Anxiety Support
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phones are scary!

Hi everyone, i just wanted to talk bout something and see if anyone has the same problem...

im petrified of being on the phone, like i freak out anytime i hear my phone ring or my house phone, sometimes even when someones phone on the TV rings! I start to breathe really heavy and when im on the phone i lose my breath while im speaking and i start sweating and its horrible. i don't really remember when it started, or why it happens. i just hate it and want to smash the phone when i hear it haha!

does anyone else get this?

-Robyn xx

6 Replies

No I've never had that. Maybe it's a social anxiety. Anxiety having to do with people. I love my phone and am on it more than I probably should be.


I used to be terrified of talking on the phone if I didn't know who it was. What I found helped me was work. Through teaching I have to make numerous phonecalls to parents and to organise trips. I found that the more calls I made, the more confident I got. Now I answer the phone at home no problem. I think the more you talk on the phone, the less scared you'll be. It will take time though, it took me over a year to get confident.

Good luck!


I used to be exactly the same with 'phone phobia'. It was many years ago now but I was going through a very stressful time both at home and at work and I think pp. was another manifestation of my anxiety. I agree that avoiding talking on the 'phone doesn't really help but don't feel you have to rush and answer it every time it rings - that what answering machines are for and giving yourself a break helps. I notice that when I am stressed my speech is the first to be affected (I stuttered badly as a child). I think it all goes back to my childhood with a very anxious, mentally ill father who wasn't always kind to us. Good luck and give yourself some quiet time out if you can - it seems to work for me xx


Agree with other comments. I have a display phone, so at least I can see who's calling and if I don't recognise the on the display I don't answer. If it's really important they'll leave a message.

Sounds like you've got a bad association involving a telephone and you might never remember what it was. But you can work through this by taking gradual steps which will be pretty challenging but will almost certainly rid you of this phobia.

Begin by pulling out the plug and handling the phone as much as possible (in the knowledge that it can't possibly ring). Familiarity is a great weapon against phobias and it's the only way of assuring yourself that there's nothing to fear and that you're taking control. So basically make friends with it and reinforce your confidence by saying, out-loud, that you're NOT afraid & that you WILL take control.

After you've 'made friends' with the instrument ( could take days ; weeks) you could try lowering the volume or, if it's already low, partially cover the ringer outlet with tape to muffle the sound. It'll take lots of practice and patience but it's the only sure way to overcome this...................the only short cut is medication, but it's so much more reliable when you've worked through it yourself.

Good luck Robyn. x


Yes. And I sometimes freeze and can't answer. I used to have terrible panic attacks if someone knocked on the door too- I would just go and hide. (This has improved significantly--tho 3 or 4 times out out 10, knock jolts me and I scream a little. I've considered asking people to not knock so loudly

I hope I'm not giving you bad advice, but

About the phone:

Can you turn off the ringer and then check every hour or so who's called and maybe listen to messages.

Texting has been a a big help--that way no one can tell how freaked out I am. If you can't answer a text immediately, it's okay.

Keep ringer low if it has to be on.

Don't know what to tell you about the tv--but it's a good feeling when I realize it's not my phone ringing.

But I know--can you find a soft and understated ring--or a song with positive associations to replace the ring you have now?

Hope this is helpful. Thank you for bringing this up.

Blest Wishes, Robyn

pen xxx



I think this is probably part of social anxiety. How do you feel about email as my son who hates phoning often will use this method. It allows him the option of when to respond and doesn't make a noise. Also in order to contact friends he will use face book. He asked me the other day what we did without the internet.

Even though he is a very intelligent and articulate individual if he has to phone and speak rather than text he works out before hand what he is going to say but still physically shakes and gets muddled.

Hope this helps



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