Severe Phone Phobia
My name is Chloe and have had a severe phone phobia my entire life. When the phone rings, I get an extreme anxiety attack, lightheaded, and an overwhelming feeling of guilt. I look at the caller I.D and all the feelings become ten times worse, especially if it's someone I want to talk to, like my grandfather, mother, and even my own husband.
I just can't pick up the phone. When the phone stops ringing, the feelings of guilt and worry get worse because now I think that they think I don't want to talk to them, and am just blowing them off. My friends and family know that I don't talk on the phone but I know they don't understand the real reason, and they don't take my phone phobia seriously; constantly telling me to call them, and them calling me. Or telling me to make phone calls to set up appointments with doctors and other things. The very thought of making such a call makes me dizzy and anxious.
My phobia has made my life very difficult. I want my loved ones to know that I really do want to talk to them, but only in person, and that when I don't pick up the phone it's due to the panic attacks and fear.
In general, the negative impact of not being able to talk on the phone has forced me to rely on my mother and husband to make the important calls for me, and even then I have to talk because they need to have a verbal consent. I dread the moment the phone gets passed over to me and as I raise the phone to my ears, my body shakes, my heart beats rapidly, my mind draws a blank, and well, basically I inevitably get a full blown panic attack that lasts at least an hour and sometimes longer.
I guess the reason i'm writing this is so the people in my life would try to understand just how complex this issue really is, and for them to realize the fact that I just can't talk on the phone.