She’s So Terrified She Can’t Ask for Help

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From Scotland: I’m worried I may have social anxiety but I’m too afraid to go see a doctor, we moved to Scotland a few years ago and I haven’t even registered at a doctors all I can think is I’ll have to speak to a receptionist both on the phone and face to face, sit in a waiting room with other people I don’t know and then talk to a doctor about it all and all of that goes round and round in my head until I feel sick, i barely leave my house for fear of having to talk to anyone which is making it impossible to get a job or make any friends, I even find it hard talking to members of my family that a don’t see every day, I find it nearly impossible to talk to one person and even worse for groups and its just getting worse I basically sit in my room the whole time and have like a panic attack if the phone rings or someone knocks on the door and that’s in the safety of my own home I want help before it gets even worse and I stop going out at all I’m already close to that but I’m too scared to go ask for help even just typing this I have shallow breathing sweaty palms and palpitations please help me

A: Whatever the diagnosis, you are certainly in great distress. As you’ve already discovered, avoiding the issue is only making it worse. Since you do have family, is there anyone you trust enough to help you? Often someone who is afraid on their own can lean on a trusted family member or friend. The support person can make the phone call and accompany you to your appointments and wait for you until your appointment is over.

You might also find it helpful to read a couple of books about anxiety disorders. “Feeling Good: The New Mood Therapy” by David Burns and “The Anxiety and Phobia Workbook” by Edmund Bourne are two that have helped many of my clients. You might also benefit by joining one of the forums here on PsychCentral.

Please take some steps to help yourself. This isn’t going to get better on its own. You deserve to have a less stressed life.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 May 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). She’s So Terrified She Can’t Ask for Help. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 25, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/05/29/shes-so-terrified-she-cant-ask-for-help/