A woman who suffered uncontrollable panic attacks every time she got behind the wheel of a car has finally passed her driving test – after being hypnotised.
Nikki Durrant, 35, developed such a severe phobia of driving that she would burst into tears as soon as she got behind the wheel.
She tried to pass her driving test four times but with each failure the panic attacks worsened – sometimes leaving her barely able to breath.
Nikki became so desperate that she turned to hypnosis and after just two hours of treatment she passed her fifth test with flying colours.
Full-time mum-of-two Nikki, who grew up in Hornchurch, London, revealed yesterday (Fri) that passing the driving test has ”changed her life”.
She said: ”It got to the point where on my third driving test I just froze halfway through and started crying. I turned the car around and refused to go on it.
”But passing has changed my life.
”Hypnotherapy has worked wonders for me, I don’t think I would ever have passed my driving test without it.
”I don’t normally go in for that kind of thing, but now I use it whenever I am stressed.”
Nikki grew up in London but moved to Rowardennan, an isolated village in Stirling, Scotland, in 2005.
The tiny village is so remote that residents have to make a 35-mile round trip just to reach the nearest supermarket.
Nikki began learning to drive after realising she would be stranded with son Archie, nine, in the event of an emergency.
But when she took her first driving test she suffered a severe panic attack, which left her in tears and gasping for air.
She tried to overcome her phobia by taking three more tests but failed each one after the panic attacks affected her ability to drive.
Nikki explained: ”I had some major errors in my test and on one test the instructor even slammed the brakes on before I had got out of the car park. It was horrible.
”I’m not one to give up on anything normally and it was humiliating being a 30-year-old woman sitting and crying like a little baby.
”I thought I was never going to pass. I wasn’t even going to take that last test.”
Following her fourth failure, Nikki’s husband Stuart suggested she undergo sessions with Glasgow based hypnotherapist Caroline Tyler.
Hypnotherapist Caroline said: ”Nikki’s fear was crippling. She could drive but she panicked so much that it disabled her.
”She was anxious so I took her through her driving test in her head so when she did come to take it again she could associate it with a relaxed memory.”
Caroline taught Nikki to hypnotise herself by slowing her breathing and this technique allowed her to pass her fifth test with flying colours.
And she even used hypnotherapy again when giving birth to her second son, eight-month-old Freddie, to cope with the pain without drugs.