Fear of Intimacy

By Kristina Randle, Ph.D., LCSW

Every so often, i dont know why, but i get extremely sad and everything i hate about myself, everything i worry about and all my fears and thoughts I surface themselves and I can’t get them out of my brain. Recently, I was in this state of mind and I realized I have been hurting everyone I’ve ever cared about in my life, after googling a few things, I came across “Fear of emotional Intimacy” articles and such. I took the FIS test and scored a 150..which i guess is not very good. And never in my life had anything made more sense than this fear, it fits my past and current actions and thoughts exactly… and i know for a fact that this is one of the things I may be suffering from, if not the only thing. My question is, how do I overcome this fear and how do I know if this is something that I may need therapy for.

A. It is possible that you do have a fear of intimacy, especially after having had read about it and the description resonated with you. However, allow for the possibility that you may have incorrectly diagnosed yourself. You took a test that confirmed a fear of intimacy but how valid is the test? I would caution you against self-diagnosis. It’s possible that you are wrong.

In your letter, you described having periods of depression and anxiety. You did not detail why you thought you had a fear of intimacy. All I can conclude from your letter is that you may be experiencing depression and anxiety.

Self-diagnosis is problematic. The layperson is not trained to evaluate psychological conditions. Mental health professionals receive years of advanced training to learn these skills. It’s also important to carefully and critically evaluate the materials you are reading on the Internet. It’s good practice to bring these materials with you should you decide to be evaluated by a mental health professional. The mental health professional could evaluate these materials as well as your symptoms and determine if you have a psychological problem.

If you continue to have periods of depression and anxiety, then you should be evaluated by a mental health professional. Undergoing an evaluation will help to determine whether or not you have a fear of intimacy or anxiety or depression. Should the evaluation uncover psychological problems, your therapist will develop a treatment plan to assist you in eliminating your symptoms. Please take care.

Dr. Kristina Randle
Mental Health & Criminal Justice Blog

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 8 May 2013

APA Reference
Randle, K. (2013). Fear of Intimacy. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 18, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/05/08/fear-of-intimacy/