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Does anyone know what the best beta blocker (or indeed any other drug I could obtain without risking being criminalised) would be the best for the purposes of someone suffering from extreme anxiety about a driving test? I need to get my missus through her test. She drives reasonably well, I hasten to add, I'm not entering into some conspiracy to put a dangerous driver on the roads, but has failed the test due to anxiety 3 times.

Some beta blockers are available over the counter in Spain, and I am going there soon.....

 

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3 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

Does anyone know what the best beta blocker (or indeed any other drug I could obtain without risking being criminalised) would be the best for the purposes of someone suffering from extreme anxiety about a driving test? I need to get my missus through her test. She drives reasonably well, I hasten to add, I'm not entering into some conspiracy to put a dangerous driver on the roads, but has failed the test due to anxiety 3 times.

Some beta blockers are available over the counter in Spain, and I am going there soon.....

 

I've had propranolol in the past but it wasn't nearly as effective as diazepam (Valium).

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My mum swears by herbal Kalms from the chemist 

probably a placebo effect but I gave them to my son before his test and he passed 

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Seriously, anyone who is a professional who could advise you on this is legally bound to tell you to go discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist. 

So go and discuss it with your doctor or pharmacist. I have no desire to get the sack.

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42 minutes ago, karelian said:

I've had propranolol in the past but it wasn't nearly as effective as diazepam (Valium).

I had valium once as a muscle relaxant for bad back and it made me feel very tired. Not sure if I could have stayed awake though a driving test. Also it it says do not have alcohol and I thought yeah whatever and had a few. Big mistake! It makes you about 5x as drunk falling about all over. 

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Posted (edited)

Have you tried magnesium glycinate, rhodiola or ashwagndha (all natural)? Mag glycinate killed my morning anxiety/palpitations (kicked in after about 2 weeks).

Edited by Game_of_Homes

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No idea.

Used to get ridiculously nervous (shaking sweaty hands etc) when doing piano grade exams as an adolescent (not ideal as hands need to be steady) so gave it up! (But managed to pass my driving test at 18/other exams OK.) 

Have heard that beta blockers are available from GP in UK for nervous ppl who have to give a presentation. But someone who took one (for this purpose) told me the feeling was rather too nice (ie took the edges of everything in the day, like being a bit drunk-relaxed) such that she threw the rest away in case she was tempted to get hooked on them big time!  

What about some meditation? A couple of sessions with a hypno-therapist to relax?  Wish I had been able to get that for my piano exams! My teacher just gave me aspirin without asking my parents. (Wonder if she really thought that would work or whether was it just for placebo effect? In either case, it proved ineffective!)

Suggest whatever 'drug' you select that she has a dummy run beforehand so see how it affects her under test conditions eg with you or with her instructor?

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36 minutes ago, dgul said:

This seems a bit mad to me.  Anti-depressants have their uses in extreme anxiety events that happen in life, but having a driving test isn't one of them.  You're in danger of medicalising normal life.

If you've got a problem with anxiety the answer is to become less anxious, not to reach for drugs.  I'd certainly be concerned about the drugs altering risk perception, let alone decreasing vigilance.

The thing I would suggest is hypnotherapy -- it might well give a positive effect, and almost certainly wouldn't have any negative side effects.

This. Medication should be avoided unless prescribed.

The OP's missus should just get pissed as a fart before her test instead.

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Paroxetine will take the edge off any anxiety if taken a few days prior to the test. Otherwise, co-codanol will work straight away. Available from any dodgy online pharmacy.

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Thanks to all for replies so far. in this case I've tried to persuade her to see the doctor for this and get something via prescription but Brazilians have terrible habits in this respect because :-

a) You can buy almost anything in a pharmacy there (so the pharmacist takes the role of the doctor to an extent), and there are loads of unofficial pretty potent jungle meds as well. 

b) I'm not a good influence as I find doctors to be shite for most day-to-day chronic things and frequently self medicate, though in fact I've found fasting ie no medicine to be more effective than most medicines. However as this is a straight choice of modern pharmaceuticals as a temporary measure I reckon a decent GP will be fine for this. 

 

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Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, swiss_democracy_for_all said:

Thanks to all for replies so far. in this case I've tried to persuade her to see the doctor for this and get something via prescription but Brazilians have terrible habits in this respect because :-

a) You can buy almost anything in a pharmacy there (so the pharmacist takes the role of the doctor to an extent), and there are loads of unofficial pretty potent jungle meds as well. 

b) I'm not a good influence as I find doctors to be shite for most day-to-day chronic things and frequently self medicate, though in fact I've found fasting ie no medicine to be more effective than most medicines. However as this is a straight choice of modern pharmaceuticals as a temporary measure I reckon a decent GP will be fine for this. 

 

There are a lot of good pharmaceutical anti anxiety meds but she will only be able to get them via a GP as some of them are very strong - beta blockers (generally used for immediate anxiety relief), benzos (if used long term can cause addiction and can be hard to come off), things like pregabalin, baclofen etc but all are strong and have side effects (the last two I think are off label so she would need to explain that she has bad anxiety and they are not for immediate anxiety relief so probably won't help in such a situation). The GP will be the best person to advise her.

Also, get her to do an hours exercise before her test so that she uses up a lot of adrenaline but obviously it is good for her to be a bit nervous as she will be more alert for the test. Too much anxiety is bad but the reverse is also true in such situations.

Edited by Game_of_Homes

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2 hours ago, dgul said:

This seems a bit mad to me.  Anti-depressants have their uses in extreme anxiety events that happen in life, but having a driving test isn't one of them.  You're in danger of medicalising normal life.

If you've got a problem with anxiety the answer is to become less anxious, not to reach for drugs.  I'd certainly be concerned about the drugs altering risk perception, let alone decreasing vigilance.

The thing I would suggest is hypnotherapy -- it might well give a positive effect, and almost certainly wouldn't have any negative side effects.

I'll second that as well. I was diagnosed with PTSD (real PTSD rather than made up). I was recommended to start taking all sorts of anti depressants, I refused the lot. They said time is a great healer and it was.

I knew someone who suffered from anxiety and on their driving test they got so muddled that they kept stopping at green traffic lights. Failed three tests and passed on the forth after the dad suggested a shot of whiskey before the test - certainly not to be recommended either!

I would go with maybe a placebo, but I would say its best to treat the cause rather than sysmptoms. Addressing the anxiety may have benefits in day to day life as well. Ultimately, its a driving test with no limits on how many times you take it.

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Try CBD oil. Holland & Barratt have it on half price offer at moment. Get the 5% stuff.

I'm using it at the moment for anxiety and I have to say I've improved a lot recently. Of course I'm not using it in isolation, I'm doing many other things besides, e.g. Exercise, relaxing hobbies, volunteering et al.

However since taking it I have been able to drive on a feared route (driving anxiety related to motorways/fast dual carrigeways) that I haven't tackled in a few years so I'd say it's working.

I believe it helps reset your fear response to normal levels.

Try it.

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Just get her to go to the doctor and ask for a prescription for it. It’s very common for people to take it for anxiety attacks - e.g. prior to going to the dentist or flying or whatever. The doctor will know which one is best suited to the situation.

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9 hours ago, karelian said:

I've had propranolol in the past but it wasn't nearly as effective as diazepam (Valium).

Yep i know someone that failed their diving test god knows how many times due to "nerves" past on Valium 

caveat they were and still are the worst diver i have ever known

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Just now, Long time lurking said:

Yep i know someone that failed their diving test god knows how many times due to "nerves" past on Valium 

caveat they were and still are the worst diver i have ever known

I rest my case....

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I was prescribed beta blockers once to help with one-off situational anxiety in the same way as you're thinking of doing with the missus.

They did nothing for me. 

So my suggestion is get something stronger :D

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