Social Phobia / Telephone Phobia

I believe I might have social anxiety to some extent, but have tried to manage my symptoms on my own and
educate myself about this condition. I have tried self help strategies, and things seem to get better for a while, but then I have a set back and get discouraged and start over at square one. This whole experience is baffling to me, as I consider myself a social person.. I like people. I like to be around people and talk to them. I have a job which requires me to spend a lot of time on the phone interacting with people. I have had this job for the past year and over that time I have developed fear in making the calls and when I do get someone on the phone I feel myself blushing, heart racing etc.

I have had a few incidents of people being rude to me, hanging up on me, yelling at me etc and now I have developed this preconceived notion that everyone I call is going to react negatively to me, so I start to get anxious as I'm picking up the phone to make a call.

To complicate this I have rosacea, and when I start to get anxious I start to blush, but now it has turned into severe flushing of the face, neck and chest and I start thinking about how this severe flushing is going to damage my skin and that my blood pressure is soaring and I'm going to have a stroke.. I can always finish the call, but my mind is constantly checking in on my physical symptoms and I can't wait to get off the phone.

My best manoeuvre is I try to accept the symptoms, acknowledge they are there and not make a big deal out of them. But, it's hard and I'm getting frustrated doing this on my own... now unfortunately, this scenario is playing out in my personal calls, as well as with face to face contact, especially when I am speaking to someone I don't know well, or who I perceive as being an authority figure. I thought I could beat this by myself, but I'm realizing I need some guidance and support.

I downloaded Panic Away and and I think it has definitely helped to lessen the panicky feeling and anxious thoughts, but I can't see to get over focusing on the severe flushing. as soon as I feel the warm feeling coming over my face I start to panic...I feel the severe facial flushing is like having a sign across my forehead saying, "Look at me, I'm about to have a panic attack..everyone look!"..

It’s a daily struggle, but I am determined to beat this and to get back to how I use to be. Good luck to everyone else out there who is struggling with anxiety...hopefully we can recover together.

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