Panic attacks while driving

So I’ve been dealing with panic attacks while driving usually and heart palpitations and just general anxiety. I think this all stems from my Levothyroxine med prescribed to me about a month ago. First I was on 100mcg, then 50mcg, then 25mcg, and now I’m discontinuing.

I had these symptoms first getting on the interstate and driving to friends house like 30 miles away. It was a nightmare. Then off and on the heart palpitations keep me awake because I’m just noticing and feeling my heartbeat, when I usually don’t. I am done driving. For a while. Today I went to a neighboring city, had my grandma drive me there and dropped off a friend. I then did chores all day and made dinner for my parents. Then I had a wild deduction to renew my insurance and drive to meet up with my Uncle and his friend. It was also a complete nightmare. It doesn’t help at the time, but my pdoc told me when a panic attack happens, you’re in no real danger. It feels like the complete opposite! It felt like I was actually dying a horrible, slow, painful death.

I started seeing things. I saw a guy walking on the bridge, probably a real person, with a black filled box obscuring his face. Then I noticed a plane with no wings fly over my house.

I smoked two cigarettes and had to vent to the forum. I’ll be praying and NOT DRIVING for a long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long, long time. End of story.

Any suggestions as to what I can do to help myself? I just bought a book called the thyroid cure that I found at goodwill. Again, no driving for now, for sure. Any help would be appreciated, thanks. Making some tea soon.

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Get with doctor. Change meds/adjust meds. It’s not a good feeling and it’s handy to drive. Figure out what is symptoms and what is from the meds.

I’d be lost without driving! I would drive everyday even if it’s just a short trip!

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Not driving is a good idea while you’re having these issues, but DO be careful to not torpedo your insurance history by canceling your insurance completely. Suggest parking the vehicle with minimal insurance rather than canceling entirely so as to maintain an insurance history. Too long of a gap in your insurance history – especially one that is for health reasons – and your grid level (or star rating depending on where you live) reset to the bottom.

Best of luck in getting this sorted.



Thanks for the help. I hope I’m just feeling better soon, man I was in a bad mood last night.

I’ve never heard of meds causing panic attacks. Perhaps a change of meds will do you good? And maybe therapy to pinpoint the cause of the panic attack. I get derealization panic attacks every 1 to 2 weeks when I am out, especially at night.

It doesn’t sound like your stable enough to drive. Maybe your pdoc can change your meds, and after a couple months on new meds you can try again. ???

I would be okay with a change of meds or no thyroid med if I could get away with it. I’m feeling better and better but I was doing so good before this med, driving everywhere, achieving goals, without really a hitch. Ugh.

I requested a referral from my PCP for an endocrinologist, a specialist in thyroid glands. Good ideas y’all. Thanks. I’m thinking of waiting a couple months to drive unless I miraculously feel way better and have stabilized.

why did you discontinue your levothyroxine? if you were prescribed that you need that med…you sound unstable.

I had a full blown panic attack when I was driving in the city one time. I had my two babies in the car with me. It was horrible. That was the last time I drove in the city. I don’t go out of town anymore. I barely drive over 25 mph now. I just stick to the small town city streets and I do fine. I let my husband do most of the driving anymore.

My pdoc ok’d my discontinuation. I really don’t want to drive ever again, but it’s handy like rogueone says. Most likely I just have to wait it out, get new meds maybe, and take it slow.

I’m working today! Takes my mind off everything. :relaxed:

Talked to my on call doctor today as my regular pdoc is out of office until my next appointment.

He said the panic attacks are not part of levothyroxine. He also reccomended getting back on it so my lithium will work correctly. I took a 50mcg dose and I’m going to try driving around my neighborhood with my mom in a little.

I’ll let you know how it goes!

I hope you get to keep your license. I lost mine in July 17’ :frowning:

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Driving went ok, much better than before. I might just have some acclimation to this thyroid med. I’ll defintely avoid the interstate until I’ve balanced out a lot more.

Thanks for the support guys!

@Joker sorry to hear, I am going to court for a DUI back in April ‘18. It’s likely I lose my liscense unfortunately. Maybe my luck is just in the cards that have been dealt.

glad your’e feeling better

hope you get to keep your license

and that you’ll mount your obstacles

on driving. In storms, I’ve had cortisol come up

from my kidneys. I try to only drive in pleasant weather.

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Question for y’all. Waiting until my pdoc appt in early jan to drive because my anxiety isn’t reduced to my liking yet. I can drive but it’s super uncomfortable and anxiety filled. I’d rather not. This all started when I started my lithium.

Should I quit my lithium so I can drive? What would happen if I quit? Obviously I like to be med compliant and would stay on my other meds like my AP.

You could possibly become more unstable if you stop taking your lithium. I assume you are bipolar or sza. I wouldn’t stop it to be able to drive. Wait to see your doc.

I’m sza bipolar type. Yeah I figured just gotta wait it out would be best but I wish there was something else I could do. My meds needs adjusted I think.

Waiting for the appointment date and for medicine to start having an effect is the hardest part of MI sometimes. I would hate to be stuck without a car to get around. I hope you improve and get to where you can drive if or when you want.

Doctors appt is today and it couldn’t come fast enough. I have a bunch of symptoms and questions written down as always lol. I’ll keep you updated. Feeling wonderful about going in finally.