Thursday, August 5, 2010



Allergic reaction to using the telephone or other voice-controlled communication device. Introverts are most prone to this allergy; geek or nerd status can exacerbate the condition.


Unknown, patients report not wanting to talk to people they don't know. Tele-usage causes the weakest reaction when the patient is communicating with close friends and family, or in a work environment. The reaction is strongest in unfamiliar environments with strangers.


  • Lets voicemail pick up, even when they are home.
  • Waits for any other adult in the room to pick up the phone as it rings.
  • Always checks caller ID before picking up.
  • Will use e-mail, texting, instant messenger -- even snail mail -- before picking up the phone to contact someone.
  • Makes spouse call for take out, schedule appointments, plan play dates and initiate other phone-induced events.

Patient can be re-introduced to the telephone in a controlled environment to increase the patient's tolerance. Each tele-usage should be praised and encouraged, as it takes much energy and concentration. Also, communications aids should be encouraged. Some recent technology enhancements that can help a person with teletitis include:

  • Voice mail to text, enabling the patient to check on voice mail without actually picking up a phone receiver.
  • Online pizza ordering
  • Online appointment scheduling
Case study

A thirty-something female with a moderate case of teletitis. She is competent at using her phone for work purposes, has brief conversations with her husband on the phone, and talks occasionally to friends and family without breaking out into hives. Hesitates to make calls to strangers, answer the phone, return calls or make appointments.  She has made progress over the past year or two, but still struggles with teletitus:

"It took me a month to work up the energy, but I finally called my mortgage company to get some questions answered. I was also able to order pizza over the phone a few weeks back, but got really frustrated when I had to call more than one place to get the right delivery zone. My husband has been very encouraging, and that is really helpful.  Though, he does tease me sometimes. Maybe next week, I'll be able to make that play date for my daughter! Hmmmm.... Maybe not. My husband said he'd call..."


This post has been brought to you by prompts from Mama Kat. The prompt I was responding to was "Steppin outside the box (describe a time when you went way out of your comfort zone)."

Mama's Losin' It


Beth Zimmerman said...

I have that too! Just never knew there was a name for it! :)

Booyah's Momma said...

It's funny... the only time I scramble to pick up the phone is when it rings during naptime (which it invariably does). Other than that, I almost always let it go to voicemail.

Hey, did you redo your blog? Like the new header!

apaprikao said...

I have this too as well! Glad your starting to get over it. I don't know if I ever will.

Thanks for stopping by today!

theworkinghousewife said...

I love! your post.
I call it 'phone-phobic' -- I hate using the phone. There's less than a handful of people I'll actually call.. I love texting and emailing and don't know why that isn't an option with everything.
Love your style! Stopped in from Mama Kat's

Heligirl said...

I know people with this. I always thought it was me. They didn't want to talk to me. I've had therapy, ink blot tests, journaling, you name it. I almost started doing that "gosh darn it people like me" chant. Then you uncover the real issue. It's not all about me!! (totally being a smart ass here) :)

Kristen T. said...

Booyah's Momma -- yes, new header. Thanks for noticing! I was sick of staring at myself staring...

Heligirl -- smart assery welcome here! I practice it myself!

theworkinghousewife -- yes, it's definitely a kind of a phobia. But over the years, as my husband became more aware of it, he'd ask me why I wasn't answering the phone, and I'd say I was allergic! My best friend's husband also has this "condition." We are teased as a unit for avoiding the phone.

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