• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone who is very afraid of dentistry or who suffers with dental phobia. Please note that this is NOT a dental problems forum! You can find a list of them here.

    Register now to access all the features of the forum.

My phobia nearly killed me, I'm running out of options, help!!

P

ParaTed

Junior member
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
13
Hello! I've come across this webpage during one of my many google searches surrounding teeth ect, and I've plucked up the courage to post something, and ask if anyone can help. I've always had a huge fear of the D, although to be honest I've never had a painful experience ect whilst there, my earliest memory is going when I was 4 for the first time and just refusing to do as I was told, I don't know why I was scared but it's never left me. As soon as I left home and stopped being forced to go by my parents I stopped, which lead to a 10 year gap where I didn't visit a D. Last year I decided enough was enough and I was going to face the fear head on, I read a few books on facing phobias, practiced techniques ect. My other half was fully supportive, I was going to see his D who also happened to be a friend of his family, he said how lovely she was, he booked an appointment for me, let her know I was scared before hand and he came with me and sat in the waiting room. I went into her room on my own, and he was right, she was lovely, I was so scared, shaking uncontrollably and I had a bit of a cry when I had to sit in the chair. I've always obsessively looked after my teeth due to my fears, and after an exam and some X Ray's, she said everything was fine, and to come back in 6 months, mentioned to avoid certain foods and snacking. Now you would think this would of put me at ease or fixed the problem, knowing everything was OK, but my irrational side kicked in and I was too scared to eat anything, what if I ate something that wasn't a 'safe' food, it was ok that morning, but if I eat something, that might mean it's not OK anymore. That week I only drank water, brushed my teeth at least 5 times a day and flossed several and I didn't eat. Because I was so anxious I had a bad stomach and was frequently using the toilet, I didn't sleep a wink. About 5 days later I started feeling short of breath, I shrugged it off and carried on with my worrying about teetg, the next day I ended up in an ambulance being blue lighted into hospital because the not eating had caused an imbalance somewhere in my blood and my levels of certain things were so low they had to keep me in on drips, they said if I hadn't been treated that day I would of died. I lied about where I was that day to my other half, because I know he would of been too worried.

This really hit home, and I began to eat small amounts, but only safe foods, and taking safe multivitamins. since my last appointment I've lost over a stone and I've got another appointment coming up in the next few weeks, the anxiety is taking over, there isn't a night I won't wake up crying, dreaming my teeth have fallen out ect, my diet is becoming more and more constructed by the day. I can't leave the house without a toothbrush and paste in my bag and I'm constantly planning when I can next brush my teeth. I'm so ashamed of what I am doing to myself, too ashamed to admit how bad things have gotten to my other half.

HELP
 
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
805
Location
UK
I'm sorry you're struggling. This doesn't sound like just a dental phobia problem however, but a bigger issue to do with your mental health. You need to see a doctor.

Please, please don't be ashamed. We get many people in here with similar obsessive worries about their teeth, though yours are obviously causing you severe distress.

Go to a doctor and tell them what you've just told us. Write it down if you need to, and you can either read off the paper or hand it to the doctor if you find yourself struggling to say it out loud. But you need to go. What you need right now is not a dentist but some good counselling/therapy to help you deal and overcome these worries and get your diet back on track.

And tell your other half! This isn't something to be ashamed of - you're not simply "being silly" or something. You have a health problem, and you deserve support and good treatment.

I promise you can get through this, but you have to take the step of going to a doctor.

:hug4:
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
746
Location
UK
Everything sevena said is spot on! You need - and deserve - help with this, please see a doctor and tell them what you have told us, they will be able to help you.

Thank you for posting too, that was a brave thing to do and is the first step on the road to recovery.
 
P

ParaTed

Junior member
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
13
Thank you so so so much for you replies, they've really hit home, I've always just put it down to a fear of the D, but maybe there's something more. Either way, I can't continue down this path. It's a massive step to book an appointment with my GP, but it's something I'm starting to think might no longer be an option but a necessity. Gulp.
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
746
Location
UK
It's good to hear that! Go and chat to your GP, they will be able to help you and tell you what support is available.

Let us know how you get on! - and we're here if you need to vent.
 
P

ParaTed

Junior member
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
13
I've booked an appointment for a week today. Bricking it now. Any hints and or tips on what to say? I'm very aware it's only a 10 minute appointment, does anyone have and tips or suggestions for getting my point across? Any parts I should focus on? I'm concerned the worries might be dismissed, also seeing a GP I've never met before, so unsure of what he/she is like! Some are better than others!
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
746
Location
UK
Hey ParaTed -

So glad to hear you made that appointment! Well done, I know that's a hard thing to do.

I hear you, a new/unknown doctor can always be a bit of a gamble. Here's hoping you get somebody who will listen and take you seriously! (There are some wonderful GPs out there, hoping you meet one of those next week!)

Re getting your point across, I would suggest writing down what it is you want to say before you go, so that it is clear in your head. Doing that a day or two in advance sometimes helps, I find that immediately before the appointment I would be too flaky to think clearly or concentrate, but if I know I've already sat down and figured it out then my job on the day is just to show up, and trust my previous self to have written down the important stuff...

If you got really stuck and feel like you just won't be able to express it clearly, you could even hand the doctor a pre-prepared bit of paper.


Re the parts to focus on, the bit that really jumped out for me was the parts about how you are not eating. Dental phobia is relatively common and it would be easy for the doctor to just think "well, you're afraid of the dentist, that's normal!" so it's important to get across the full extent of the impact it is having on your life and your mental health.

The bits of your original post that really stuck out were:

my irrational side kicked in and I was too scared to eat anything, what if I ate something that wasn't a 'safe' food, it was ok that morning, but if I eat something, that might mean it's not OK anymore.


and

This really hit home, and I began to eat small amounts, but only safe foods, and taking safe multivitamins. since my last appointment I've lost over a stone and I've got another appointment coming up in the next few weeks, the anxiety is taking over, there isn't a night I won't wake up crying, dreaming my teeth have fallen out ect, my diet is becoming more and more constructed by the day.


- be sure to tell the doctor those parts. I would guess they will probably know about your hospital trip, but make sure that they do. Sometimes things don't quite make it through the system.


Hope that helps!

Tink x
 
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
805
Location
UK
Yep, everything Tink said. And for what it's worth, I've handed over a piece of paper with a list of symptoms at the doctor's before, and the doctor didn't mind at all! There are lots of problems people have difficulty talking about, so it's nothing new to them.

On the off chance the doctor doesn't take you seriously, see a different one. You deserve the best possible care. But I'm sure they will, especially if you highlight exactly how much this has impacted your life.

I know you're scared. But you're doing so well. Making that appointment must have been hard. And I know it's only the beginning, but that's a good first step. You should be giving yourself a big pat on the back :hug4:
 
A

anonfemale

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 5, 2014
Messages
127
Hi. You are not alone. I have had problems with my gums for a long time, although, my teeth are fine, which is frustrating and scary. I dont want to lose my teeth because of my gums. Things got so bad last year, I ended up in a psychiatric unit because I had thoughts of harming myself. I also stopped eating a lot of foods, and I lost a lot of weight. I got anaemia then too, which also caused me to worry a lot. I was in the unit for three months. The doctors thought I had only anxiety, depression, and panic attacks, but I found out that I also have Aspergers Syndrome. I had an assessment, and then it was diagnosed. It has been awful. I still worry a lot about my gums now, and lots of other things, but I haven't been back in the unit since. I dont know how I get through each day. I still look at my gums obsessively, and feel scared when I eat things.
 
Last edited:
P

ParaTed

Junior member
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
13
anonfemale, did you feel like when you got help eventually it helped? Or is it like you've not got anywhere? Half of me feels so relieved that I've finally booked an appointment, the other half of dreading it, there's lots of reasons I'm worried, I'm scared to admit there's a problem, scared of being judged, scared of being dismissed, I also keep having to argue with myself about the appointment, there's s many other things I'm thinking I could speak to the GP about which are completely irrelevant if I chicken out at the last minute. I had hoped one day I would join the army, but with a history of mental health problems it would never happen, another reason to not make it official.

Making a list like everyone said is a great idea, in theory! I got a pen and paper out the other night and wrote at the top 'things to discuss' the rest of the page is blank and I'm at a loss, if it write it down on paper it makes all the irrational thoughts and behaviours seem a lot more real. I'm so dissapointed in myself.
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
746
Location
UK
Hey Para -

Don't beat yourself up over it, this stuff is *hard*. Honestly, just by coming on here, telling your story, and booking an appointment, you're doing so well! You're taking action to help yourself and that's really something.

if you're in a big battle with yourself, sometimes I find it can help to break it down into tiny steps, and just try for one thing at a time. So if you're really struggling, your first step is just to make it to the appointment. That's it. Then once you get there you can tackle the next step.

if you're really stuck over what to say to the doctor, maybe you could just print off what you wrote in this thread and show them that? You've communicated the impact it's having on your life really well.


I know it's hard to admit to and hard to come to terms with, but there's no shame in struggling with your mental health, and there's no shame in asking for help. What matters is that you get the care you need.
 
P

ParaTed

Junior member
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
13
I had my GP appointment today, it actually went really well, female GP. She's reffered me to the mental health team for CBT, offered medications ect which I declined at the moment I have an existing heart condition which can be made a lot lot worse by the medications, and taking them would mean I'd have to go to the GP every week for ECGs, bloods ect. I'm also not a huge fan of hiding how I'm feeling with tablets. She said if I change my mind to just come back. She gave me an antibiotic cream to use for the corners of my mouth, because I brush my teeth so often it's become red raw, it constantly looks like I've got ketchup around my mouth or something. Feeling a little relieved, but anxious for what the future holds. Now just to wait for an appointment.
 
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
805
Location
UK
Well done! You did great, absolutely great. Sounds like a nice GP.

I know what you mean about meds. I tried them when I had agoraphobia and didn't like them. In the end it was CBT which helped me. It wasn't a magical overnight fix, but I don't have agoraphobia any more so I call it a win. :)

Well done again. I know how nervous you must have been. :hug4:
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
746
Location
UK
So glad to hear you got a sympathetic GP! Well done, it really sounds like you communicated what you needed to as well, I know you were worried about that.

Really, really pleased to hear this!
 
P

ParaTed

Junior member
Joined
Mar 31, 2016
Messages
13
Just a bit of an update and I feel like it will be good for me to write everything that's going on down. No obligatory replies necessary, but always nice and appreciated. So I took 10mg citalopram daily for 4 weeks with not really any improvement, I went back to see my GP and she's doubled the dose. First week on the 20mg was hellish, nightmares about teeth and all things related waking me up, I had a panic attack whilst driving and had to pull over, I ended up missing a really important meeting because I just couldn't stop crying. I'm having massive problems at the moment about leaving the house, because it's in my mind not safe. We have to drive past a dental surgery to get to the main road and I get panicked driving past it. Worrying what's going on inside that god forsaken building. I had been going through a period where I'd stopped eating again, slowly this has improved to where I'm managing to eat twice a day on good days, but still loosing weight. I'm still waiting for my CBT referral to come through, it's been 6 weeks at least now I think, GP is going to chase this up for me! I probably spend 75% of my waking day worrying about my teeth and the rest of it cleaning them or my house which seem to be the only thing to calm me down. I'm due to go back to the dreaded place on 22nd June and I'm so scared. I don't know what to do anymore.
 
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
805
Location
UK
I'm sorry to hear you're struggling. The first week or two on SSRIs (the class of drug which Citalopram is) are often hellish. I actually gave up trying SSRIs because I couldn't handle the anxiety increase, even if it does stabilise eventually - there was no way I could get through that.

If you're eating twice a day then that's great, though. And the most important thing is, you have started the journey to getting over this. Even if it doesn't feel any better right now, you've reached out, you've gone to the doctor, and while it might be super hard, it *will* get better eventually.

Hang in there :hug4:
 
T

Tink

Well-known member
Joined
May 14, 2013
Messages
746
Location
UK
Hey ParaTed, good to hear from you - sorry things are tough!

As always, sevena is spot on. Hang in there, you'll get through this - things will start to turn the corner for you soon :XXLhug:

Meanwhile, try to take things one day at a time, break it down into little steps and don't ask too much of yourself at once. Anything you manage to eat is good, keep doing what you can.

You'll get there x
 
Top