I am avoiding people. Worse yet I'm avoiding making phone calls. It has gotten particularly bad lately. I used to have long periods when it didn't affect me, but now I plot out how and when to go to the super market. About 4 years ago I had an awful thing happen with a friend, she and her husband called me to their house, sat me down to lunch and told me the would not be friends with me anymore, they said it was because they didn't like my partner. To say that I have obsessed about this is an understatement. OK here is the odd part, I am a retired psychotherapist so I know what this is. Let me assure the readers that most mental health workers have issues. That's why we are in the field. I know that this Sociophobia is based on the fact that I had a very critical mother. The couple that had me for lunch did absolutely morph into my mother. Time slowed down, fear worked its way in, and I felt myself shutting down. It was a very strange experience. So after nearly 70 years and hundreds and hundreds of hours of therapy, My mother still has a long reach. I have worked with patients on this exact problem. Some are willing to confront the fear over and over to disempower it. For others that is impossible so we strategize. I am in the confronting mode most of the time. And after writing this out, I will go confront it today, but this is very real and very hard to break.
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