Afraid of Everything

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I find myself affraid to do things! Like with college dropped out because i couldnt handle it! before class i would freak out because i didnt want to go be when i was in class i couldnt pay attention because i felt like everyone was staring at me. i was affraid that the teacher would talk to me and i wouldnt know what to say so then everyone would think i was stupid! I am unemployed and i dont want to try and find a job because i know when the time comes for the first day ill freak out not want to go becuase its new and i dont know anyone or know what im doing ill be afraid to make a mistake im affraid ill get yelled at or people will be mean! I hate being places by myself where i dont know anyone! I dont make friends! I recently got picked for a weight loss contest in my town by the radio station. the radio station pays for 6 weeks of a gym membership. Tonight was going to be my fist day going to the gym but i couldnt do it! I drove there 3 times and never went in i just couldnt make myself do it because there were other people in there! people ive never met and i didnt want to feel like they were staring at me! because if i didnt do something right they would all know and stare at me! If i have something really important to talk to my own mom about i cant even do it in person i have to write her an email! I dont know what my problem is and i dont know how to fix it before it completely destroys my life! Please help me understand!

A. Fear is crippling your life. You’ve already dropped out of college. You can’t make friends and you could not even go pick up a prize at a local radio station. This problem has become out of control. I would advise against handling this problem on your own. I would suggest that you strongly consider seeking professional help for this issue.

You are afraid of people judging you. You are afraid of what people might think of you if you were to make a mistake. You are scared of people looking at you in the gym. You also said that you were too afraid to attend your college classes because of your fear of what the teacher might think of you if you didn’t have a good answer. This problem seems related to how you perceive others are viewing you. Your fear regarding others and what they will think of you is disrupting your life.

Essentially you’re sacrificing your life because of other people. The people you are worried about judging you are random people. They are not even people you know. Do you really want to live your life always concerned with what other people think of you? Do you realize that people who are relatively unimportant in your life, are effectively ruling your life? In other words you are letting others determine the course of your life. This is not how you should live.

Therapy can help correct this problem. If you are willing to attend counseling and seriously put in the effort to tackle this problem you will likely have success. This issue is fundamentally about you not believing in yourself and caring too much about what other people think of you. You will never be happy if you are constantly living for others or trying to please them. It’s important that you correct this problem because it is out of control and it’s degrading your life. Go to counseling and get your life back. Please consider writing back in the future if you decide to attend counseling and let me know how you are doing.

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 30 Mar 2009

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2009). Afraid of Everything. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 29, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2009/03/30/afraid-of-everything/

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