I today made a telephone call! Ok so to a lot of people this is not a big deal but to me these cause a huge panic. It starts when I decide I need to make the call, usually this is a last minute decision because if I have time to think about it for too long the panic will overwhelm me and I won’t be able to do it. My heart starts and the feeling of dread. I have to plan out the conversation, rehearsing over and over in my head so I don’t forget what I need to say. I have a pre-prepared speech that I say before starting a conversation, to try and get the person to realise how much I’m struggling with the call but some places get annoyed with this and try and rush even that. Rushing makes me worse and my words come out all wrong. Let me try to explain to you what it’s like:
Firstly these are the symptoms of a panic attack:
So have these symptoms and then try and have a normal rational conversation, can you do it? No? I have to. With brain fog conversations are tough, but at least with a face to face you can see the person and they can see you and that you have zoned out (which unfortunately happens to me very regularly) or that you’ve not followed what they’ve been saying. But with a phone call you can’t, they can’t see that you are struggling to remember the word or that you cannot remember what the end of your sentence was. Add all of these symptoms together and a phone call becomes a huge problem, and unfortunately most official places and or people don’t understand what you are worried about and either get cross or just try and rush you.
So to my reason for telling you all this. It’s the hope that someone in charge of these things will read this and realise that things need to change. Hospitals, official places like benefits offices etc please please please please realise that not everyone can make phone calls. I think the sum total of all calls ever made or received on my mobile probably don’t even total a basic minutes allowance for a month on most people’s phones. This process stresses me out to the point that often I don’t or can’t seek the help I need because I cannot call, I don’t even call friends or family if I can absolutely avoid it. So if you are in charge of somewhere who requires phone contact, please look into something else. Whether that is an online chat or email, or something else (not video chat which to me is as bad as phone) please look into offering this as an alternative to those stressful, panic inducing telephone calls that are so difficult for people like me.
So do you you have the same problems with phone calls? How have you learned to deal with them? Have you avoided getting help with something because that meant phoning someone up?? Please make me think I’m not alone with this!!