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I Have a Fear of Going to Work

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From the Philippines: I recently graduated. I have a fear of going to work because I am afraid to do anything on my own. I have always doubt with my skills and to my self. I have always what ifs on my mind like: it is unfamiliar place, what if I get lost… what if I made mistake, what if the boss is scary.

I always fear the idea of going to unfamiliar place that when it gets on my mind, thinking of it makes me worried or unable to sleep soundly. I never go to unfamiliar route without worrying what will happen to me there alone and without companions to help me.

I don’t like to stray too far from my house that is why I rarely leave my home except going to church. What should I do? It hinders me to explore the real world and developed my being to become independent…I fear real life.

I Have a Fear of Going to Work

Answered by on -


Thank you for writing. This sounds very painful. You don’t have to continue to live this way. There is help available that really and truly is helpful.

I can’t make a diagnosis on the basis of a short letter but what you are reporting is consistent with an anxiety disorder. As you have already discovered, your fears/anxiety are preventing you from moving forward in life. The longer it goes untreated, the worse it gets. At this point, you may actually be worried about your worries — which will only make you more anxious.

Please consider seeing a therapist to help you break the cycle of fear. Really. It can be done. A therapist will help you learn to cope with your fears and will teach you some skills for becoming more independent.

In the meantime, you might find it helpful to get a copy of the book Feeling Good by Dr. David Burns. He describes concrete things you can do to manage your anxiety.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

I Have a Fear of Going to Work

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). I Have a Fear of Going to Work. Psych Central. Retrieved on May 21, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.