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My Road Rage Scares Me And Makes No Sense

by Matt
(Massachusetts )

Speed Can Be Addictive

Speed Can Be Addictive

Lately I have been having a major problem with road rage. I have to drive on the highway to get to work. Fortunately I have a reverse commute, so the traffic usually isn't heavy.

My problem is with speeding and others speeding as well. I often feel like I have to be the fastest on the road and if I'm going fast in the left lane and someone passes me on the right going even faster, it drives me crazy and I end up going faster and then tailgating them or passing them.

When this happens I become fixated on the other car and want to seek revenge for them speeding faster than me. For some reason I have a very difficult time letting other people speed, yet I am always speeding. When I see other people doing bad things- such as cutting people off, tailgating, not using a blinker, etc... it makes me angry and then I do the same just to make other people angry!

When I go into a rage it scares me because sometimes I will miss my exit on the highway on purpose because my anger has taken over me and it is more important to "beat" the other person than get off my exit...this frightens me.

What can I do to change this behavior? Also- this is pretty new behavior, I am 36 years old and it really just started more frequently in the past year.

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Dec 10, 2015
You Can Beat This
by: Dr. DeFoore

Hi Matt. You reached out here because you're better than this. You don't like your actions behind the wheel because they're not a good match for who you really are. I will try to help.

You're dealing with a combination of anger and anxiety. You get anxious (though you might not be aware of it), when you see someone else speeding, and then you become competitive, and then the anger kicks in.

I think you can successfully use these methods to manage both your anxiety and your anger behind the wheel. You'll have to adapt the wording a little to apply to your situation, but that shouldn't be an issue for you.

Use these visualization and imagination processes every morning before driving anywhere, and ideally take a couple of minutes to do them again before driving home from work.

If this doesn't help you, then you have some other more deep-seated things going on, but you can deal with those too. Find a good counselor (or contact me for counseling), if you feel a need to get some professional help.

You can do this, Matt. You don't have to be a victim of your emotions. You're a young man, and you need to be comfortable and safe when you drive.

My very best to you,

Dr. DeFoore

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