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Featured Do you travel well or have travel anxiety?

Discussion in 'General Autism Discussion' started by Triniti, Nov 10, 2019 at 2:52 AM.

  1. Triniti

    Triniti Active Member

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    Hi,

    Am curious to know if anyone here suffers from travel anxiety? When I was little occasionally I used to suffer from bad anxiety when we had to travel than the few miles into our town, but the 45 miles to where my grandparents live was too much and resulted in anxiety and attacks leading up to the day in question. Then on the day of travel, we would take my dads car, if I went nine times out of ten I'd have a panic attack and end up sick along the way.

    I'm a bit older now but my travel anxiety is even worse now. Any journey even the short ones into town make me so anxious and give me anxiety symptoms leading up to it and on the day.

    I never go anywhere now. No job, no friends just extreme anxiety. Also another form of this is that when I'm in the car and travelling I need the toilet and need to wee literally within five minutes of the journey starting. And on hour long journeys it becomes so difficult, especially as most public toilets are closed here now.

    This morning I was meant to go with my dad to see my grandma but the anxiety was severe and I backed out and now I feel so guilty and bad.

    I know that the logical thing to do is to go to the doctors but I get severe panic attacks when I go so I don't go.
    But I realize that this is becoming really bad for me.
     
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  2. Sarah S

    Sarah S Well-Known Member

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    Speaking for my self no i havent got any travel anxiety problems.

    And reg youre anxiety as you say youre self you really should try to somehow go and see the docs reg this as it clear its Severe and also on the higher scale of severe and you really need to get some help with this as the way you describe this is NOT good at all.
     
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  3. Marmot

    Marmot But you can't push Willy 'round, Willy won't go... V.I.P Member

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    Hi Trinity, and welcome.....:)

    I’m curious: Do you think that any of your issues could have to do with getting motion sickness from the car ride itself, or is it 100% the stress from traveling?
     
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  4. Triniti

    Triniti Active Member

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    I know :( Problem is last time I had a panic attack I was hospitalized and it was so uncomfortable and embarrassing. But I know I need to try again.

    I think it's a bit of both really. I last got travel sickness about ten years ago and that caused me a fear of sickness Emetophobia, which is when the travel anxiety began. But now as well as being scared of getting sick I'll also scared of needing the toilet, and after a car crash in 2016 I'm sometimes afraid we'll be hit again.
     
  5. Sarah S

    Sarah S Well-Known Member

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    Oh dear me im so sorry. Yes im afraid youre right there BUT may i suggest you inform the hospital in advance of youre problems so they can be prepared and help you when you arrive (say for instance be let in the back way to a secluded room while you wait for the doc (and if needed of course have some with you that is calm and relaxed)

    are you on ANY meds or treatment for youre Anxiety /and diagnose ?
     
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  6. Marmot

    Marmot But you can't push Willy 'round, Willy won't go... V.I.P Member

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    A friend of mine, when she was little would throw up anytime she got in the car: At first from the motion of the car, and then from the fear of throwing up from the motion of the car, before she even got in the car. -The two things basically compounded & it got worse......

    I know this doesn’t solve your problems, but it might help a little to know it’s not 100% the panic from traveling itself. What ended up working for my friend was 1) Sitting in the front seat where she could see where they were going, and 2) She would take over the counter sea sickness drugs. Ultimately, she was able to work thru it & ween herself off the drugs & eventually sit in the back seat, but those two baby steps did it for her. -Again, this doesn’t solve everything for you as you probably still need to see a doctor about the severe stress & panic levels, but this might get you to the doctor.
     
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  7. Misery

    Misery Photo-Negative V.I.P Member

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    For what it's worth, I have that same phobia, always have. So I can emphasize with what you go through on that one.



    Aaaaaaaaaaanyway.

    On the note of travel: I can get bad anxiety, but other times, I cant. It seems to heavily depend on the travel method.

    Like, planes for instance. I have no fear of flying itself. What I dont like is the experience of having to deal with everything with no real choice. Once you're on a plane, you're locked in that stupid cramped flying tube until it reaches your destination. It's not like you can just go "Hey, pull over at this cloud here, I wanna get out and stretch my legs". You're stuck in that awful sardine can full of idiots for the duration. I dont even want to deal with people at the freaking gas station... I sure as heck dont want to spend 2 hours in a giant flying Pringles can with 100 of them all smashed together in tiny little seats.

    But also, the airport. Ugh! I hate it! So many people, and the structure of the whole thing is just so stupid. And so many strange rules. And I cant deal with strict schedules. I just cant.

    What's worse is I also have this bizarre phobia of having to use the bathroom in some public place. I haaaaaaaaaate that. I know, for many people it's just something they do every day, no problem. But dangit, I like some blasted privacy, yeah? How am I supposed to handle doing that in a room filled with like 10 other people? Or even worse, in the cramped bouncing mess that is the bathroom on a plane? Yeah, there's nobody in there, but with my screwy back/neck problems, that weird cramped room can be a genuine physical issue for me.


    Here's the thing though: That's specifically just plane travel. CAR travel is different.

    I drive every day. Not that I HAVE to.... I dont. I dont work, so there's no obligation. But if I dont get out of the house and go somewhere at least once per day, I shall surely go mad. I go to the gas station to get my fountain drink (caffeine.... my one real vice) and/or go to the store to get whatever. Or sometimes I'll go to my mom's house... or maybe I'll just drive around randomly. Heck, I know all the roads around here not from reading maps, but simply by going "ooh, I wonder where THAT goes?" and just driving down said road to see what happens.

    And it's the same for the convention trips I do. Which usually involves anywhere from 1-4 hours of driving, ending up in some hotel somewhere. Now, I dont really LIKE doing super long drives, but.... eh. There's no strict schedule I have to deal with, I can stop and get out whenever I feel like it, and I'm the one in control of the vehicle... not someone else.

    Anyway, as for your fear and sensitivity, one thing I might suggest is to sort of take it slow, and push a bit further each time.

    For instance: get in the car, and have a very short drive. Go around the block. Go around two blocks, maybe. And then that's it. Next day, do that again. Feeling a bit more comfortable with it? The last couple of times werent a problem? Add another couple of blocks, another 5 minutes of driving/riding/whatever.

    Yes, I know it's tough to do that sort of thing, but believe me, it can be worth it.

    It's kinda like when I got into virtual reality about a year ago. I was real interested in trying that out, and was getting a new computer fit for it. But I'd never done it before, and there's all those awful stories of people getting sick just from using it. Wanted to try it, but at the same time, was scared of it.

    What helped was research. I read up on it, learned everything about how it worked, what to do and what not to do for first time use, and things like that. The trick with VR is to not have it moving you inside the simulation. Like, so you arent sliding around like you would in some FPS game. That's what triggers people (in fact, alot of the way that problem happens is very similar to what happens to some people with riding in cars). Most VR programs feature teleportation instead of smooth locomotion for that reason. So I figured... okay. I'll avoid that. Take it slow.

    Went to the Microsoft store where they had a demo setup, went in there, put the headset on. Quite nervous. But I knew what the program they were using was (since I'd looked that up too) and what to expect. No wild movement, just a calm simulation where you can mess around with things.

    ...Or that was the idea. Accursed thing bugged out *immediately*. Within less than a minute, the glitch hit, and I was violently thrown THROUGH the nearest wall (inside the simulation, obviously I didnt fly through the store wall, that'd be silly). I remember I just completely froze up.... until I realized I was just fine. Wasnt feeling weird or dizzy. STARTLED and nervous, sure, but nothing else. And that's when I realized: Alot of the fears I'd had really were just in my mind. And it was that mentality that was the problem... not the device.

    Bought the thing, took it home. Over the next month, I used it constantly, pushing things a bit further each day. Now, I can handle anything it can throw at me. I had one point where this game I was playing bugged out while I was in it, and just started spinning me around wildly. Would have scared the heck outta me early on... but my reaction at that point was just something like "UGH I have to waste time fixing this, dont I". That early fear was gone.


    Yeah, I know, VR isnt a car ride, but it DOES share some of the same properties in terms of how the "sickness" aspect can caused. And as I tell people frequently, anyone CAN get used to it and handle it... they just have to be careful about how they do it, and take the proper approach. But moreso, they have to have some faith in themselves. "I can handle this" is something that I need to hear from anyone that intends on putting that thing on for the first time, before I'll let them do so. If they're getting too nervous, well, they dont get to try it until they can get into a better mental state. Because seriously, that's important.

    And it's the same with cars. You gotta go into it with the mindset of "Okay... just a bit today. I can handle this, I really can". Then get in, roll around a parking lot or whatever for 10 minutes, and then you can go "you know what... that really wasnt so bad. I was worried for nothing".

    It's important to stop thinking about how worried you are. Instead, start thinking about the fact that you CAN handle it, if you take a careful, logical approach, instead of a paranoid one. It's not like you need to be learning to handle a 200-mile drive in the span of a day. But little by little, you really can do it.
     
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  8. some/aspies/need/hugs/13

    some/aspies/need/hugs/13 Member

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    I am pretty good about travel as long as I am in my car and I am driving... I do have anxiety sometimes if I am not driving. But I take meds that help with that also I keep things to distract me in the passenger seat such as a ham radio, a teddy bear, and a one foot stack of my favorite magazines. Also I only allow my mom to drive me if I am not driving and refuse to ride with anyone else.
     
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  9. Bolletje

    Bolletje Potato chip wizard V.I.P Member

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    I have travel anxiety. It didn’t use to be this way, I travelled all over the world in the past, but these last two years the anxiety has been bad. For me it’s mostly related to having pretty bad IBS. I won’t travel with public transportation unless there’s a toilet on board. Even then I’m anxious that the toilet might be out of order or occupied when I really need to go. Then of course the stress about that sets off my IBS. It’s a nice vicious circle.
    I’ve been trying to expand my travels. I’m now capable of visiting my grandmother, who lives an hour by train from my house. It’s a small victory, but I’m happy about it.
     
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  10. Pats

    Pats Well-Known Member V.I.P Member

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    I've always loved traveling by car. It's like I could see the world from the safety of the car (which becomes my comfort zone). Getting out of the car for whatever reasons is my problem.
     
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  11. Nightingale121

    Nightingale121 Well-Known Member

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    I don't really experience the kind of travel anxiety you describe, but I have travel-related anxiety as well. I wrote about it in this thread: Travel anxiety when alone
     
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  12. clg114

    clg114 Still crazy, after all these years. Staff Member V.I.P Member

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    I seem to have the opposite problem, I'll call it wanderlust. Sometimes I feel a need to go exploring somewhere that I have never been before and is remote. Finding old, abandoned cabins or mining sites is a lot of fun, ghost towns are the best. If it is hard to get there, that just adds to the fun.
     
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  13. Triniti

    Triniti Active Member

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    Yes I totally agree with you. It is beautiful travelling around and seeing so many beautiful places and views. That's one of the reasons why I wish I didn't get so anxious about it.

    I hate having to get out in mid journey as well. That only ever happened once and that was when we were in a car crash, absolutely awful experience.

    I attached a picture which I took last time I was out in the car for you.
    IMG_20191107_100339__01.jpg
     
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  14. Triniti

    Triniti Active Member

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    I find now that I'm stuck in a vicious circle with this but am also aware that it's costing me so much time and life. I recently missed a cousins wedding because of it and also I missed out on going to see my sick grandparents and then their funerals after which causes me a lot of guilt.

    I've tried self help exercises and tips but it hasn't worked for me. Though I do like the idea of asking the hospital to be expecting me if I go to the doctors and have a panic attack. So long as the doctor can actually help me before the attack comes on.
     
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  15. tducey

    tducey Well-Known Member

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    I usually travel well and actually like going to airports.
     
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  16. Magna

    Magna New Member

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    Airports are sensory overload for me and I don't like flying. The last flight I was on 14 years ago met with such horrible turbulence that people were openly crying in fear, drinks being served, including a Bloody Mary splashed against the walls of the plane and the flight attendants had open looks of fear as they were strapped in their jumpseats.

    I can't sleep at all in hotels because of the noises, smells, unfamiliar place, uncomfortable bed, etc. Also now I'm very fearful of sleeping somewhere with bed bugs. If I inadvertently brought bed bugs back home with me, my life would be turned upside down. Years ago my parent's dog contracted fleas and it was a protracted nightmare for my parents to eradicate the fleas. The experience actually sent my Mom into a major depressive episode that lasted about a year.

    If I had my own RV to travel with and to sleep in, I would be fine and wouldn't have a problem with travelling at all.
     
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  17. Arealhumanbean

    Arealhumanbean New Member

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    i travel well
     
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  18. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    Yes, but only really for long journeys, or journeys involving public transport and lots of connections. It's the trapped feeling that makes me anxious, being stuck in a sardine can with other passengers that you are often forced to interact with, plus worrying about needing the loo, or being on time for a connection, having to go through airport security with people directing you, controling you, you are a unit to be processed.

    I have very often found myself physically sick because ot the anxiety and unable to travel. If it's a very long journey, over 12 hours, best to break it up if possible into two days, for example, if I need to take a flight, I set off the day before and stay overnight near the airport. It's longer, but I feel less anxious this way, plus I get a break - a quiet place to chill out for a while.
     
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  19. Triniti

    Triniti Active Member

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    I'm sorry your mother ended up depressed over that. I can under why. Not a very pleasant thing to experience.

    I can totally understand why you'd like a campervan. When I was a lot younger before I had the severe anxiety my parents and I would often go on holiday. My father used to tow a caravan and if we went far we'd stop for the night. Those were fun times, except the one time where we were on the motorway and the caravan started to fall apart!

    That sounds really hard for you, though I'm glad you find a comfort when staying near the airport. I'm not sure if I'd be comfortable flying but then I'm a massive baby :oops: Have you been to different countries?
     
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  20. Progster

    Progster Gone sideways to the sun V.I.P Member

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    I'm from the UK but live abroad, so travel to the UK once every couple of years or so.
     
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