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.
Share and Enjoy
Share and Enjoy
When you are having a panic attack, what is the worst thing a person can tell you? Calm down. Well recently, it’s come to light that locking children in what professionals call a “tot cell” can cause panic attacks.
This fact has recently hit headlines when a tiny padded room at KIPP Star Elementary school came under fire for its usage when a kindergartener and a first grader begin to have anxiety attacks as a result.
KIPP Star, located in Washington Heights, NY is considered a top charter school, but that did not stop both of the students’ parents from promptly removing them from the school after the incidents.
THE CALM DOWN ROOM
The room is officially titled the “calm-down” room. It’s the size of a 2ft by 3ft walk in closet, it has one single door and a window on the door so teachers can look inside – but the small children cannot see out. There is only one light, and the room is completely empty except for a soft mat on the floor. Students are held in this room alone for up to 20 minutes.
Teneka Hall, whose son was one of the students who had the panic attacks, was rushed to the hospital after he wet himself and begin panicking after being so scared was devastated when she heard the news. Her son Xavier is only 5.
The other student, a first grader named Richard Betonces Jr. is only 7 years old and had been sentenced to the room over 20 times since September. His father Richard Sr. described the aftermath that he and the child’s mother had to cope with at home,
“It was like being locked in jail. He was crying every day, scared he was going back. It’s made his mother depressed as well. It’s a terrible thing.”
School officials advised that the room was created at the advice of child psychologists and that only 3 students have had to be placed in there since its exception.
The KIPP NYC Superintendent Josh Zoia explained,
“Like most schools we use time-outs as a way to make sure students remain safe. The calm-down room is used only as part of a behavior plan which was both developed in collaboration with and approved by the parents.”
A follow up story says that the school has made the decision to continue to use the room.
This is where common sense should prevail. When you have 66% of the students having panic attacks so severe they need to be hospitalized, how about trying a different method. I’m not saying don’t discipline the child, as I’m all for discipline but if even 1 of the 3 children suffer severe emotional trauma, then maybe the room just might not be a good idea.
Saying that it was approved by the parents is not the same as apologizing and saying that alternative measures will be used. That is the answer that should have been given. My child would be switching schools as well.
“Calm down” room indeed. I almost had a panic attack reading the description of that room!