Unhelpful or helpful comments/remarks

shamrockerin

shamrockerin

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I think a lot of it has to do with my dentist making small talk and distracting me or talking to me reassuringly...she can usually snap me out of my phobic state and bring me back down with a little conversation if she catches me at the very beginning and I typically stay pretty relaxed throughout the appointment. If she doesn't say anything and just goes to work, it tends to get gradually worse and my anxiety escalates. I guess I just get caught up in my own head :confused:.

Yeah I get that. My dentist will usually say hello to me, although he doesn't talk a whole lot. I think that's because I have never been particularly friendly/talkative and since I also asked them not to make any jokes, they assume I just want to be left alone. The one bad appointment I had, he didn't even greet me, and just started w/o saying anything to me, and that was just setting me up to be anxious and panicked the whole time. it didn't help that the whole staff seemed like they'd had a bad day (amazingly I didn't take their brusqueness personally) and it had also been my first day at my new job, so I was already a stressed out mess. At the end of the appointment, he started talking about the RCT and I really started to panic. He could see how I was reacting though and he backed off, which I was grateful for.

My anxiety leading up to the appointment isn't as bad as it used to be. It used to make me physically sick to my stomach now I obsess quite a bit about it but I don't get too anxious til I get to the parking lot. That's when the real doom and gloom comes over me.

I get anxious just driving by the office, even if my appointment isn't for a month/week/whatever.

Appointments always take a lot out of me though. Doesn't matter what it is, I'm wore out after. I think I get an adrenaline crash. I usually have a headache and feel really tired and drained of all energy. I also spend the rest of the day over-analyzing the appointment and everything that happened there in my head and worrying about stuff like if I appeared to be a sane person.

I always thought this would happen to me as well, but it doesn't. Even after taking 7 Valium, and a couple glasses of wine, I was an anxious mess. I thought for sure I'd be exhausted afterwards, from the adrenaline crash and the Valium finally taking effect, but I still went for a long walk, went shopping, worked on projects at home. I think that's how I can tell that Valium really doesn't affect me at all; it's not just a delayed reaction, I do not seem to react to it at all. Once my appointment is over, I take it easy until the anesthetic wears off completely. Once it has and I am reassured that I am in no pain at all, I get really energized and I just want to get on with my day.

But I DO over-analyze my time spent there. It's like every sound I hear, every word someone says to me there, every movement they make conspires in my imagination afterwards, and I end up feeling I am definitely their least favorite person to see.:redface:
 
kitkat

kitkat

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Yeah I get that. My dentist will usually say hello to me, although he doesn't talk a whole lot. I think that's because I have never been particularly friendly/talkative and since I also asked them not to make any jokes, they assume I just want to be left alone. The one bad appointment I had, he didn't even greet me, and just started w/o saying anything to me, and that was just setting me up to be anxious and panicked the whole time. it didn't help that the whole staff seemed like they'd had a bad day (amazingly I didn't take their brusqueness personally) and it had also been my first day at my new job, so I was already a stressed out mess. At the end of the appointment, he started talking about the RCT and I really started to panic. He could see how I was reacting though and he backed off, which I was grateful for.

I don't know why conversation and a greeting makes such a difference but it really does. I think it has to do with feeling acknowledged as a person and knowing that the dentist is concerned about you as a whole person not just treating a set of teeth. It makes me feel like they are more concerned about my comfort and general well being.

I always thought this would happen to me as well, but it doesn't. Even after taking 7 Valium, and a couple glasses of wine, I was an anxious mess. I thought for sure I'd be exhausted afterwards, from the adrenaline crash and the Valium finally taking effect, but I still went for a long walk, went shopping, worked on projects at home. I think that's how I can tell that Valium really doesn't affect me at all; it's not just a delayed reaction, I do not seem to react to it at all. Once my appointment is over, I take it easy until the anesthetic wears off completely. Once it has and I am reassured that I am in no pain at all, I get really energized and I just want to get on with my day.

But I DO over-analyze my time spent there. It's like every sound I hear, every word someone says to me there, every movement they make conspires in my imagination afterwards, and I end up feeling I am definitely their least favorite person to see. :redface:

Valium definitely does not affect you! o_O I can't imagine being awake and active after that much! I have never had experience with valium but after only a half milligram of Ativan, I'm out for 6 hours! Everyone reacts differently though I suppose. Some people feel drained and others feel more pumped up...maybe it's your way of releasing all of that pent up anxious energy from the appointment:confused:

I wish I could stop over-analyzing. Like you I over analyze every sound, what was said, when it was said, how it was said, body language, how I reacted to things. I always do this with the appointment the same day but some appointments I revisit in my head quite often and they happened years ago and my dentist probably doesn't even remember them! :rolleyes:
 
shamrockerin

shamrockerin

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I wish I could stop over-analyzing. Like you I over analyze every sound, what was said, when it was said, how it was said, body language, how I reacted to things. I always do this with the appointment the same day but some appointments I revisit in my head quite often and they happened years ago and my dentist probably doesn't even remember them! :rolleyes:

Oh thank God- I am not alone!:giggle:

I am forever analyzing dental appointments/medical appointments, even job interviews, from years ago! I know that the doctor/dentist/potential employer probably forgot about me the minute I was gone, but some of these things really stick with me. I often relive my bad dental/medical experiences, but I am confident that the doctor wouldn't be able to pick me out of a crowd. . .I think this is why I have difficulty trusting anyone in the medical profession. The episodes seem like they have a huge effect on me, but none on them, which makes the power relationship feel really unbalanced.

But I will also admit that it also makes the good experiences stand out that much more. I am still going over the RCT-that-was-not-to-be appointment in my head, and the way the dentist talked to me afterwards, and how I was able to actually talk and not just freeze up. . .I also just saw a new MD who was the nicest guy, and even though it was very apparent how nervous I was (very high blood pressure tipped him off) he just kept telling stories and making jokes and trying to put me at ease. It was definitely one of the better appointments I've had in recent history.:)
 
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kittykat

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Worst things said to me:

1. I was 13 and getting my teeth cleaned by a mean hygenist who didn't care that I was nervous. When I told her what she was doing hurt me, she said "Well that's why you should brush your teeth" and kept hurting me

2. I successfully avoided the dentist for 5 years, and my mom kept harrassing me about going and she made me go visit her dentist's office before making an appointment (her pathetic attempt at making me feel better) and when I went there, the hygenist I met with was rude and acted like I was wasting her time. And then when we met with the dentist, she asked me why I was scared. I didn't feel comfortable telling that infront of my mother who is not very sympathetic, and so I just stood there and stared at her. And then she said "So your mother tells me you're going to nursing school. So then why are you scared of the dentist? How is this any different?" I literally wanted to punch her in the face. "How is this any different?" Puh-leaze.

3. This isn't really anything anyone ever said, but my old orthodontist had all the chairs lined up in a big room and I feel like that definetley violates health-code regulations and patient-doctor confidentiality too...
 
kitkat

kitkat

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Oh thank God- I am not alone!:giggle:

I am forever analyzing dental appointments/medical appointments, even job interviews, from years ago! I know that the doctor/dentist/potential employer probably forgot about me the minute I was gone, but some of these things really stick with me. I often relive my bad dental/medical experiences, but I am confident that the doctor wouldn't be able to pick me out of a crowd. . .I think this is why I have difficulty trusting anyone in the medical profession. The episodes seem like they have a huge effect on me, but none on them, which makes the power relationship feel really unbalanced.

But I will also admit that it also makes the good experiences stand out that much more. I am still going over the RCT-that-was-not-to-be appointment in my head, and the way the dentist talked to me afterwards, and how I was able to actually talk and not just freeze up. . .I also just saw a new MD who was the nicest guy, and even though it was very apparent how nervous I was (very high blood pressure tipped him off) he just kept telling stories and making jokes and trying to put me at ease. It was definitely one of the better appointments I've had in recent history.:)

One time when I was particularly anxious, my dentist commented that she had never seen me "like this" before and it made me feel really vulnerable that she remembered me and that this particular appointment would now stand out to her as me being particularly terrified. If she couldn't pick me out of a crowd before, she could after that appointment. She actually did recognize me in a restaurant and said hello but I have been with her for a long time now so it's understood that she would recognize me now. It was very odd to interact with her in a different environment. We both got to see one another as somewhat normal people in society and our dentist/patient roles were irrelevant. Except I felt very vulnerable because she is the only one that sees me the way I am in her office and I feel like she knows this deep dark secret about me that I don't share with anyone (aside from my forum friends).

I typically go over the positive appointments for some reason which is at least more productive and constructive than reliving the bad ones in my head. I think I do this because the good ones stand out to me as unusual because I expect them all to be bad and I'd like to figure out how to recreate the good ones at the next appointment! :rolleyes: I find it interesting that you enjoyed the stories and jokes with your MD but not at your dentist...perhaps it was the way he went about it or maybe it's just something specific to the dental situations.
 
kitkat

kitkat

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Worst things said to me:

3. This isn't really anything anyone ever said, but my old orthodontist had all the chairs lined up in a big room and I feel like that definetley violates health-code regulations and patient-doctor confidentiality too...

My pediatric dentist was set-up this way and I completely agree! Kids deserve privacy too!
 
shamrockerin

shamrockerin

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I find it interesting that you enjoyed the stories and jokes with your MD but not at your dentist...perhaps it was the way he went about it or maybe it's just something specific to the dental situations.

Well, it was different b/c he wasn't making jokes about the environment or the office or my nervousness. The remarks/jokes at the dentist office were like about the chair being "my favorite place" (when the hygienist knew that I am already a very anxious patient) or the assistant telling me that she was giving me some scenery (because that treatment room has a window). One time the dentist commented on how nervous I was because I was sweating so much and tried to joke "We're going to have to turn up the AC". I don't need to be reminded that I'm in a dental office or that I am incredibly nervous- I know I am! Those jokes/comments felt like they were at my expense, either b/c they were about me or about the thing I fear the most.

The MD wasn't joking about the office or about anything medical, he was just telling me funny stories about his kids, casually discussing real estate prices, telling me about his trip to Ireland (because I mentioned my honeymoon plans) etc. . .by the time he made the remark about white coat syndrome, I just kinda joked back "Yeah, and you're not even wearing one". Perhaps because it was the last thing he said and not the first thing, it didn't seem like he was putting the spotlight on me.

. . . .it doesn't help that in a dental office, that incredibly bright light is above you the whole time, so you really do feel like there is a spotlight and you (and your fear). . .
 
shamrockerin

shamrockerin

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One time when I was particularly anxious, my dentist commented that she had never seen me "like this" before and it made me feel really vulnerable that she remembered me and that this particular appointment would now stand out to her as me being particularly terrified. If she couldn't pick me out of a crowd before, she could after that appointment. She actually did recognize me in a restaurant and said hello but I have been with her for a long time now so it's understood that she would recognize me now. It was very odd to interact with her in a different environment. We both got to see one another as somewhat normal people in society and our dentist/patient roles were irrelevant. Except I felt very vulnerable because she is the only one that sees me the way I am in her office and I feel like she knows this deep dark secret about me that I don't share with anyone (aside from my forum friends).

I have a weird fear/hope that this will happen to me sometime. On the one hand, I don't like to be reminded of anything dentistry-related when I am out and about in the world, and running into my own dentist would definitely fit into that category. I think it would really startle me. On the other hand, perhaps if saw him on "neutral territory" it would reinforce the reality that he's just another person, not some creation designed to give me panic attacks.

I also wonder how I would react in a situation like this (it's never happened to me before). I am pretty sure I'd be surprised if not startled, but would I be able to smile and politely say "Hi, how are you?" or would I just feel embarrassed at seeing someone so associated with my biggest fear or what i just run and hide??? hard to guess. . .
 
kitkat

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I have a weird fear/hope that this will happen to me sometime. On the one hand, I don't like to be reminded of anything dentistry-related when I am out and about in the world, and running into my own dentist would definitely fit into that category. I think it would really startle me. On the other hand, perhaps if saw him on "neutral territory" it would reinforce the reality that he's just another person, not some creation designed to give me panic attacks.

I also wonder how I would react in a situation like this (it's never happened to me before). I am pretty sure I'd be surprised if not startled, but would I be able to smile and politely say "Hi, how are you?" or would I just feel embarrassed at seeing someone so associated with my biggest fear or what i just run and hide??? hard to guess. . .

I found it very hard to concentrate on my dinner. She was with a large group of people including her receptionist who is a cute little old lady who I think is her mom. I saw the receptionist first and went on high alert that she might be there. She asked me how school was going because I was in grad school at the time. I was able to politely say hi and tell her that school was going fine before finding my way to my table. It was nice to see her socially and it helped to have the warning of her receptionist because I then was prepared to see her. If I had run into her without warning I would have been more startled. I was pretty startled initially just seeing the receptionist.
 
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griffinej5

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I'm glad I don't go to the dentist too close to where I live, so I am unlikely to ever see my dentist in a social situation. I'm also glad sometimes about having a little bit of trouble recognizing people when I see them in different contexts. If I even did see her somewhere else, I probably wouldn't recognize her anyway. Technically, they're not supposed to recognize you out in public if you're in the US,because of HIPAA stuff. At least that's what I have been told about recognizing my clients in public (I'm a behavior analyst). If a client talks to me, I can acknowledge them, but I can't talk to them first. So yeah, I'd probably just pretend like I had no idea who she was even if I did see her and recognize her.
 
kitkat

kitkat

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I'm glad I don't go to the dentist too close to where I live, so I am unlikely to ever see my dentist in a social situation. I'm also glad sometimes about having a little bit of trouble recognizing people when I see them in different contexts. If I even did see her somewhere else, I probably wouldn't recognize her anyway. Technically, they're not supposed to recognize you out in public if you're in the US,because of HIPAA stuff. At least that's what I have been told about recognizing my clients in public (I'm a behavior analyst). If a client talks to me, I can acknowledge them, but I can't talk to them first. So yeah, I'd probably just pretend like I had no idea who she was even if I did see her and recognize her.

Technically yes but we both mutually recognized each other at the same time so it may have come off as rude to not acknowledge each other at that point. We crossed paths in which case it's inevitable it would be another thing to seek out one another from opposite sides of the restaurant. I'm sure she probably gets recognized out and about lot. I used to work in pharmacy and I can't go out anywhere in that surrounding area without being approached by former clients and I havent worked there for 3 years!
 
Aldridge

Aldridge

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I saw our dentist dressed up as Father Christmas on the local Round Table charity's sleigh one year. That almost blew my mind! Then I saw him running the barbecue at the RNLI open day in the summer. It's actually helped me to be a bit less nervous with him because I've seen him as a kind and friendly character outside the bounds of the surgery, rather than always being the guy behind The Chair with his hands full of dental tools!
I'm still not sure I wouldn't freak out if he dropped down my chimney on Christmas Eve though...:scared:
 
shamrockerin

shamrockerin

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I saw our dentist dressed up as Father Christmas on the local Round Table charity's sleigh one year. That almost blew my mind! Then I saw him running the barbecue at the RNLI open day in the summer. It's actually helped me to be a bit less nervous with him because I've seen him as a kind and friendly character outside the bounds of the surgery, rather than always being the guy behind The Chair with his hands full of dental tools!
I'm still not sure I wouldn't freak out if he dropped down my chimney on Christmas Eve though...:scared:

HAHA HAHA HA:ROFLMAO:

I KNOW if my dentist dropped down my chimney dressed as Santa Clause I'd be out of there before the coal dust settled!
 
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Poodleoo

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My last dentist (who was a phobia specialist and generally really good) made an offhand remark about nervous patients being harder to get numb, as the adrenhaline is fighting the LA or something - that really scared the crap out of me. Even though I had had a number of procedures with just LA and had no pain and no problems whatsoever. When she gave me a second one, she could see I relaxed more and she said something like "Oh yes, that's working now." which to her probably meant nothing, but a phobic (or ex phobic as I had thought of myself upto then!) is like a paranoid person - you read more into every little word!

Even as she said it I was thinking "I'm not sure that's even true" - seemed an odd thing to say.

I used to be a teacher, and would avoid shopping near where i worked. If you did see kids you taught, or kids from your school when out shopping - the reactions were interesting. Most would act startstruck, like they had just bumped into someone really famous.:D:D Even kids you had in your own class and worked with all day every day, with an informal, happy kind of style of teaching - if they saw you out of context, some would be freaked. What really amused me was when a normally gobby child would be dumbstruck. Yet some of the shyer ones at school would be very friendly and excited to see you.

I'd always wait for them or the parent to acknowledge me first.
 
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Nameless

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In the times when I went to a dentist I did have pretty unhelpful things said to me. One thing which I particularly remember was when I went to talk to a dentist aged about 11 and she just went "awwww" in a really patronising voice and, instead of trying to help me, she just scorned me and dismissively said that it the dentist was there if I wanted it and if I didn't go then this, that and the other would happen. So yeah, that was a good start. The second time that happened was when my family got a new dentist when I was about 13 and they really wanted me to come along to at least talk to her about my now-fear of the dentist - pretty went much like the one I have described above.

I think sometimes its not just thoughtless or unhelpful remarks that aggravate fears, but I found that when I used to see a dentist when I was little (albeit reluctantly) that it was the patronising attitude of the dentist I had that made it worse; if they didn't want to speak to me in a civil and understanding manner then how on Earth did they think that that would make me less scared? I think the attitude of the dentist is quite impacting as well as the words they say to you too.
 
Deejay

Deejay

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A dentist I went to once remarked I had geographic tongue, ( sort of patchy like mapped out areas of different shades of pink/white) he said " they say its associated with people of high intelligence," then sarcastically added " apparently"! Then when I confided I couldn't stand toothpaste in my mouth as the texture was 'slug like' to me and made me sick he told me to use the gel ( which I think would be worse) adding because that's what he used, as if he was something unique and wonderful and just because he used it that it would be wonderful for me!?! He then against my advise, because off a previous troublesome tooth, and the fact I couldn't pinpoint whether it was top or bottom toothache but still possibly the top tooth told me " he was the dentist not me and it was the bottom tooth"! numbed me up until he said he couldn't give me anymore said he'd be quick removed the tooth with my groaning all the way, sent me home traumatised only when the numb totally went I still ached and woke in the night with howling toothache in the upper tooth, a night in absolute agony back to dentist who told me I seemed set on having the tooth removed!, again not fully numb but told I was at my limit removed the offending tooth telling me not to return again expecting anymore teeth out as 2 in 24 hrs. Should be enough for any one!! All this on previous horrible experiences at the school dentist! and guess why I have dental phobia issues!! Glad to find dentistry is so much more sympathetic these days.
 
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