For most people they look at this video and think “What freak out?”, “What is Dan Harris Talking about”. For those of us who know and live with anxiety we now exactly which freak out. We can spot it the second it starts to happen and like Dan we are an expert at bailing out gracefully. We get up abruptly to take a fake phone call, we run out the store as if we left the wallet in the car, we check out pockets and say we forgot our keys and pretend to run back somewhere. My ability to relate to this, actually makes the video below hard to watch.
I’ve had panic attacks before but never in front of millions of people. Here is a super successful individual, with all the resources in the world available to him and he is having the same panic attack issues that I’m having and revealing this issue to his fans.
So what drove him to this?
Dan, in his book states that the use of recreational drugs is what prompted the attack that you see on air. He says because of his anxiety that he self-medicated which caused his panic attack. During the report shown below he states that,
it was those recreational drugs, my doctor would later tell me, that almost certainly produced that on-air panic attack. But losing it in front of 5 million people became a turning point. It set me off on a strange, unplanned odyssey.
I HAVE A PROBLEM WITH THAT STATEMENT
think that is an excuse. I don’t think that it was the drugs – which he later reveals was ecstasy and cocaine. Yes, they probably helped the panic attacked but I would not say produced. This leads the general population to believe that anxiety sufferers must be doing something wrong. This takes away from his message that “anyone can suffer” from this.
If my friends and family read this story, they will never understand what I’m going through. In fact they might think I’m doing something I shouldn’t be doing that’s why I’m having he problems I’m having.
While I commend Dan for revisiting this and revealing the issue; I think as one of the top news reporters in the country he should have been slightly more responsible in the statements that he put out regarding this and the promotion of his book. He should be an expert at releasing the right message to the media.
He should have made it clear that the anxiety and panic attacks caused him to take the drugs, not that taking the drugs caused the panic attack. If he removes that statement – then the message becomes clear. I would love to get feedback on this, what do you think?
Here is the news story below.
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Most commonly called driving anxiety; this could prove to be very dangerous, especially because it typically happens during the most precarious parts of a drive. This is when adrenaline is released in your body and triggers the panic symptoms; driving on the side of a tractor trailer, driving over a long bridge, driving down a long windy two lane road. Those are just a few scenarios that could generate anxiety and many times It happens with very little warning.
Most common root causes are the memories of being in an accident. It doesn’t matter if you were the driver or not. Other root causes could be totally non car related. A person can be going through so much personally that the sense of danger pushes them over the edge. It could be a family member that’s ill, a bitter divorce or the loss of a job.
Now that we know that it can happen to any of us, and why. What do we do when it happens. Here are 5 tips that will help you out if you are experiencing “Driving Anxiety”:
- Your favorite song – listen to your favorite music. This will bring you to a place mentally where you are familiar. Many times you associate your favorite song with good times so this will help to lower stress and remind you of better times.
- Snack – have some light things to snack on like fruits or nuts. This will keep your body busy giving it something to do rather than releasing adrenaline.
- Have your Cell phone handy – This will give you a sense of peace. You know that if something happened you can make a phone call and help is on its way.
- If you are having an attack, try and pull over immediately. Get out of the car and walk around taking deep breaths. Walk around, call a friend, do anything to get your mind off of driving. If you can’t get out of the car, then pull over drop the seat back, put your head back and just take deep breaths until it’s over.
- Keep some water in the car. If you are having an attack drink slowly. This will force you to slow down your breathing and open your body up, slowing down the adrenaline.
The most important thing is don’t ignore it if you are having an attack. If you don’t address it, it could possibly get worse. Embrace that it’s happening and have confidence that you can get through it.