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Publication: Fifty & Furthermore
Anxiety

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FIFTY & FURTHERMORE - Monday, January 15, 2007

"I'm Dr. Dorree Lynn, founder of FiftyandFurthermore.com.
Growing older can be a time for creative and passionate 
living, and I will apply my years as a psychologist to 
help you with the challenges and wonders that come with 
this new life stage."
------------------------------------------------------------

Hello and welcome to FIFTY & FURTHERMORE! 

Today I will share some more reader reactions and questions 
regarding anxiety and fears. If you would like to make a 
comment or ask me a question, please email me at the 
address below and as always, I will do all I can to 
provide you with the advice you seek.

As I always say, "life is too hard to do alone - reach 
out!"

Dr. Dorree Lynn, Psychologist


Please send questions and comments to: 
email Dr. Lynn

Question:

I just finished reading about the lady with the driving 
fears. I can relate, I have been fearful of driving on 
any highways for years. I have been able to work around 
it by going anywhere the longest way possible with no 
highways. I have tried medication, meditation and 
hypnosis. Nothing has worked and it even happens when 
others are driving. It is a major problem because I am 
not free. I have had prayers at church to free me of 
this. If there is a way to free me of this please let 
me know. Also at this time I have no insurance so a dr. 
is out of the question.

Answer:

Fears related to driving are not uncommon. While avoid-
ing the specific feared situation will bring you short-
term relief, in the long term it is causing your fear 
to become deeper. While you are unable to afford a 
doctor, you may be able to get free or inexpensive 
treatment through your church, through a local clinic 
or through a nearby university/college psychology 
department. I encourage you to call these types of 
places and explain your issue to them. They may be able 
to help or at least refer you to someone who can. Someone 
trained in treating fears will often help you to create a 
hierarchy of fears (ie level 1 = being on the highway for 
a minute as a passenger; level 10 = driving on the high-
way for an hour) and help guide you through each level 
until you can complete it without anxiety. This is not 
always the method used, but it is generally the most 
common and helpful. This fear does not have to continue 
for the rest of your life; I encourage you to reach out 
and allow someone to help you get through this.

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Question:

Before panic attacks... I  drove  all over the continen-
tal 48 states, by myself or with my dog, totally at ease 
behind the wheel.
 
When the Panic attacks first started, they were so severe, 
I not only could not drive, I could not  leave my house, 
not even to the front deck.  The drapes and blinds were 
of necessity kept closed.  I didn't even communicate with 
friends or family unless they were actually in the house 
with me.  My only contact with the outside world, was 
what I READ on the puter.  I would not chat.  I would 
avoid news on the television.
 
This all started about 9 years ago.  Today, thanks to a 
wonderful family and supportive friends and online friends 
too; my wonderful family doc has helped me become pretty 
much the me of before the attacks.  I  still have them, 
but only occasionally.  I DO take medicine, but I can now 
drive alone.  I can do country roads very well, but avoid 
heavy traffic when at all possible. 
 
Its been a long haul.  I have  seen psychologists, and a 
psychiatrist, a therapist, joined an online group suggest-
ed by my one of my online friends that  was just a casual 
group, all of us having panic attacks. 
 
I am back in the mainstream of life.  Coping with the 
everyday, and learning once again to live and to love 
life, and appreciate it more than ever before. 
 
The hardest thing to do is say 'help me'.  You gotta do 
it, you just gotta!!!
 
Thanks for all the things you write about. Good or bad, 
easy or difficult.  Each one of us has OUR take on what 
it is for us.  You have made a LOT of my difficulties 
easier.  Here's to hoping my story can help someone 
else.

Answer:

Thank you for sharing your story. It is extremely helpful 
for those facing difficulties to know that others who were 
once in their shoes have been able to overcome the 
adversity. Your ability to reach out when your body was 
telling you to "stay in" is to be celebrated. Thanks for 
showing readers the light at the end of the tunnel.

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Anxiety - whether clinical or otherwise - is a serious and 
debilitating ailment. There is nothing funny about it or 
about those who suffer from it on a daily basis. However, 
laughter truly can be the best medicine, and I found the 
following "food for thought" to bring a smile to my face. 
Hope it's good a chuckle from you too! ~Dr. D

WHY WORRY?

There are only two things in life to worry about:

Either you are healthy, or you are sick. 

    If you are healthy, then you have nothing to worry about;

    If you are sick, there are only two things to worry about: 

Either you will get well, or you will die.

    If you get well, then you have nothing to worry about;

    If you die, there are only two things to worry about: 

Either you will go to Heaven, or you will go to Hell:

    If you go to Heaven, then you have nothing to worry 
    about;
    If you go to Hell... 

You'll be too busy shaking hands with all your friends you 
won't have time to worry, so,

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     For more insight and advice from Dr. Lynn visit:              
fiftyandfurthermore.com

------------------------------------------------------------

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