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abuse survivor with major depression - can i handle an extraction?

S

soupy

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Jul 4, 2018
Messages
41
Hi All :)

I should start with the little intro to say that i have been suffering from major depression for the last few months, following a series of bereavements, some of which were extremely harrowing, and as a result of this and my dental phobias, I am extremely fragile right now and can't really handle any stress at all, even a phone call or a letter of any kind is just too much for me.

On Saturday, an abscess rocked up on a root canalled, cracked, gum lengthened, and crowned tooth. I knew before the consult what the path of treatment would be, my first ever extraction and it would be surgical..i was right, and of course, it had to be a large lower molar.
Having had IV for 10 years, I have faith in it, and i know I wont feel anything, so that part i feel i have a handle on, but what is tipping me over the edge, is firstly, the idea of what is being done, I am an abuse survivor and this extraction feels like a sadistic body violation, i managed with gum surgery and i tell myself that, but i am a different person right now, and secondly, I am wondering if I can cope with the aftermath of the pain, or whether i will be panicked to the max once it kicks in.
A further fear, adding to my stress is that the 'front desk' woman at the practice, (who really is the wrong front person for my lovely dentist) has said that i will end up in emergency having the tooth pulled without IV. The front desk lady said numerous other things, all of which just added to my already very high, stress levels.

any help folks can offer is gratefully received!
 
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Dg6300

Dg6300

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Soupy! You get to get out of my brain! :)

I have experienced much the same. Wow.

1: Yes, removing a tooth does seem like a violation. I am glad to learn I’m not the only person who thinks that.

2. Receptionist are humans who deserve dignity for doing the difficult job of scheduling appointments in a stressful environment. But they seriously need to stick to that job, and stop judging and diagnosing.

You can do this! Please keep us posted.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Soupy,

I'm very sorry for what you have been through with the abuse,, I also am an abuse survivor.. And a massage therapist by trade.. and I learned from experience, our abuse and those deep experiences get sort of trapped in our bodies so when we have other violations/experiences it adds to it and can really cause our body to get triggered and then our emotions. So its really self aware that you are thinking of this and shows you are in your healing process.

I've had many extractions myself and have cried and it does feel like a violation of sorts with some teeth more than others.. especially larger ones.. They are taking something that is rooted in our body and yeah its just not good to experience.. the only thing I did was reframe and think.. its scary and I don't want to do this , but I'm taking care of myself .. but still its like a grief.. we are losing something of ourselves and is ok to feel that grief.. even if its one tooth. And this loss after a series of other bereavements in your life.. it makes sense it would be triggering or hard to do. Thankfully you know iV works well for you to get it done but still hard to process. Does your dentist have any idea of your background and your anxieties about this?

I'm really sorry also about the insensitivity of the receptionist too.. that is really bold and harsh words and she probably had no idea what people are going through when they walk in.. but true Dg6300 it must be a hard job with quite a bit of pressure at times, its hard to get sometimes why people say such insensitive things .

Keep us updated , you have a good community with so many who have been in similiar places..
 
S

soupy

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Jul 4, 2018
Messages
41
Soupy,

I'm very sorry for what you have been through with the abuse,, I also am an abuse survivor.. And a massage therapist by trade.. and I learned from experience, our abuse and those deep experiences get sort of trapped in our bodies so when we have other violations/experiences it adds to it and can really cause our body to get triggered and then our emotions. So its really self aware that you are thinking of this and shows you are in your healing process.

I have tears in my eyes at having received such a caring response, thank you for being to kind as to share your story, and I too am sorry for what you went through.
I was feeling so alone in this, but to hear a fellow survivors thoughts has lasting resonance, and really helps.

My dentist knows of my background, as hard as it was to tell him, and as vulnerable as it made me feel at the time, i felt i had no option. I found a little print out card on the internet, which I used as a way to tell him, and have continued to use it for any medical appointments that i have managed to go to (not many)

I am saddened, but 'glad' to know that i am not alone in feeling this violation, but you are right, I need to focus on the fact that this is a good thing to do for my health, I was finding hard to see beyond the fact i was letting someone do something that was going to hurt me, but i should focus on the positivity of my health.

What you said about loss also makes sense, I had started to wonder why the idea of the loss of this tooth hurt so much, and I had never seen it like that. The last bereavement was the hugest blow of all, it was someone who had pretty much been my saviour thru the bad childhood times, at 93, she was still my armour, and she had been there all my life. Your explanation is very logical, I feel i can stow it on board now, and let the understanding process its way thru as i work up to the appointment. Thank you.

The receptionist came on board at the practice a few years ago, and was part of the reason I dropped out dental work for a while. I think her boss is intimidated by her, so although complaints get made, she's never taken aside, and the cycle continues. It's a real shame as the dentist is a very good man.

Will update as the journey moves along, appointment is 3 weeks away, but i am trying to see if it can be done sooner, so that i can minimise the mental damage along the way.

with deepest thanks
 
S

soupy

Member
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Jul 4, 2018
Messages
41
Soupy! You get to get out of my brain! :)

I have experienced much the same. Wow.

1: Yes, removing a tooth does seem like a violation. I am glad to learn I’m not the only person who thinks that.

2. Receptionist are humans who deserve dignity for doing the difficult job of scheduling appointments in a stressful environment. But they seriously need to stick to that job, and stop judging and diagnosing.

You can do this! Please keep us posted.

Thank you so much for replying, I also thought i was alone in this violation feeling, and its kind of you to share. And I am sorry if a receptionist has ever made you feel as bad as I felt, when we feel scared and vulnerable at the dentists, the last thing we all need is for that to be exacerbated.
thanks again for your thoughts.
 
Enarete

Enarete

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Dear soupy,

thank you very much for sharing your story, this forum is an amazing place to find peace in situations like yours at the moment. Also thank your for mentioning the abuse (abuse survivor here too), because this is still something that doesn't get discussed much, but should. The difficult part is that telling someone about it is so difficult up to impossible on one hand, on the other hand if a dentist/doctor knows and has a bit of knowledge about this connection, it really will help her to understand your fears and help you better. So very well done on letting your dentist know and on the card (btw, would you mind to share the link to the card you have or an idea?)

The afterpain: you won't have any. Just talk to your dentist about what to do. She might suggest that you take the first painkiller before the procedure and then keep taking it so that no pain can kick in properly. After few days you will be fine.

As to the receptionist - sorry to hear that. You know, people who do not have dental pain can hardly imagine how it feels. They just do not know how severe all the physical symptoms are and sometimes they think that suggesting hard and heavy consequences of not going might mean is helpful. I know how unpleasant it is and the best thing might be not to take it personally.

To your question in the name of your thread: of course you can handle an extraction. You know your triggers and you know your fears and you have a lovely dentist which are all the ingredients needed. You might be surprised how good you were able to handle it.

All the best wishes and keep us posted.
 
S

soupy

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2018
Messages
41
Dear soupy,

thank you very much for sharing your story, this forum is an amazing place to find peace in situations like yours at the moment. Also thank your for mentioning the abuse (abuse survivor here too), because this is still something that doesn't get discussed much, but should. The difficult part is that telling someone about it is so difficult up to impossible on one hand, on the other hand if a dentist/doctor knows and has a bit of knowledge about this connection, it really will help her to understand your fears and help you better. So very well done on letting your dentist know and on the card (btw, would you mind to share the link to the card you have or an idea?)

The afterpain: you won't have any. Just talk to your dentist about what to do. She might suggest that you take the first painkiller before the procedure and then keep taking it so that no pain can kick in properly. After few days you will be fine.

As to the receptionist - sorry to hear that. You know, people who do not have dental pain can hardly imagine how it feels. They just do not know how severe all the physical symptoms are and sometimes they think that suggesting hard and heavy consequences of not going might mean is helpful. I know how unpleasant it is and the best thing might be not to take it personally.

To your question in the name of your thread: of course you can handle an extraction. You know your triggers and you know your fears and you have a lovely dentist which are all the ingredients needed. You might be surprised how good you were able to handle it.

All the best wishes and keep us posted.

Many thanks for taking the time to reply, and for opening up, I truly appreciate that, we've all been through a lot and it's not easy putting it out there on a public platform. The support from everyone is helping me no end, things have just been churning round and around since monday.

I feel boosted by your insights regarding pain, it's been on my mind since i awoke at 5am, and it was good to come on here and read this and calm myself down. I will ask my partner will ring the dentist this morning (so that i avoid the receptionist), and then I will go through to him and ask him about pain meds, and how to handle the after plan, thanks for that suggestion, at least then i will have a plan of action in place, and I could handle things better mentally if i have that.

I must put the receptionist to the back of my mind and let the comments go, like you said, maybe she thought tough love was a good game plan. I've never been lectured by anyone at the surgery before, it was always a very warm friendly atmos before she came on board, but i can't let her get in the way of a thankfully superbly understanding dentist.

thanks again for your reply
 
S

soupy

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2018
Messages
41
Dear soupy,

thank you very much for sharing your story, this forum is an amazing place to find peace in situations like yours at the moment. Also thank your for mentioning the abuse (abuse survivor here too), because this is still something that doesn't get discussed much, but should. The difficult part is that telling someone about it is so difficult up to impossible on one hand, on the other hand if a dentist/doctor knows and has a bit of knowledge about this connection, it really will help her to understand your fears and help you better. So very well done on letting your dentist know and on the card (btw, would you mind to share the link to the card you have or an idea?)

Here is the link to the survivors card that you can hand to anyone to let them know your situation.



I slightly altered the wording of the card on the link to suit my phobias/needs/fears. I printed my card out and laminated it, I carry it in my wallet.

hope some folks find it useful
 
Dg6300

Dg6300

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Oct 27, 2017
Messages
672
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I like you. You have grit, moxie. You’re a good sport.

Here is my prediction: sooner than you think one day soon you’ll find yourself eating a tortilla chip or other wonderfully crunchy and pointy food. This extraction will require prompt and courageous action, no doubt. You have what it takes.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Messages
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Soupy,

Thanks for your response and kind words as well... Isn't it amazing, how many survivors of abuse have real difficulty and fear of dentists? I was talking to my psychologist about this and he was saying what an intimate and vulnerable thing it really is with someone being withing close proximity and fighting off triggers,( I don't know how many dentist think about this or not.. some do I'm sure and it helps we tell them, but that is a hard thing to do. honestly I still haven't told mine about my abuse, but he knows about my shame and anxiety and is amazing).. So the fact you were able to share your background and be vulnerable is so amazing as is this card idea!!

"My dentist knows of my background, as hard as it was to tell him, and as vulnerable as it made me feel at the time, i felt i had no option. I found a little print out card on the internet, which I used as a way to tell him, and have continued to use it for any medical appointments that i have managed to go to (not many)"

I'm so sorry about your losses and especially the last loss was a very hard one with her being like an armour for so many years..what a beautiful person she must have been . I can only imagine how hard it is and then to go through all this physical it would be hard.. and draining..

That is great you will have your partner call the dentist to avoid the lovely .... receptionist.. and her attitude.. truly it is hard so many receptionists and first point of contacts can be so brash and insensitive. hopefully she will get better. I had one at my old clinic, I thought.. oh this lady does NOT like me and she was short everytime with me.. I tried to remain positive to her either way thinking she must be not a happy person. She ended up being a bit better over time. My receptionist was also the reason the reason it was a bit more difficult to make the calls.. But a few other receptionists were so lovely and helpful so I didn't have to deal with her all the time , it was like a roll the dice and see who you get, and hope its not her, But I don't have to deal with her now :). REally glad your dentist is very nice though. He seems like a keeper from what you say.

You are so strong and resiliant.. like all others said.. You definately have what it takes or as my dentist would say "You got this" or "We got this'..
 
letsconnect

letsconnect

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Here is the link to the survivors card that you can hand to anyone to let them know your situation.
(I hope it's ok to post it here, i checked forum rules and I think I am ok to do so, apologies if I have got it wrong.)

[out-of-date link removed]

I slightly altered the wording of the card on the link to suit my phobias/needs/fears. I printed my card out and laminated it, I carry it in my wallet.

What a brilliant idea :thumbsup: - I hope you don't mind it being added to this page: https://www.dentalfearcentral.org/fears/abuse-survivors/ ? (at the bottom, under "Useful Resources")

Wishing you all the best - here's hoping that you can get in sooner and that you'll have a very speedy recovery!
 
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S

soupy

Member
Joined
Jul 4, 2018
Messages
41
Soupy,

Thanks for your response and kind words as well... Isn't it amazing, how many survivors of abuse have real difficulty and fear of dentists? I was talking to my psychologist about this and he was saying what an intimate and vulnerable thing it really is with someone being withing close proximity and fighting off triggers,( I don't know how many dentist think about this or not.. some do I'm sure and it helps we tell them, but that is a hard thing to do. honestly I still haven't told mine about my abuse, but he knows about my shame and anxiety and is amazing).. So the fact you were able to share your background and be vulnerable is so amazing as is this card idea!!

"My dentist knows of my background, as hard as it was to tell him, and as vulnerable as it made me feel at the time, i felt i had no option. I found a little print out card on the internet, which I used as a way to tell him, and have continued to use it for any medical appointments that i have managed to go to (not many)"

I'm so sorry about your losses and especially the last loss was a very hard one with her being like an armour for so many years..what a beautiful person she must have been . I can only imagine how hard it is and then to go through all this physical it would be hard.. and draining..

That is great you will have your partner call the dentist to avoid the lovely .... receptionist.. and her attitude.. truly it is hard so many receptionists and first point of contacts can be so brash and insensitive. hopefully she will get better. I had one at my old clinic, I thought.. oh this lady does NOT like me and she was short everytime with me.. I tried to remain positive to her either way thinking she must be not a happy person. She ended up being a bit better over time. My receptionist was also the reason the reason it was a bit more difficult to make the calls.. But a few other receptionists were so lovely and helpful so I didn't have to deal with her all the time , it was like a roll the dice and see who you get, and hope its not her, But I don't have to deal with her now :). REally glad your dentist is very nice though. He seems like a keeper from what you say.

You are so strong and resiliant.. like all others said.. You definately have what it takes or as my dentist would say "You got this" or "We got this'..

Sorry for the delay in coming back - I've been off the board a few days, as the worst happened....through no fault of my own, I've had to find a whole new dentist for the job...i had been there for 15 years, so its been really disappointing/upsetting, so it was nice to come back to your post, and feel a part of something rather than drifting alone with everything :)

It's hard to tell dentists and doctors about all this, having to expose your core, and feel vulnerable, and I think it's a case by case basis, as to whether its the right or wrong thing for each of us to do it. In my case, I think felt that in order to get the best out of the dentist, and to avoid any additional stress, I needed to do it. My overriding motivation in doing it was to be 'looked after better' I think. I hope the card will help a few folks if they decide they want or need to tell someone.

It's great that you have another receptionist or two that can take your calls, it really is a problem when we feel we can't ring in to the dentists, with it being the first step in going down for an appointment, it can really make a difference can't it. My place only had one lady, which made things tricky.

Thanks for your boost :) I would always talk these things over with that lovely 93 year old lady, she was so wise and kind.
 
S

soupy

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Messages
41
Just wanted to thank everyone for their input - since we talked on here, i have been letting all the input work it's way through the old grey matter, bit by bit, and I feel i can do this now. I have a few pain fear issues to work through, and technicalities, but I feel i can do this treatment and have grown stronger through discussing it with others in the same boat.

I have have had it confirmed now that I can have my regular sedationist come with to the appointment with the oral surgeon,(i've never been to him before, i lost my original lovely dentist since the original post, no fault of my own) and I feel safe in her hands and feel fortunate to have that bit of continuity in a new environment.

Your profession krlovesherkids777 has inspired me to mix up some aromatherpy oils in roller balls, I made one blend for inner strength, one for deep relaxation and one for uplifiting me - i felt it would be a boost. I started using it yesterday and its really helping to take the edge off everything.

It's 10 days 'til lift off for me, so i think I am making good progress in getting used to the idea of everything.
To try and help the feeling of loss (i had a lot of bereavements) about losing another 'old friend', that is my tooth, I am going to ask to keep the crown, that way i still have something of him to hold on to! :)
Daft I know, but it feels better doing that.

Soupy
 
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Sevena

Sevena

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805
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I'm a latecomer to the thread, but whatever you need to do is worth it.

The stuff krlovesherkids777 spoke about was a vague description of how trauma "rewires our brains", but pretty accurate! Psychologically, smell is one of the strongest senses, that can really help us guide our brains in a new direction (that's also vague). But it's a strong memory trigger, and if we learn to associate a smell with peace and calm, it can genuinely help us feel that way during stressful times! So I think it will help you a bunch.

Also it's really common to have less emotional strength after stressful times. I don't know if you've heard the term "spoons" but it's common in the autistic community, and in other communities for people with depression, anxiety, and physical illnesses too. The way spoons work is that every person has an allocated amount of "spoons" at the start of each day. But people with depression, autism, anxiety, or any physical illness, have less. It takes them *more* energy (spoons) to do the same things other people do. For a totally healthy, happy person, taking a shower takes maybe half a spoon. For a person who is really struggling it could take four spoons! So they run out of spoons much faster, and can do less in the day, and handle less stress and turmoil. You have depression, and have dealt with bereavement: you have less spoons to start with, and they get used up quicker. It's not your fault, so don't feel guilty. We literally only have so much energy (spoons) to get us through the day. Never feel bad for needing what you need. :hug4:

Also I just want to say...extractions are one of the easiest procedures. They really are! I'm not just saying that. Your nerves tend to deal with better with the removal of a tooth than the attempted filling of nerves/tooth and placement of a crown! You'll be just fine. :)
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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'but I feel i can do this treatment and have grown stronger through discussing it with others in the same boat.

I have have had it confirmed now that I can have my regular sedationist come with to the appointment with the oral surgeon,(i've never been to him before, i lost my original lovely dentist since the original post, no fault of my own) and I feel safe in her hands and feel fortunate to have that bit of continuity in a new environment.

Your profession krlovesherkids777 has inspired me to mix up some aromatherpy oils in roller balls, I made one blend for inner strength, one for deep relaxation and one for uplifiting me - i felt it would be a boost. I started using it yesterday and its really helping to take the edge off everything."

Just want to say you are doing so amazing !! and it really really does help to have people who understand and can say "me too".. to feel heard and seen and just knowing others get it and have there has just been amazing for me ... That is just great you can have your regular sedationist go with to the oral surgeon!! awesome.. to feel more comfortable and have another voice you trust be present there will be so huge... and really awesome on the aromatherapy balls.. I do alot of lavendar myself..is my favorite.. ! Good for you all you are doing.. we are here for you!!! and look forward to being part of your ongoing journey!!
 
S

soupy

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Messages
41

Just want to say you are doing so amazing !! and it really really does help to have people who understand and can say "me too".. to feel heard and seen and just knowing others get it and have there has just been amazing for me ... That is just great you can have your regular sedationist go with to the oral surgeon!! awesome.. to feel more comfortable and have another voice you trust be present there will be so huge... and really awesome on the aromatherapy balls.. I do alot of lavendar myself..is my favorite.. ! Good for you all you are doing.. we are here for you!!! and look forward to being part of your ongoing journey!!

thanks again krlovesherkids777, i always feel so reassured by your posts :) I am going to make up another mix now with lavender, it's an excellent suggestion. Being on here with you guys, I feel i can breath again! Words cant thank you enough as always.
 
S

soupy

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Joined
Jul 4, 2018
Messages
41
I'm a latecomer to the thread, but whatever you need to do is worth it.

The stuff krlovesherkids777 spoke about was a vague description of how trauma "rewires our brains", but pretty accurate! Psychologically, smell is one of the strongest senses, that can really help us guide our brains in a new direction (that's also vague). But it's a strong memory trigger, and if we learn to associate a smell with peace and calm, it can genuinely help us feel that way during stressful times! So I think it will help you a bunch.

Also it's really common to have less emotional strength after stressful times. I don't know if you've heard the term "spoons" but it's common in the autistic community, and in other communities for people with depression, anxiety, and physical illnesses too. The way spoons work is that every person has an allocated amount of "spoons" at the start of each day. But people with depression, autism, anxiety, or any physical illness, have less. It takes them *more* energy (spoons) to do the same things other people do. For a totally healthy, happy person, taking a shower takes maybe half a spoon. For a person who is really struggling it could take four spoons! So they run out of spoons much faster, and can do less in the day, and handle less stress and turmoil. You have depression, and have dealt with bereavement: you have less spoons to start with, and they get used up quicker. It's not your fault, so don't feel guilty. We literally only have so much energy (spoons) to get us through the day. Never feel bad for needing what you need. :hug4:

Also I just want to say...extractions are one of the easiest procedures. They really are! I'm not just saying that. Your nerves tend to deal with better with the removal of a tooth than the attempted filling of nerves/tooth and placement of a crown! You'll be just fine. :)

many thanks for taking the time to come aboard my crazy fear rollercoaster :) its great to have the company.
What you say about the power of scent makes sense, i've been amazed how much good its doing. I was very much in to aromatherapy many years ago, but was prompted by krlovesherkids777 to get going with it again.

I've not heard the spoons idea before, but it makes me feel a lot better about why i've not been handling this too well, i had been feeling bad for needing help on this, and taking up folks time etc. I've been used to getting myself thru stuff, and being weakened by stuff lately made me feel rather exposed all over again.

thanks too for the extractions myth busting, the more i hear this the stronger i become :) After reading yours and krlovesherkids777 today, i feel i can own that appointment next week now, and not be afraid to say it out loud!

Soupy.
 
S

SamanthaL

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Jul 20, 2018
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5
Soupy, I can't tell you how wonderful that card is. I had no idea such a thing existed, and I'm going to be using it a lot in the near future. Thank you so much for sharing it.
 
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soupy

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Jul 4, 2018
Messages
41
Soupy, I can't tell you how wonderful that card is. I had no idea such a thing existed, and I'm going to be using it a lot in the near future. Thank you so much for sharing it.

hi there :) its made my day that the card has helped someone else! so pleased that info has been of use to you, it really makes things a lot easier doesnt it. thanks for the lovely post!
soupy
 
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