Depressed caused by social phobia

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Q. I think I may suffer with depression caused by social phobia. I want to get help for this as it is holding me back career wise and also life wise. I am at risk of losing my job because of this condition. My problem is that I am finding it very hard to see a doctor because I fear he may send me to a therapist. I’m not sure what I fear from seeing a therapist but my instincts keep telling me not to go, and it doesn’t matter how hard I fight it I just panic and end up back at square one.

My boss currently knows about this and he thinks that I am getting help. But secretly I am not. He has warned me that my behaviour has put my job at risk, as I am unable to perform my duties by enforcing company policy through fear of people disliking me. I worked extremely hard to get where I am putting in 500% effort and pushing myself further down (emotionally) as I do. But even that isn’t enough to push me through the GP’s door.

I am just wondering if this is a common occurence and if so is there alternate ways to get help? I really am at the end of my tether now, I have had just about as much as I can take of all this. I understand if you cannot reply to this question, and thank you for your time.

A. You have little choice in this situation since your problem has ballooned so large that it is affecting your job. Realize that this problem is engulfing your life and has become out of your control. You do need help to fix it precisely because it has only gotten worse. Your “instincts” that tell you not to go for help are not instincts at all; it is fear. Fear is crippling you. This is much easier written than done but the only way to resolve this situation is to face your fear and get the help you need. Maybe your GP can give you a medication to tone down your fear and panic and this may afford you the ability to make it in to talk to a therapist.

You deserve and have the ability to live a normal life without crippling fear. Try your hardest to do it now before you lose what you have worked so hard to build. I wish there was an easier answer. There is nothing to fear in getting help and only good can come from it. I wish you the best of luck.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Jul 2007

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2007). Depressed caused by social phobia. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 23, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2007/07/29/depressed-caused-by-social-phobia/