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Fearne Cotton hasn’t been able to drive on a motorway for TWO YEARS after panic attack at the wheel

She’s been vocal in the past about her struggles with anxiety and depression.

Now Fearne Cotton has admitted that she is still too scared to drive her car on the motorway after having a panic attack at the wheel more than two years ago.

The TV and radio presenter, 37, was forced to pull over and call the AA to take her home when she found herself unable to breathe while driving in 2017.

Fears: Fearne Cotton has admitted that she is still too scared to drive her car on the motorway after having a panic attack at the wheel more than two years ago

Fears: Fearne Cotton has admitted that she is still too scared to drive her car on the motorway after having a panic attack at the wheel more than two years ago

‘I haven’t driven on a motorway since. I will go back, but I’m not ready yet,’ she told Closer magazine.

The attack happened as she chatted to a friend in the passenger seat. Despite being only 30 minutes from her house, she was forced to pull over and call the AA.

Describing the attacks, she said: ‘It’s like I’m going to black out, or faint, or get a tingly face. Everything is quite spinny. I can’t really put it down to any particular thing, and I’m just sort of coping with it.’

Miss Cotton is married to guitarist Jesse Wood, 42, son of Ronnie Wood of the Rolling Stones and they have two children, Rex, six, and three-year-old Honey.

Trauma: The TV and radio presenter, 37, was forced to pull over and call the AA to take her home when she found herself unable to breathe while driving in 2017

Trauma: The TV and radio presenter, 37, was forced to pull over and call the AA to take her home when she found herself unable to breathe while driving in 2017

Despite having worked in TV since she was 15, she said she still fears having panic attacks during live broadcasts. She said: ‘I could be interviewing someone live on TV, and my head goes, “Oh this could be about time to faint”. I’ll think, “No, don’t do that” and I’m like, “It’s coming”. It’s not great.’

Miss Cotton, who recently covered Zoe Ball’s Radio 1 breakfast show while the presenter was away, added: ‘I also lie awake at night worrying about live radio the next morning. And my phone is always on silent because I think if it rings, something awful must have happened.’

She said that she had now found ‘coping mechanisms’ through writing self-care books and her podcast, called Happy Place.

Last year Miss Cotton revealed that her battle with depression had started three years previously when she was working at Radio 1.

Describing the attacks, she said: ‘It’s like I’m going to black out, or faint, or get a tingly face. Everything is quite spinny. I can’t really put it down to any particular thing'

Describing the attacks, she said: ‘It’s like I’m going to black out, or faint, or get a tingly face. Everything is quite spinny. I can’t really put it down to any particular thing’

‘I went through a really bad patch, where I became a much rawer version of myself,’ she told Red magazine. ‘[It lasted] over a year. Maybe two.

‘There were some exceedingly dark bits where I thought, “I don’t understand how to trust, how to be me, how to feel OK with eyes on me”.’ She said that the depression dealt her a ‘huge confidence blow’ which left her feeling unable to do live television.

She credited her husband with helping her through her difficult time, despite lots of ‘arguments’.

Road safety charity I Am Roadsmart advised anyone suffering from anxiety to avoid driving on an empty stomach and steer clear of drinking caffeine. A spokesman said: ‘Avoid excess of caffeine and energy drinks as these can add to you feeling more anxious.

Troubling: The attack happened as she chatted to a friend in the passenger seat. Despite being only 30 minutes from her house, she was forced to pull over and call the AA

Troubling: The attack happened as she chatted to a friend in the passenger seat. Despite being only 30 minutes from her house, she was forced to pull over and call the AA

‘Consider taking more breaks and consider some breathing exercises. Simple things can help: Try to avoid driving on an empty stomach and having a balanced meal or snack can help keep your sugar balances level.’

The spokesman added: ‘If you find yourself feeling very stressed, try to find a safe place to stop and give yourself time to allow the feeling to pass. Sometimes taking a passenger can be really positive and will mean you are not dealing with the situation alone.’

The charity advised drivers with anxiety to inform the DVLA so it could review their ability to drive. 

Daily Mail UK

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