of the taboo of the whole thing. I try to identify foods that cause problems, etc, but it's not easy. Can anyone offer any general advice to a newcomer?
 

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I also have the car trigger. I have to take my own car pretty much everywhere or else i dont go. Ive been taking Zoloft for 5 days now so im hoping that it helps.
 

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Hi Lori, I've been taking Zoloft for a week now. I started last Monday with 25 mg, and this Monday started the 50 mg. I don't know if I see a difference just yet. I'm also still taking my one or two immodium in the morning as extra insurance because I still get those twinges upon setting out in the morning in the car. I hope we both see some results. Take care!
 

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J.R., don't worry you're in good company! I don't take public transportation at all -- I'd rather drive into the city and pay to park. I wish I could offer some advice, but I'm in the same boat! But this is a great source of information this Board!
 

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Narm,Thanks for your post! It's comforting to talk to other people who are suffering, many of them a lot more than me. I'm convinced the mental factor in this problem is one of the biggest problems, but trying to deal with it is so hard. And I don't want to have to start taking any drugs. It's tough, but knowing other people are here helps, like I said. Take care and all the best!
 

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hi guys, I totally agree with all of you guys. My big car test comes on sunday when i will have to do a two hour each way car journey.i have done this journey many time before and have had attacks whilst doing this trip, but usually hubby is there to get me to the loo. this time i will be alone with my kids witch i think is making me worse as if i have an attack there will only be me and my boys will have to be alone in the car.I am gonna take immodium as precaution.
 

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hello all, well i did it. and did not have an attack. i did how ever have 2 attacks in the week but i was home so no worries.
 

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i am the same exact way with the flying thing. However i want to travel to so many places, but lately it's just too much of a hastle. If i don't have an aisle seat near the bathroom i fel uptight the whole time. Also, when you take one of those flights where you don't have assigned seats, you just get there and line up, i want to be one of the first there so i get a seat near a bathroom, but then thats usually at least an hour and a half before we board so obviously i'm going to have to go to the bathroom 7425270 times...it's ok when i'm travelling with someone who will save our spot in line, but i'm so afraid i'll never be able to travel alone or anything. This friday i'm seeing a therapist who specializes in biofeedback, this can really reduce your anxiety. He also has a behavioral clinic (where he does hypnotherapy that i'm definitely going to do) I have pain due to IBS but i'm convinced that any diarhhea i ever get (which isnt true diarhhea it's just nerves that make me go until the nerves go away)is all in my head. I really think cognitive-behavioral therapy could help everyone who has this sort of problem. As some of you said, you're fine when you know theres a bathroom available, but the minute you know you can't get to one you have to go. Theres definitely a mental reason for that.
 

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I'm so glad you all have shared your experiences. I've been dealing with flying/passenger problems for almost 30 years now and I have yet to find a good solution. Instead I've quit flying, with my last flight in '98, and I avoid being a passenger or subjecting myself to any situation where I might not have immediate access to a bathroom. I'll be very interested to hear how the therapy works out. Currently I'm trying different meds to see if any of them will help settle my gut in turn eliminate my anxiety attacks. NuLev didn't help, so I just started on L-Glutamine. If I have any success I'll be sure to come back and let you all know.
 

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Hi folks, I have the same problems too. And I will be going to China for 10 days for 'pleasure'
and I'm already having nightmares of the tour buses and taxis
Family paid for the trip last year so I can't bail out of it. I'm hoping the the "I drank the water" excuse will work
 
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