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General A question about ptsd and driving - just to be on the safe side



Thread starter #1
Just to be on the safe site.

I am with a young(!!!) vet. He doesn’t have any memory problems.

-From time to time he finds driving a car exhausting
-He might go to sleep while I do the driving
-Or he just closes his eyes
-He finds having to read a map exhausting
-He has lost the ability to read maps. He has to turn them upside down if he is tired. This was not the case before he had ptsd. He used to excel at reading maps. However he doesn’t have to do this a lot because we have a GPS thingy.
-He has an odd way of parking

It has been like this for years. Didn’t get any better or worse. He is not really bothered by it.

I have just been discussing Alzheimer’s with a number of people because I think an elderly relative might have it. Some brought up their elderly relatives lost their ability to read a map/felt exhausted by having to drive. So I brought this symptoms up at a health board and one guy told me there was a possibility he might have Alzheimer’s.

It’s not the same is it?


Could be any number of health issues honestly. Hard to say without knowing him and his medical history.

But Alzheimer's wouldn't be my first guess. Its issues manifest differently, even at a younger age.


Thread starter #4
He had a head injury that left him unconscious but I think that everything was okay.
He did not experience any sings of anything being wrong other then what I just described.

Does it have to be a physical health issue or is it possible it is ptsd?


In some jurisdictions ptsd is the kind of condition you are meant to report to driving authorities and be assessed over because it’s known to be hazardous to driving abilities.

If there is any doubt it’s worth having a medical , but - it could be PTSD related
It could be a bunch of things like people mentioned above...or a combo you know. I had an awful experience the other day that my therapist and I discussed. If I experience triggers or multiple stressors I have trouble driving. My last experience had me feel like I was driving in a tunnel because my vision had been affected by being triggered. I couldn't think well enough to realize I was heavily triggered and a danger driving.
-He finds having to read a map exhausting
The next time you have a MAJOR adrenaline spike? (Like a near miss, driving, with ice water for blood, heart pounding in your ears, can’t catch your breath... or a major injury. Before dialing 911. I injure myself all the time, and rarely have near misses, but I understand it’s the reverse for most people ;)) Try and read a map. Or a book. Anything 2 dimensional, really.

It is EXTREMELY difficult.

It’s just a function of biology. The same lifesaving mechanisms that kick into place with adrenaline make certain normal-life activities very very difficult.

Alternatively? It’s not the same / it’s waaaaay easier... but try staying up until when you stare at a page the words swirl, or you find yourself reading and rereading the same page, over and over again. Less time consuming? Don’t eat until you can just read/read/read the menu in front of you and not actually connect the words with meaning. <<< It’s similar to that, but much harder to shift from 3D to 2D when your adrenaline is up, than to focus when you’re sleep deprived or so hungry you can’t think straight. >>> Of course, if you can remember any time you were too tired to read, or to hungry to think, it’s like that. Just a bit worse, is all.

With PTSD, you’re having those adrenaline spikes most people get once or twice a year... daily. Or several times a day. It’s completely possible to learn to function through them, but the side effects like words and images not processing? Tend to stick around, or crop up at odd moments.
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