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Why am I so nervous on attending Appointments


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Can anyone explain to me, the feeling's and actions I do On attending Appointments or even arrangements that I've made to meet someone.

I don't know how to explain this but I know it is a MAJOR PROBLEM that I'm having.

When I know that I've got to attend an Appointment e.g. Psychiatrist, G.P., Dentist, Hairdressers etc, that I am aware of what time the appointment is, but I always wait till the last minute to start to get ready for. Causing me to run around like a headless chicken!

I can't help it! I always have plenty of time to get ready but, no matter what, I always start to do unnecessary things that could wait till I get back home.

I always end up being late for my appointments/meetings having no excuse for.

Then when I arrive at my appointments, I find that I am very anxious and then start panicking. By doing this I find then that my body perspiration is coming out of me in buckets. Causing yet! more embarrassment for me. It literally drips of me and then I get paranoid, thinking that everyone's looking at me.

Because of this problem that I am having, I find that because of the situation, me sweating and I don't even have to be late for this to occur, that no sooner that I see Psychiatrist, G.P., Dentist etc. That I can't wait to get out. So I am not even saying what my problems are or discussing these issues because I just want to get out!

Most of the time I can't even remember what has been said because my mind has not even been focused on the reasons of my appointments.

So in theory my Psychiatrist, G.P., Dentist are not getting a true statement from me on my thoughts, feelings etc.

I get so nervous at attending these appointments that I have trouble sleeping the previous night because I am so stressed thinking of this problem and the embarrassment it is going to cause me.

I wish I knew why I always leave everything till the last minute but I don't. I could have 5,6,7 hours to get ready and I would still be late! Why?

Could someone please explain to me why my body works like it does. I don't know whether it has anything to do with certain things that has to be done before I leave the house or not? E.G My bed has to be made, no dirty pots in other words I feel that my house has to be clean and spotless before I depart. When these jobs are done, I find that I'm still dawdling around instead of getting ready! Why Is this affecting me like it is. It's very hard to explain!


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If we make an assumption that you are fearful of what might happen at your appointments, some of this could make sense. For instance, maybe this is a sort of social phobia - social anxiety - which boils down in most cases to a fear of being judged negatively. What I first heard of as "fear of negative evaluation" when I was in school. Perhaps the idea of having to show up for the appointment is nerve wracking, and so you manage to put it out of your mind until the last minute and then you race around to make the appointment with predictable results?

Another possibility is that the idea that you must be somewhere at a particular time is upsetting to you. for instance, some people have anxiety at the idea that they might miss an airplane, and so show up 3 hours early to the airport on the theory that: 1) there might be a flat tire on the way there, 2) there might be a long line at security, etc. If the anxiety is strong enough the tendency is to avoid it rather than head it off through being early.

Does any of this sound reasonable to you?

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Hi Paula,

Just thought I would add in that you are definitly not alone on this, I know for me it is a social phobia, I know I do fear being judged badly by these people that for what ever reason feel so much more important then myself. I feel totally embarrased by my own reactions in these settings and as you I run for the door asap. I guess that is the flight part of the anxiety :D

It is very uncomfortable, I am however starting to be flat upfront with these Dr.'s/professionals/high standing figures/ by being honest and saying I am very anxious and ask for a min to gather myself when needed. I also try to wright out what I want to say then give it (because I can't remember when nervous) It is getting better though and most people have been really accomidation such as my dentist he talked very slowly and calmly and really took the time to make sure I was ok with everything, same with hair dressers they tell me what they are doing first and one even got me a cup of coffee How nice is that! I think most people are really nice and understanding if you are honest and tell them you are having a hard time. At least then mabe if the situation like sweating is embarassing you have already said something so they know why, and I know I get that one too and even knowing that you are sweating makes you sweat more.

As for the part about leaving last min. to get to your appt. mabe are you procrastination like leaving homework till the last min. or studying the night before type thing. Mabe leaving at the last min. is similar. mabe it puts off the extream anxiety you know you'll have for a little longer till you absolutly HAVE to leave and go, instead of feeling the whole thing 100% for 3 hours leading up to, mabe you get the 100% thing rate when you have to leave. and then because you have just cleaned the whole house and ran to the appt. you are tired, and hot and stressed. and the finding things to do thing is a way for you to distract yourself a bit? I don't know, these are just my thoughts on it.

I am doing the CBT thing rate now and I have found it to REALLY help in some area's. I am still working on it but it is worth it for sure.

Have you tried just waiting outside the building of the appt. for just 5 min to catch your breath or take deep breaths before you go in. I know you are late but you mabe could try anyways take a few extra min. for you to calm down a bit and cool off before rushing in. I found that when rushing around my heart pumps so hard and then when I stop and sit....my heart is still rushing and that feeling is not comfy so I slow it down before I go in to the appt. and sit. Ok now I'm rambling....

Hope things will get easyer for you, and that this helps a bit..

take care

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Paula and forgeting,

Forgeting, I totally agree with you including your final comment that things will get better for Paula. :rolleyes: You know how I know this?? Well, I will admit to both of you and the whole community that I had a social phobia. Now, in my day, the only treatment was psychoanalysis. I learned a lot about myself and became a good psychotherapist because of it but it did not help me with my social anxiety.

What did help me was using CBT and behavior modification. I did this on my own. I knew how to because, after all, I am in the field. Gradually, things got better. The more I involved myself with people the more my phobia decreased. In fact, being a therapist helped because I had to be with people. Sometimes your job can be your best medicine.

I won't say I am completely free of my social anxiety but I will state honestly that it is far better and that I function and am not stopped by it any longer.

So, Paula, forgeting is correct, keep at it and you will gradually feel better.

Allan :)

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Hi Mark, Forgetting and Allan.

First of all, let me thank all of you for showing concern and giving good advice. THANK YOU!

Mark, to be honest I never even give it a thought that it could be Social Phobia. I honestly think you could be right judging my emotions before hand?

I have experienced my problem regarding my perspiration twice today already. Once when I had to attend a Physiotherapist Appointment for acupuncture on my back, which I found very uncomfortable. Not the acupuncture, the being there. I was late as pure usual and had to lie on a bed, on my stomach, while he stuck 10 needles in my lower back. I didn't feel the needles but felt embarrassed having to lie on my front and all my back being sweaty. I apologised for my perspiration and really tried to explain about how I'm feeling with my Anxiety but I can't. I can't help think that if I try and explain that, that will cause more attention and I don't want that. I just want him to hurry up so I can get out.

I can't even look at him. I don't know why? He's a very nice man. But it's just the way I feel and I can't change that. He must think that I'm really rude! I don't talk, won't look at him, and won't answer any of his question's unless it requires a nod of my head then I do.

I really would like to sit there and acknowledge what he's saying to me. Would love to answer he's questions and also tell him about my fears! But I can't. My body just clams up no matter how I try! I don't know how to explain really. If I say it's like a Jekyll & Hyde but without the Mr horrible side. Am I making sense? Ooh I don't know, you must know what I mean?

The thing about being at a certain place at a certain time and it being soooo nerve wracking is so very true. But I get so much grief about being so un-punctual from people in my Social circle that I just don't bother making any arrangements to meet anyone, any more. I can live with that but I shouldn't have to should I? I mean shouldn't have to live with the fact that I'm not socializing because of my Anxiety and stress issues.

My second Appointment was with my G.P. You would of thought that I'd be calmer with my G.P. as he is aware of my situation but no! I am like with him as I am with everyone else. This only happens when I meet people who who I'm not familiar with. I really hate these situations and to be honest, I feel like it's taken over my life.

My rushing to clean the house before I attend these Appointments, I don't do. Rushing I mean. I don't know whether I could have O.C.D. but my son seems to think so. He always says that there's something wrong with me. That I have a problem! Why am I so clean and tidy and why can't I just relax once in a while! I try to back of a bit but I find it doesn't last for long before I'm slipping back to myself.

Do you know that even when I receive my post, that I don't open it till many hours later, sometimes I don't even open my post for days. In my head, I keep thinking that while I have not opened my post, then I don't know what it is? So then I can't worry about what it can be so by putting it off, then whatever it is will have to wait. I should open my post really because sometimes its something very important.

Allan, I don't mean to sound rude but I think I was last in line when god was giving out brains. Could you please explain to me what Psychoanalysis means as that word I've never even heard off. Also, what is meant when you and forgetting mentioned CBT. I must admit that them word's went right over my head!

Soooooooo I might of bored you once again with my troubles but any information on any of my issues, means alot to me, as I have yet again become isolated in my own home and don't know what to do about it.

Thank you once again, and all information is greatly appreciated!

Take care!

Paula x

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CBT stands for "cognitive behavioral therapy", which is a type of psychotherapy. Psychoanalysis is another, different sort of psychotherapy. I've written a series of articles on the different forms of therapy some time ago - follow the links below to link into the series

The main page is here:


The first essay is "Philosophers, Engineers, Ecologists and Gnostics: Four Approaches to Psychotherapy"

then you can read "cognitive restructuring" (about CBT), and "transference" and "repression" (about psychoanalysis)

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CBT stands for "cognitive behavioral therapy", which is a type of psychotherapy. Psychoanalysis is another, different sort of psychotherapy. I've written a series of articles on the different forms of therapy some time ago - follow the links below to link into the series

The first essay is "Philosophers, Engineers, Ecologists and Gnostics: Four Approaches to Psychotherapy"

then you can read "Cognitive Restructuring" (about CBT), and "Transference" and "Repression" (about psychoanalysis)


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Cheers Mark for getting back so prompt!

I followed your advice and followed the link which took me to Philosophers, Engineers, Ecologists and Gnostics: Four Approaches to Psychotherapy and to be quite honest with you, I couldnt get the jist of it.

What is it meant to be saying? That there's different kinds of Psychotherapy for different kinds of Mental situations. For e.g Anxiety, Depression, Suicidal etc? I told you Mark, that I think I was last in the line when it came to giving out brains. Things have to be fully explained to me, step by step. Otherwise, you may as well be talking to a brick wall!

Also, that I have explained previously, the concerns regarding my Memory and that I'm Dyslexic too! Information like this goooes right over my head!

What I have done is print all the information out and read through as much as I can to understand the meaning of what you are asking me to do, if you get what I mean? I hope that makes sense to you?

Take care and look forward to your reply. Paula.:confused:

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Hi paula

I can try and add a bit, for the CBT anyway

I think the idea of CBT is that we have thoughts, behaviors and actions and if we can try and change these for the better any one of them it can help to change the others. If we think a more positive thought then we can feel a bit better and mabe act differently on a better level, I can try an example for you....

If I "think" that people think I am a idiot then I will "feel" probibly crappy and low about myself and then "behavior" I may not go out, socialize with others and end up staying home and not be very happy.

If I "think" I'm a good person, I try hard, give it my all, and do my best then I "feel" better about myself, more confedent, stronger and then "behavior" I might go out more, try new things, meet new people.

I guess the idea is if we can change how we think it can change how we feel and behave. If we feel a sertain way we can challenge it and see if what we are thinking is accuate or faulty and it can give us a more realistic veiw of our thinking.

I am still working on this and my CBT group is not yet done but I do find that it is helping me in my awarness more. I find I catch myself thinking a sertain way and try to challange it more.

I know that there is more to this but I am just trying for the basic idea for you, hope I got it right:confused::rolleyes: again still working on it. I hope I helped a bit

The other one psychoanalysis I am not really sure but I think it is a bit more lengthy and digs into your past more? Not to sure on that one:rolleyes:

Anyways, take care

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Hi Forgeting,

Cheers for getting back so prompt!

That was brilliant! The way you described that, I can interlock with. I know exactly what you mean.

On trying to change the way that I'm thinking/behaviour on attending these Appointments, I have tried but to no avail. I've tried allsorts!

I'm at my worst when I am actually face to face with my Psyiatrist, G.P., Dentist etc, etc. I find that the more I think about my problem, the worst it get's.

Like I mentioned previously, I can't seem to look whoever in the face. I get Paranoid! Thinking that there looking at me all the time. When either of them ask me near the end of the visit if I have got any questions or is anything else bothering me, I just want to shout yes! but I can't. All's I'm bothered about is getting out as quickly as I can and getting home.

It realy is a MAJOR PROBLEM for me.

I will try this positive thinking that your going on about. I have got an Appointment at my G.P.'s on Thursday. I will keep you posted and let you know how I get on?

Thanks again for explaining in my language! It realy was appreciated. Keep up the good work.

Take care!

Paula x:eek:

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Hi Paula! Have you ever tried imaging before? So you have an appointment with your GP. You have several days to prepare. Imagine how you want the interactions to go. Think of this as fun! Have fun with this! This is not real! Try small talk in your mind. What is your GP like? Think about that. And remember to look him in the eye. See if you can practice this in your mind. I used to do this often, even still. It gave me energy.

Also, for practice, you can try interacting with someone in the grocery store. Go to the grocery store and look at people in the eye. Look at their entire being. Do they seem interesting to you? Watch people interact and what they say. If they look you in the eye, try and smile and they are sure to smile back!

When I was in college, I remember all my life when I looked in the mirror I would always look at parts of myself. I hated me! When trying on clothing, I never liked what I tried on. Once for whatever reason, I looked at my entire self while trying on clothes and I really liked it a lot. I was nice looking and truly never noticed before. Once I bought this black hooded cape and I thought I was so cool! :rolleyes:

I do not know how you look at yourself in the mirror. Do you look at yourself in the eye? Smile at yourself? Even try winking? This sounds silly I know but it works! Look at your whole YOU. I'd be interested in finding out what you see! :)

Once when I was 11, my family were bowling. I saw a sign that said if you bowl three strikes in a row you can win a game. I imagined bowling three strikes in a row and it was so powerful! It was as if I KNEW I was going to do it, as if I had already done it. So I told my dad I was going to get three strikes in a row. He didn't believe me. So I bowled one strike, yea! Then another. :) My dad went and got the manager and told him what I said, and that I had already bowled two strikes. Then finally, I bowled another time. The next one was a strike also! :eek: I kid you not! This really happened! Needless to say, it had been awhile since I had bowled a strike again.

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Cheers Megan for your kind words.

At the present, I don't think I can look my G.P. In the eye. Just thinking about it after reading your reply sent me all Anxious and Agitated. The feeling that I get Is unreal. The flutters in my stomach, going round and round not knowing when they are going to stop. Just the thought of it sends me do lally!

The last time I looked at myself and liked what I saw was before I had my children who are 26yrs & 21yrs. Two boys named: Lea - eldest & Bradley 21.

I am a bit like yourself, overweight! It makes it worst that I am only ft tall. My two son's tower over me being the eldest ft, 10inches and the youngest ft 8inches.

I have downloaded some photo's of me and my youngest son on my profile if you care to have a look. There's also some photo's of my house (living room & kitchen) that I am very proud of because I decorated them all by myself. Oh! and my cat Tigger. Mustn't forget him!

He was a stray. I only gave him a drink of water, that was four yrs ago and he has never moved since. He had a poorly paw and I couldn't see him suffer so I took him to the Vet's. I explained to the Vet that he was a stray, so she checked to see if he was chipped and he was. After getting in touch with the previous owners that had lived near me but had moved and told me that they had been to pick Tigger up 5x times, only to be let out and off he roamed back to his roots. They said that I could take over ownership if I wanted and I agreed. They informed me that when they got him at two yr old. That they had got him from a rescue home. They said that he had been rescued from the previous owners to them by the N.S.P.C.A. and that practically every bone in his body was broken. He had been used like a football. It took the cats rescue over two years to get him right. Even now he flinches at males so it must of been a man who had done this to him. How could they harm a defenseless cat like this. I believe in what goes around, comes around! I truly hope that this PIG gets all that he deserves!

Will give it a thought, and will really try and do my best before Thursday comes. Take care. Paula x

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Nice photos Paula! I love cats myself! They are purrrrfect!! :rolleyes: They have nice dry kisses and are so loving!

Is there something intimidating about your GP? What is he like? Is he kind? Remember, he is there for YOU and not the other way around! Let him earn his money!

When I was 16 I started going to a psychiatrist. I felt real intimidated by him. I feared my father during my childhood and and also into my twenties and thirties. He was powerful and important in my mind. I was nothing. Have there been folks like that in your younger years that may affect you now?

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Hey Paula,

I can so totally relate to what you are saying about Dr. appts. I think the worst is knowing they are looking at you and I am trying not to look at them and then when I do finally look up it is like they are staring at me making eye contact. I've read that they are supposed to make eye contact but OMG I hate that. I used to ask my family/people to just turn around and look the other way if I needed to read/say/do something and really couldn't do it if people were watching me. I wish I could ask my Dr's to do the same lol. But I do write it out, and most times actually give it to them, it is really hard espesally if there is something big I need to talk about or say but just can't, I'm to frozen.

I know I have gotten a bit better with all this, but it is still very difficult to do and go through, it is good to know how the thoughts play a part in all this.

Good luck with your appt. on thursday, try and take a bit of time to relaxe yourself before walking in to the office, take a few deep breaths and remide yourself that you can do it, like a pep talk, I think the dr's are there to work for you to help you, not against you. Alot of what I think about myself is where the judgement comes in, I fear I look stupid, I think I look bad, I think I sound silly. but really do I? mabe not so much, mabe the Dr.'s don't think that at all, mabe it is me being hard on me...mabe I need to lighten up a bit, and so this is what I am trying to do:D

I hope all is well, take care

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Hi Megan & Forgeting,

Thanks for your kind words, the pair of you.

Forgeting, I understand where your coming from, It is hard isn't it. I don't know, I always feel like I'm being judged or something. I get this feeling, as if they're trying to read my mind. I just feel as though I shouldn't be there in the first place, even though I know that something is just not quite right with my head. Am I making sense!

When I was growing up, I was always led to believe that if you suffered any Mental Health problems, then you would end up in a loony bin and that would be the end of that. You wouldn't get to see your family ever again, and you would rot and die in there.

When I was young, I remember that we (me & my friends) used to always go and torment this old woman. We used to climb on her shed in her back garden. She always came out with a walking stick and started to wave it at us saying, 'that if she caught any of us then she would take us to this loony bin and lock us up and throw away the key so no-one could find us'.

We used to call her names like the old witch, and we used to shout back saying 'that she would never catch us because we was to fast'. But at the night time, I always remember that when we walked past her house, that we used to look at the tree's and think that they was watching us. Making sure that we didn't climb on her shed.

Strange isn't it, how you can remember things that bothered you, but you can't remember a day to day living when you was growing up. Meaning that you can't tell anyone what you did every day of your life while you was growing up?

Thinking about my Appointments and not being able to look my G.P. in the eyes, makes me think if that story could of had an affect on me. What I'm saying is: with me being led to believe that if you had anything wrong with your mind that you would end up in a loony bin that, that could be the reason that I get all worked up and won't look him in the eye because deep down I know that there's something wrong with my mind and I could be frightened that I'm going to get locked up and they are going to throw away the key. So by not looking at them, in my eyes it means that they cannot see that I'm not a full shilling, so to speak, so I wont get locked up! Does that make any sense!

That's the nearest I can explain it!


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Hi paula,

yes you make sense, I think that mabe you are onto something there. If you grow up thinking basically that you could get locked up for not being well it is no wonder you don't want to say things but that is not how it is anymore. I think it would have to take quite alot for them to put you in hospital and even then it would be short time. I thought that to, I thought that if I said any of my thoughts that boom I'd be in a hospital but really even once when I think I needed to be I still was turned away, TG I made it though that down time. It probibly was because I couldn't comunicate myself well that I needed them at that moment, either way I think it would take alot to go into hospital so don't worry about that.

take care.

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Thanks Forgeting for your reply.

Do you know, since I mentioned it yesterday in my post, It has constantly been on my mind! I'm wondering whether I've hit the nail on the head so to speak!

You see, where I live no-one talks much about Mental Health and if you do, you get ignored. That's when the Paranoia sets in. It's something that is not freely spoken of, like it should be.

I have been hospitalised x2 for attempting Suicide, and the last time not to long ago. 2 Maybe 3/4 weeks ago. I don't know. I can't remember. But what is so annoying is that I want help and no-one is getting to the route of my problem. I know that they have started the ball rolling regarding Appointments to see various doctors but it's all a waiting game and I need help now!

Sometimes I'm afraid to go out, and do you know why that is? Because every time I go out I get people staring at me. They even cross over so as not to be near me. I even had one girl come knock at my door and said that I was stupid to do what I did. I ended up just closing the door on her face!

Maybe this is why I get all worked up, previously before I go anywhere. That is one of my troubles. I think to much of what people think of me and I know that I shouldn't, but that's me. Call it Pride if you want, but as long as Ive still got that then I know I'm still living in reality. It's when that goes that you start worrying!

Anyway enough said. Take care.

Paula x:rolleyes:

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I sure didn't mean to confuse you with regard to the different kinds of therapies. The basic idea is that there are different kinds of therapies, and each one has a different idea about what is important to address in order to help people feel better. Cognitive therapy thinks that it is important to help you examine how you think and interpret things. Psychodynamic therapy thinks that it is important to explore your past relationships and try to understand how the things that have happened to you in the past cause problems for you in present day relationships. Etc.

I think that some of the other posts here have been helpful to you. Do you feel like this is a good enough answer, or should I try to go into more examples?


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