Telephonophobia - Social Anxiety Forum
 
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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-16-2010, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Telephonophobia


Telephone phobia (telephonophobia, telephobia)
I'm terrified of using the phone - of recieving calls, making calls, or even just hearing the phone ringing, and I even get anxious being near other people using a phone. I can't even talk to my family or boyfriend over the phone without anxiety before, during and after.

Anytime now I'm supposed to be getting a call from a college about an interview (don't even get me started on interviews either...) and I'm so worried about it; every time the phone goes off I think, 'oh no! it's them, what do I do, I can't deal with this' and then when it's not them I still take a while to calm back down again. Plus, it will be a complete stranger who I have to talk to as well, which makes it even worse.

Does anyone else have this issue? Any ideas of how to make using the phone less stressful? I've been finding it to become a bigger and bigger problem, especially as I need to do things by myself now instead of conning my mother into doing it for me like I always used to be able to do.

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-16-2010, 01:44 PM
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I guess not quite as badly as you describe it but I do not like talking on the phone. Texting is no problem but I hate speaking. In fact I often do not answer but reply by text. I hate hearing the phone ring because I know it is probably somebody wanting something because nobody calls me for any other reason.

Sadly I have to live with my grandmother and her phone rings about 20-30 times a day. It's irritating as hell.

I know exactly what you mean about being anxious though. Nobody here answers the phone so you always have to leave a message and wait for them to call you back (and who knows how long that will take). I am always worried about when they will call back and if I am waiting on more than one call if they will call at the same time etc. I really wish they would text rather than call.
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-16-2010, 02:29 PM
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I have the same fear. When I'm on the phone it helps to have the TV on or have my internet up just to have something else be happening. I sometimes try to sit really relaxed when I'm on the phone, even if I'm not feeling relaxed. And if it helps, you can write out some kind of a script to follow along with if you need it. I can't leave messages without doing this.
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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-16-2010, 02:37 PM
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Yes, the phone sets off my SA the most. It stinks, too, because my job requires that I call people pretty much daily. Even though I've gotten better with practice, it is still very awkward and...well, stilted would be the best description.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-16-2010, 03:19 PM
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I have to make quite a few phone calls for my job too. Most people can just pick up the phone and start talking, but I have to take a few seconds beforehand and think of exactly what I'm going to say. I have a lot more anxiety talking on the phone than I do in person. But like anything, the more you're exposed to it the easier it becomes.
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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-16-2010, 06:52 PM
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I don't like speaking on the telephone either. Unless I know the person I'm talking to, I get really uncomfortable speaking for some reason. I once met a guy not too long ago from an online dating site who just loooooved to gab on the phone non-stop. I would sometimes avoid his calls just because I didn't feel like talking (well, listening) for an hour. I had about 6 phone convos with him in total. It was exhausting.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-16-2010, 06:56 PM
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Even after therapy and medication, the phone continues to give me extreme anxiety. I can pretty much handle receiving a call, but making calls is very difficult. I'm sorry others suffer as well. It can really get in the way of day to day life.

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post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-16-2010, 09:21 PM
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I can receive calls if I know the person calling(and even then I don't want to) , but making them, that's not gonna happen (unless it's like my mother and I KNOW it won't be out of her way, and that she'll pick up).

I pretty much hate the phone.
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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-16-2010, 10:31 PM
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I still have this issue. Frustrating!

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post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-16-2010, 10:36 PM
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I hate the phone too. It is much easier if I know the person I am calling or who is calling me, but pretty much my parents are the only ones I can talk to with no problem at all.

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post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-16-2010, 10:56 PM
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I have this issue to some degree. If I dont know the person I become nervous and my anxiety shoots up. I hate hate hate answering the phone when its for a job interview.

Ive worked in a retail store for over 2 years and ive only answered the phone less than a handful of times and never made a page over the intercom. I would look for the co-worker even if it meant having to walk through out the entire store.
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post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 02:23 AM
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Yeah, not a big fan of it myself. Though it's improved over the years. Maybe if you want to improve this you can try dialing random numbers and having conversations with random people. It's best though to use a pay phone so they don't track your number down or anything It'll cost ya a few coins and you'll probably feel like an idiot when talking but trust me, it boosts you're confidence next time you pick up the phone.
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post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 02:38 AM
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Quote:
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Yeah, not a big fan of it myself. Though it's improved over the years. Maybe if you want to improve this you can try dialing random numbers and having conversations with random people. It's best though to use a pay phone so they don't track your number down or anything It'll cost ya a few coins and you'll probably feel like an idiot when talking but trust me, it boosts you're confidence next time you pick up the phone.
Lol I might have to do that! I am normally fine once I am on the phone, or if someone calls me, but ask me to make that phone call (especially an important one) and my spine turns to custard!

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post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 03:09 AM
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I have telephonophobia. I will try to avoid phones at all costs. I much prefer to talk to the person face to face, by email or letter.

If the phone rings I'll either just ignore it, wait til it goes on the answer phone and then it it's like a family member, I may call the person back.

Sometimes if the phone rings, I feel gulity just ignoring it ringing, so i'll go to the phone and carry it whilst it's ringing to someone else to answer LOL

I am glad I don't have reallife friends when it comes to phones, because I won't have them keep ringing me all the time LOL

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post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 03:16 AM
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yeah I am terrible with it. My stomach sinks everytime my boss says "just give them a call" or something. I usually either search frantically for an email I can use instead of come up with an excuse like I called them but there was no one on etc.

It's pretty bad and terrible for business as well. Sigh.

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post #16 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 03:42 AM Thread Starter
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Thanks for the replies guys. At least I'm not alone, but other people without SA rarely understand why I refuse to use the phone. :/

- The closer you get to the light, the greater your shadow becomes. But don't be afraid, you hold the most powerful weapon of all. -
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post #17 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 07:15 AM
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When the phone rings at my house, I almost always hesitate to pick it up. Thank God for the answering machine.
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post #18 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 07:22 AM
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Originally Posted by wisteria View Post
When the phone rings at my house, I almost always hesitate to pick it up. Thank God for the answering machine.
I think I hate answering machines more than the phone. Hearing someone leaving a message through that distorted little speaker with all the obnoxious beeping.

For a while I only dealt with people who used text messaging and it was silent bliss. But now I am living with family and the damn house phone rings off the hook and the machine is constantly beeping and screeching. Sometimes I think being deaf would suit me better. But I am sure deaf people would hate me for saying that.
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post #19 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 07:35 AM
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I struggle with the phone. It's not as bad for me to answer the phone anymore, but I still can't call anyone. Perhaps because of how much I hate the answering machine. Tis annoying, I've been supposed to call my sister for probably 3 weeks now, I've fallen off meds because I didn't want to call the clinic, all kinds of fun things.

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post #20 of 20 (permalink) Old 05-17-2010, 08:19 AM
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Same with me. I am only comfortable talking to close family, but relatives and strangers is so hard. I never talk to strangers actually on the phone, I'm so scared of getting a job because I don't want to have to talk on the phone. I did try the social phobics anonymous phone group once, but they were having technical issues and so I wanna try again soon.

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