Everyone experiences anxiety in some form or another. One less common form of anxiety that maybe many people don't know about or experience is phone anxiety.
I particularly experience phone anxiety. I feel very ‘meh’ about talking on the phone and I really hate it. If I can get away without having to take or make a phone call, you'll bet your bottom dollar that I will.
One of the most prominent times that sticks in my head of phone anxiety is when I was first referred for talking therapy to help my anxiety. It was a self-referral service so I had to organise a referral. Unfortunately, the only way to do this was by phone as it was a local region-specific service. So I had no choice but to use the phone. It was terrifying and I was such a chicken about. I made the call a good dozen times but, each time got too scared and shut it off about four seconds before it'd start recording a voicemail. It was a disaster.
The main thing to remember about phone anxiety or any type of anxiety at all is that it is normal. No matter what anyone else tells you, you aren't weird or worthless or less than for feeling anxiety. Everyone feels anxiety. Nerves are completely physiologically normal. We wouldn't be human if we didn't get jitters and nerves and anxiety. It comes from our fight or flight instinct. We can't stop feeling nervous and it's nothing to be ashamed of. It's survival. That's okay.
You do have to be aware of when normal anxiety becomes a mental issue. There's nothing wrong with you if you do have an anxiety or panic disorder. It's just important to recognise that. Here are some symptoms to look for. If you experience them at any point, you made need to see your GP or a therapist for a diagnosis.
There are ways to avoid phone anxiety and one of the ways to do this, one of the more obvious ways, is to avoid using the phone. This can be both good and bad for you. Not using the phone will, of course, reduce your anxiety, making you generally feel better. However, avoidance of fear is not going to solve the problem. Without confronting it, the fear won't go away. You can confront it using CBT or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy in order to learn relaxation techniques and learn to cope with your fear in a safe controlled environment. If you are interested in CBT, there are many websites that can provide you with more information and you would need to talk to a doctor or therapist/mental health professional.
Don't be afraid of fear. Fear should be afraid of you because you, my darling, are one fierce human.
Teenagers With Experience is an organisation created to provide teenagers worldwide with an online platform to share their own experiences to be able to help, inform and educate others on a variety of different topics. We aim to provide a safe space to all young people. You can contact us via email, social media or our contact form found on our home page.