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Ok, just found this forum - this is my first post here.

What Im really looking for is first-hand coping techniques for dealing with phone phobia. What has helped you make improvements?

I searched and founds lots of threads on similar, but am looking for ways to actually overcome or improve it.

Basically I get so nervous that my voice cracks and I cannot talk whenever I have to talk to a stranger on the phone, or especially leave a voice mail for someone who isnt a close friend or family (usually at work). I think it must have something to do with insecurity or being judged. Not sure.
If Im calling someone who is family, or I have a close friendship with I dont have any problem. Its the "official" phone calls and voice mails that I run from.

I should also say I have panic disorder, but it is well controlled with xanax, and I am actually weaning off of meds successfully after much trial and error.

So what if anything has worked for you?
 

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I had huge phone anxiety that affected me in both making calls and answering them. I definitely know where you are coming from. I always felt I would use bad grammar, say something stupid, be confused, etc. when I was on a phone call.

What worked for me was Dr. Richards general CBT program for Social Anxiety to address the more underlying issues at hand:
http://www.socialanxietysupport.com/treatment/products/25.html

Then I worked through a slow, gradual hierarchy of actively making more and more anxiety causing phone calls.

Now, I am still a little hesitant at times about answering some phone calls when I don't recognize the number, but I have no hesitations or anxiety about making phone calls to stores, banks, credit card companies, mechanics, etc.
 

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I prefer phone calls over real life social interactions because
phone calls are usually more straight forward and have a purpose
if you meet someone on the street and stop to chat..it feels like you have to be funny and entertain them
where as, on the phone, or while leaving a message
you just need to try to say simple things
like, hello, what your name is and why you are calling, because you are calling for a reason, or they are calling you for a specific reason
they NEED to talk to you or
you NEED to contact them for some reason..
just get what you need out them as quickly as possible in the least amount of words possible
 

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Starlight and moonbeams
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I don't have phone anxiety, other than leaving messages. I always get panicky when leaving a message, thinking I sound bad or something. Plus, I hate having my voice recorded, where they can play it back whenever they want.
 

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I've had trouble making phone calls for a while. Something that has helped me is bringing my cell with me to therapy to check messages I'm scared to check or make calls I'm scared to make. I've done it both in session and at the office. My therapist lets me sit in an empty room and make calls there or just do it in session. Sometimes it just helps to be in a safe space.
 
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