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Hi everyone. I'm currently here writing up an introduction as some way to absolve myself of skipping class.

All my life I've been shy, but as I've gotten older, I feel like it's not that I'm even shy, for I'll be able to talk or do things when I'm comfortable, it's just that I'm not ever comfortable. I'm not comfortable until I know that whatever I'm doing or saying is perfect, and as we know, whatever any of us say or do is not going to be perfect. But I guess what I'm looking for is "unflawed". I hate to say that I have a fear of rejection, because I really don't care if someone doesn't like me in general, but I have a fear of being flawed. Which of course I am. I just have this need to hide it.

This class that I'm skipping is titled Introduction to Piano. The class sits at a keyboard with headphones on to hear ourselves, and the instructor sits at the main keyboard and randomly listens to us play. Of course I'm nervous the whole time because I don't want to mess up and have him comment on my playing because then everyone can hear what I've done wrong. If we do well, however, then as a "compliment" he makes it so that our playing is broadcasted to all of the headphones, but of course you aren't aware that this is happening so you continue to play. Then everyone can hear if you mess up (which is likely since we're just learning). He also walks around and watches us play, but whenever he comes to me, I immediately mess up because I get so nervous. We also have tests on the only piano, and they are taken in front of the class. I did okay on the first (and only so far), but that's because I waited until I was next to last and everyone else already left the classroom.

I fear going to this class every day. I fear him having us play and always want him to teach theory... even though that means more for me to have to learn and potentially mess up on. Normally I don't actually put too much consideration into skipping the class, but I had an assignment for myself this morning that has pushed me over the edge of anxiety.

I need to make four phone calls. If there's anything I'm more afraid of, it's talking on the phone. I like reading a person to understand their hidden meanings, but you can't do that over the phone. That's the only logical reason I have to be more afraid of it, anyway. But I'm completely terrified. I put off making every phone call that I can until I can find some excuse to never have to make it. I never answer phone calls unless they're from my parents or boyfriend. If a friend calls, I don't answer. I tell them through txt a made up reason of why I can't talk, but I can text or email. So now, this morning, I have to make four phone calls! Three are to schedule doctor visits, and one is to check with my insurance about the most important doctor... a psychiatrist.

So there's what I'm sure is a common catch 22 for us: I have to call to get help but I'm too afraid to call. I wish logic could control emotion. It's so easy for someone to say, "They won't hurt you, they won't bite. They're not even giving a second thought to every phone call." Especially for a call concerning psychiatric help. But of course that doesn't make things easier.

I've considered drinking before calling. Would that help to make me less afraid? They call it confidence in a bottle for some. I'm not really big on the alcohol thing, but one night when I had a couple of drinks, I was able to post on the message board that I frequent.

That's another thing. I've gone to a particular message board for years and I'm too afraid to post there. Message boards are where people with social anxiety problems go to talk (as admitted by many of the posters), and I'm too afraid to talk there? I'd like to become a regular poster here just to see if I can feel comfortable posting in a place where everyone understands. A sort of experiment for me.

So I don't know what more to say for now. I'm skipping class to encourage this unhealthy behavior and too afraid to make a call to fix it. I don't even know who to call. How do you find a good psychiatrist? I've only recently moved here so I don't know many people, and the ones I do know don't see a psychiatrist... I don't particularly want to just pick a random person either. I've always had bad luck with seeing doctors who don't listen and do what they want. It's nice when you find somebody who does listen.

I do have one question in my mind, though. Does therapy actually work for this sort of thing? If so, how? All I can think is that my logic is correct in that I'm feeling irrational things, but that means that chemical imbalances are causing that emotion, and therefore I need medication. But therapy is offered and does actually help some, they say. But how do you erase fear that you already know is irrational when exposure to the problem isn't helping?
 

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I can relate to you alot. I am afraid of phone calls too, it just makes me super anxious to pick up and not know what to say, or possibly sound stupid. Even the confident people are very flawed, I guess it is just a matter of being comfortable with the fact that you will make mistakes. I skipped in hs and college out of anxiety, but it eventually caused more stress and anxiety. Meds do help with a little time, and therapy is really good, but I have a hard time getting myself to go. I see a psychiatrist, and the best way to get a psychiarist is ask a doctor for a suggestion of who, and just go in to set things up rather than on the phone, if your anxious like that about phones, I am too. Therapy does help alot, but if you feel they are not listening to you, you have to let them know or you will just hate going, or stop going. If you are too nervous to confront the issue, write a note and give it to the office people to give to your therapist, until you get better at the social anxiety. The best thing to do is just make yourself do 1 or 2 things that are good for your SAD that you don't want to do. It won't benefit you right away but making little changes or efforts eventually will make you feel more comfortable with those behaviors, and it does take time. I still work on it. I am a self isolator with only acquaintances, and like to blend in the background and still don't feel comfortable. It will and can get better, but meds and a psychologist help a bunch. :)
 

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Hey VII welcome. :)
 

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Welcome

I'm new to this forum, too. My family is quite aware of my anxiety problem(s) and are quite supportive. At times, I do not answer our phone. We have one of those machines that let you know who is calling. Unless it is one of my children or my sister, I let them leave a message. On a good day, however, I can and do talk on the phone. I find it easier to write down what I will say or questions I want to ask before making the phone call.

I canceled a medical doctor's appointment for Wednesday and bit the bullet and made an appointment with a psychiatrist. I have a huge fear of medical doctors ...haven't been to one in years... I guess I'll have to be drugged in order to go to one. Perhaps the psychiatrist will help me overcome this panic. I sure hope so.

Your insurance company should be able to tell you which psychiatrists will accept your insurance.

Good luck,
Liz
 

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I too have problems with phone calls... but making them, not answering them. I don't understand why, but I am often afraid to ring people, especially people I don't know or don't know very well. The same goes for scheduling appointments for doctors, dentist etc. I would rather not go than have to face ringing people. The ironic thing is that I spend much of my day on the phone as part of my job, but that's because it's not personal I suppose...
I hope you can find some support here, and an answer to your problems.
 

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That's another thing. I've gone to a particular message board for years and I'm too afraid to post there. Message boards are where people with social anxiety problems go to talk (as admitted by many of the posters), and I'm too afraid to talk there? I'd like to become a regular poster here just to see if I can feel comfortable posting in a place where everyone understands. A sort of experiment for me.
This happens to me too, and I also thought maybe posting here will help. Even though its on a forum, I still think things like "what are people going to think of me? Someone will explain it better. They don't want to hear my opinion." and other SA things. Just not bad like how it can be in person, enough to not post though.
 

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Welcome, VII! :)
 
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