Too Anxious to Get Help for My Anxiety

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

I don’t know what to do. I’m so anxious and depressed I can’t even function. I’m able to hold my job, but that’s about it. I’m trying to patch things up with my best friend, who’s a sister to me, because I’ve fallen off the face of the planet for over a month again. I don’t mean to, I just get these times I can’t deal with people. Today I felt so anxious at work I thought I was going to die.

I know I’ve reached a point where I can’t go on any further on my own. I just can’t take the next step to see a counselor. I haven’t even seen a medical doctor in over a decade; I’m so terrified of doctors.

Even if I was able to make an appointment, what am I supposed to do then? I’ve been like this all my life, but it hasn’t disabled me like this before. I think it’s because of the sexual abuse that happened as a child, but I could never admit that in person. How am I supposed to even get better if I’m too much of a coward to admit that? No one ever knew about it. It’s one thing to say that online, but I can’t even begin that sentence out loud in person.

I’m trying to get the courage to call a counselor I saw as a child, but I don’t know her email and every time I try to call her office I panic and hang up. I don’t really know anyone who could help me set up an appointment. I don’t know what to do now. I’m trying to just buck-up get it over with but I just keep shutting down. If I could be brave I could just set up the appointment, but then if I was brave I wouldn’t be so out of control of my own life. Is there anything you can think of I can do to make this easier? I don’t know what else to do, and I’m at the end of my rope. And can you even get better without talking about the past?

A. You have nearly made the appointment but fear has stopped you. Fear is ruling your life.

Make the appointment and keep it. Don’t worry about having to talk about sexual abuse at this point in time. Focus on current issues for now. Focus on the here and now. At this time, severe anxiety is ruling your life. That reality must be dealt with before delving deeper into your childhood issues.

The best way to combat fear and other psychological problems is to focus on reality. Force yourself to focus on what is real. Your fears are based on erroneous thinking. For instance, you are terrified of doctors, but in reality doctors exist for the purpose of healing you. There is no reason to fear a doctor. Don’t allow yourself to believe in an idea that has no basis in reality.

I applaud the fact that you are making an effort to seek help. Just getting to your first appointment should be considered an accomplishment, a step toward your return to happiness. I know that it will be difficult but force yourself to complete the call and go to the appointment. There are no secret tricks. Just get in your car and go, even if you are frightened. Realize that nothing bad can come from seeing a mental health professional. The most likely outcome from attending the appointment is relief and your finally getting the help that you deserve. Please take care.


Dr. Kristina Randle

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Apr 2012

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2012). Too Anxious to Get Help for My Anxiety. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2012/04/06/too-anxious-to-get-help-for-my-anxiety/