Why can't I make the phone call?

I need to see a therapist. I’ve been dealing with depression for most of my life (along with anxiety) I seem to have all the classic symptoms of ADD, and I have been abusing alcohol.

I’ve decided with help from my partner to get professional help. I’ve been on anti-depressants but stopped seeing a therapist about 4 years ago. I think I did better when I did see one. So here I am, needing to call and make an appointment. A friend of mine told me of a good one just a few blocks away from me. I need to do this but I can’t pick up the phone. I’ve been staring at the damn thing for 8 hours.

I don’t know why my heart pounds everytime I think I’m ready to call and why I’m such a coward. It’s not as though I’m ashamed to call, I just hate that first call to a new therapist’s office.

Help me pick up the phone!

Can you go back to the old one? The familiarity might make it easier to make that call. Good luck.

No, he no longer works in the area.

Thanks for replying though. :slight_smile:

Ok…now make the call. I’ll wait here while you do it.

Go. Now. Let me know how it goes.

I don’t have any advice for you, but lots of sympathy. I spent ten years being too afraid to admit to anyone that I was depressed. I’m glad I finally did admit it and get help, though.

You need somebody to talk to about the anxiety trying to making this call is causing. Have you considered seeing a therapist? :wink:

Maybe imagine it’s some other kind of appointment you are making, like to a general practitioner for a check-up.

I almost did it. This time I actually picked up the phone. Dammit! Why is this so hard??? :frowning:

Well, wouldn’t you know, I call and the lady that answered says I have to call back tomorrow between 9 and 3 since the actual scheduler isn’t there in the evenings. :rolleyes: Now I get to go through this shit all over again tomorrow :frowning:

Yeah, but you did it once! You took the leap and, OK, you were disappointed, but you did it! Think of it as a practice run; tomorrow, you’ll be a pro at it, right?

Good way to look at it. I do feel better now that I’ve made the initial attempt.

The next tall building to leap after making the appointment is actually getting to that first one without dying of fright.

Thanks for the boost mates.



Hopefully the next time will be easier than it was this time.

Thanks Anne I needed that hug. :slight_smile:

I know you may be speaking figuratively, but what exactly are you afraid of, Chao? Talking to someone can only help you.

When faced with something I really don’t want to do, I ask myself if this is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do. The answer is invariably no, so I tell myself if I survived x (the thing that actually was the hardest) I can certainly do the task at hand. Not trying to minimize your fear or anything; I just want to see you get some relief :slight_smile:

Good luck and let us know how you’re doing.

It’s really hard to explain, but I’ll try, from my standpoint (maybe Chao will chime in later).

As long as I wasn’t seeking help for depression, I could pretend that I didn’t really have it, that everything was OK. Maybe it’s not depression after all- maybe I’m just tired, or I’ve just had ~520 bad weeks in a row and the next one will be OK… Never underestimate the human capacity for denial and rationalization.

I know how you feel. Exactly. And however many time you realize it’s easier to do something than worry about doing it, you still worry.

But it is better to do something.

That sucks. Like I said, I know how you feel 'cause I’m doing more or less the same thing. And I’m sick of the fact that there are organisation designed to help people, but they make you jump through hoops just when you’re least able to.

But you made one phone call, you can make another :slight_smile: .

But you did do it. Only last week I had a pretty much identical phone call to make. Appointments soon - you and me both. :slight_smile:

I can completely understand - I was the same way about making an appointment with the dentist. I knew my teeth needed attention, and yet I would not call until I was in so much pain I had to. Now I have a dentist who understands my fear, and I am finally getting my teeth (what’s left of them) taken care of.

You’ve done the hardest part - you picked up the phone and called. Now, tomorrow, tell yourself you must make the call by a certain time before three and plan some sort of small reward for yourself. I’ve always found it works best for me to do things I don’t want to do first thing in the morning, so I don’t have to worry about them all day and possibly find ways to talk myself out of doing them. I also schedule my dentist appointments for first thing in the morning so I don’t dread them all day.

You can do this. And you will be glad you did.

The thing that makes this so frightening is completely irrational. Anne, you hit the nail on the head. By making that phone call, I am truly having to face that I have a problem. There will be no more pretending, I can’t hide from whatever it was that made me want to drink. It will not be better tomorrow, or the next day, or the day after that. Not the way things are going now. I’ve been wanting to do something about it for a while but when push came to shove, I just wasn’t ready.

I have a very hard time asking anyone for any kind of help. I’ve always had the mentality that if I can’t do it on my own, it’s not worth doing. That frame of mind has had a negative impact on my life up until this point.
Instead of my partner offering to help, I actually asked her for once. And now, I have to see a professional. There’s no way around it.

I think I fear rejection. My mind gets carried away and thinks that “what if I call and they refuse to help me?” “what if the person on the phone is mean to me at one of the lowest points in my life?” I know it’s stupid but that’s what makes my heart pound and makes me call “Time and Temperature” 4 times before actually dialing the number to the therapist’s office.

This is all going to get worse before it gets better isn’t it?

envisions a guy dressed as a lion-tamer, whipping the phone. “Dial damn you! Dial!”

I parsed the OP title odd. :slight_smile:

I’ve been there, only it got worse. The first therapist I called wasn’t taking new patients. Neither was the second. After about the third, I called the friend who got me to confront this and told him it was dead hard. He gave me enough encouragement to keep at it. Finally, the sixth therapist was seeing new patients.

She was worth the effort and the hassle, not to mention every dime I paid her. Those who know me in real life can see the change. Even my parents, who consider psychiatry close to quackery admit she helped.

It may get a little worse, but for me it got much, much better. You’ve already shown courage by admitting you need to make the call. You’ve got enough to follow through. Hang in there, and know you’ve got a bunch of people here supporting you. It can get better. I promise. E-mail me if you need a bit of one-on-one support, or come here if you’d like some confidential support.

We’re with you.