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Barbarannamated

Phone anxiety

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Barbarannamated

I've noticed that a few people mentioned phone anxiety in other threads. I thought I was avoiding talking on the phone as I've felt myself distancing and isolating which leads to more isolation, I realize. Now wondering if anxiety plays in. I'm ok w/most outgoing calls because I control that. Although outgoing calls responding to messages are problematic.

 

Sorry if this has been discussed before. I searched and didn't find a topic.

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Shanti

Hi Barb. I have the Phone Anxiety. I didn't know if it was part of Agoraphobia. I get very nervous when the phone rings, even if it's a close friend or family. I do okay when it's my doctor for some reason. I almost never answer the phone. I let it go to the answering machine, and will call them back when I'm not feeling anxious.

 

I think mine is related to debt collectors, as I went through a period where we couldn't pay our bills and had a lot of harassment. I got in the habit of screening the calls, and eventually stopped answering the phone every time it rang. Then I changed my number, had it unlisted and didn't give it out. But I still wouldn't answer it. Now sometimes I even have a panic attack when it rings.

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Phil

I have phone anxiety. Not sure why. I wonder if it may be something to do with our brains ability to process sounds during withdrawal?

I know that my ability to listen is quite bad now, which can certainly make me anxious as it takes a while to "get" what people are saying.

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compsports

I have phone anxiety. Not sure why. I wonder if it may be something to do with our brains ability to process sounds during withdrawal?

I know that my ability to listen is quite bad now, which can certainly make me anxious as it takes a while to "get" what people are saying.

 

Hi Phil,

 

Perhaps I am splitting hairs but as someone with a hearing loss and auditory processing disorder (which I have always had even prior to being on psych meds), your anxiety would be considered a secondary issue since there is a primary reason why you have difficulty on the phones.

 

Of course, the anxiety can take on a life of its own, especially like when I personally spoke to someone yesterday who had a foreign accent which gives me the biggest problem. When he spoke, I experienced it as mumbling.

 

And of course, I was so frustrated that I couldn't even think of the right way to ask him to clarify what he said.

 

CS

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Barbarannamated

CS,

This is infuriating to me for diff reasons. If it is an American company, I will politely ask to be transferred to someone else ( who speaks English/is understandable, etc). W/ the amount of outsourcing, I especially don't want to speak to someone I can't understand when seeking help with a technical issue that I have little knowledge of in 1st place! S Ca is bad, but the Wash DC is very tough also due to so many ethnic groups in one place.

Likewise, I don't travel to areas where English is not primary language and expect them to adapt to me.

This probably is more of a rant.

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compsports

CS,

This is infuriating to me for diff reasons. If it is an American company, I will politely ask to be transferred to someone else ( who speaks English/is understandable, etc). W/ the amount of outsourcing, I especially don't want to speak to someone I can't understand when seeking help with a technical issue that I have little knowledge of in 1st place! S Ca is bad, but the Wash DC is very tough also due to so many ethnic groups in one place.

Likewise, I don't travel to areas where English is not primary language and expect them to adapt to me.

This probably is more of a rant.

 

Hi Barbara,

 

Sorry, I wasn't clear.

 

I was speaking to a resident in my apartment complex. The guy gave up when I couldn't understand him.

 

CS

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Barbarannamated

BUMP

Mix in family stuff and the phone becomes a thing to avoid. It's very bizarre.

 

I read once that phases of this process are "autistic-like" and I dont know what that feels like but imagine it's a bit like i feel now - disconnected to an extreme.

 

Unable to think/plan beyond the moment (involves phone) except to know there will be consequences to not being able to think beyond the moment. Extremely unsettling.

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Junglechicken

Have always hated talking over the phone - I get this from my mother I think.

 

I think its just because I prefer actually seeing someone face to face and body language......

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Rob66

It's now 2017 and I rarely get a call anymore.  Everybody seems to prefer texting or emailing me.  Less anxiety for me, but always less personal.  

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drugged

I am very reluctant to use the telephone.  It doesn't feel like a fear exactly, I don't experience intense anxiety or panic.  I only answer my phone if I'm expecting an important call or if it's my spouse.  I'm the same with answering the doorbell.  I'll avoid it when at all possible.  I've generally become reclusive and virtually agoraphobic over the past six years.  I tend to beat myself up about it though I know that that only makes it worse.  I'm starting to reestablish a regular mindfulness meditation practice.  I've found when I keep at it I'm more likely to stop guilting myself.  

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Rhiannon
47 minutes ago, drugged said:

I am very reluctant to use the telephone.  It doesn't feel like a fear exactly, I don't experience intense anxiety or panic.  I only answer my phone if I'm expecting an important call or if it's my spouse.  I'm the same with answering the doorbell.  I'll avoid it when at all possible.  I've generally become reclusive and virtually agoraphobic over the past six years.  I tend to beat myself up about it though I know that that only makes it worse.  I'm starting to reestablish a regular mindfulness meditation practice.  I've found when I keep at it I'm more likely to stop guilting myself.  

 

I struggle with this all the time. I don't really understand it and I find it very frustrating. The doorbell isn't an issue (mine is broken anyway) because nobody comes to my house unless I already knew they were coming for some reason. But to make phone calls, even to friends, or for something that I want to do, and the same with just getting out of the house even to do something that I know I will enjoy once I get there. It's very frustrating for me. I wish I understood it.

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drugged

I think I read somewhere that, one thing this family of antidepressants does, is inhibit the reward/pleasure centers of the brain by decreasing available dopamine levels.  I can't speak for anyone but myself but I think I figured out pretty quickly that the things that used to bring me enjoyment left me feeling that same old numb.  I suspect I rapidly lost my motivation to do the things I once enjoyed.  As for the things I never much cared to do in the first place like talk on the phone or spend a lot of time out and about, they didn't have much hope of surviving.   

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Altostrata
2 hours ago, drugged said:

I think I read somewhere that, one thing this family of antidepressants does, is inhibit the reward/pleasure centers of the brain by decreasing available dopamine levels.  I can't speak for anyone but myself but I think I figured out pretty quickly that the things that used to bring me enjoyment left me feeling that same old numb.  I suspect I rapidly lost my motivation to do the things I once enjoyed.  As for the things I never much cared to do in the first place like talk on the phone or spend a lot of time out and about, they didn't have much hope of surviving.   

 

Probably not true, but sounds sciencey. Do you think your benzo, Lyrica, tramadol, zolpidem, and buspirone intake might be affecting your sense of motivation?

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Guilietta
4 hours ago, drugged said:

I am very reluctant to use the telephone.  It doesn't feel like a fear exactly, I don't experience intense anxiety or panic.  I only answer my phone if I'm expecting an important call or if it's my spouse.

 

And I thought that phone  'anxiety' was just me....and somewhere along the way this evolved into email anxiety as it relates to work email. I never labeled phone issue as anxiety - but maybe it is. I considered it conditioning based on emotional grief growing up and into the present day.  A few examples of why I think conditioning:

  • Prank phone calls during most of junior high and school years. Today we would call this bullying. Given my seizures (not controlled during these years) I was fairly sensitive to being singled, ostracized, etc. I dreaded the ring of the phone and if someone asked for me. The phone rang a lot. I dreaded going to school. Conditioned on incoming calls.
  • Calling parents and my call was not welcomed (as opposed to other family members). Don't askme why. Negative conditioning on outgoing calls.
  • Non-business incoming calls from some presonal acquaintances. Some of these I let go to voicemail. I have to be in the right frame of mind or not focused on something to take the call. Note that I know many people who do this. (maybe we are mistanthropes ;).) I can't control the conversation - and if someone asks what 'I've been up to' I can't think of it! Maybe I should keep a running list of things and dates  :) .
  • Business calls: someone will want something, I won't remember what they are calling about (even if they jog my memory), their request hasn't been completed, they have a complaint about my work.
  • In general - face to face communication is the easiest for me. I can't read expressions unless I can see the person.
  • Email: this applies to mostly business. Someone either wants something - or I have a long email I can't wade through or understand.

Again @drugged a lot of people don't like talking on the phone.

 

Maybe if it helps - I told people that I am not particularly  talkative on the phone - but that I am thinking of them just the same.  A number of people didn't understand this - but one did and gave me a suggestion - send a text message - just to let them know I am thinking of them - and maybe ask how their child did at xyz event? Or something about them.

 

Texting is much low stress.

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Guilietta
34 minutes ago, Guilietta said:

phone  'anxiety' was just me

 

could this be more of 'social anxiety'?

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drugged
14 hours ago, Altostrata said:

 

Probably not true, but sounds sciencey. Do you think your benzo, Lyrica, tramadol, zolpidem, and buspirone intake might be affecting your sense of motivation?

https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2005-04/cp-sai040105.php

http://www.helenfisher.com/downloads/articles/18ecn.pdf

https://academic.oup.com/ijnp/article/20/12/1036/3901225

        "The effect of these antidepressants on DA neurons may contribute to their low efficacy. Indeed, it has been shown that the administration of SSRIs such as fluoxetine or escitalopram induced a decrease in DA neuron firing rate in the VTA, whereas citalopram decreased the firing rate and the number of spikes per burst 

 (Prisco and Esposito, 1995; Di Mascio et al., 1998; Dremencov et al., 2009)." 

 

Loss-of-motivation preceded all of the drugs in the cocktail with the exceptions of venlafaxine and omeprazole.  Anhedonia has gotten worse since starting to taper off medications.  

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drugged
14 hours ago, Guilietta said:

 

could this be more of 'social anxiety'?

That could be part of it though personally I've not had problems with social anxiety, not even now.  

 

What you said about texting, I much prefer texting.  

 

I was thinking of this "extreme reluctance but not really a phobia" idea in terms of dysfunctional rewards circuitry in the brain.  For myself, I remember that from the early weeks of taking venlafaxine I would go out horseback riding at a friend's home and this activity that I had always had a passion for didn't give the same sense of well-being.  Over the years that inability to find previously enjoyable activities rewarding got worse.  It occurred to me the other day that not having the motivation to do something could, I emphasize the word 'could', have to do with not getting any feeling of pleasure from, well, from anything.  

 

I'm sure that the addition of the benzo and the zolpidem in particular add to that but I've been holding all the dosages steady with the exception of stopping the buspirone and my one unintended cut of the venlafaxine.  During this time I have noticed bursts of interest in doing some of my old hobbies and days when I do feel motivated to do something; yoga, cooking, going outside, etc. 

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Altostrata

Yes, @drugged, your cocktail of anxiolytics and painkllers has nothing to do with a lack of motivation. Must be the anti-dopamine influence of the antidepressants.

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Guilietta
On 11/9/2019 at 1:00 PM, Rhiannon said:

the same with just getting out of the house even to do something that I know I will enjoy once I get there. It's very frustrating for me. I wish I understood it.

 

Do you find that if you do get out of the house - and to whatever it is you are going to do - the movies, a friend's house, etc. - that you are happy and the apprehension is gone?

 

 

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