• Dental Phobia Support

    Welcome! This is an online support group for anyone with a fear of the dentist, dental phobia, or specific dental fears.

    It's a supportive space to talk to people with similar experiences, and get advice and information.

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What are your most significant mental health issues?

What are your most significant mental health issues?

  • Anxiety (general anxiety, health anxiety, panic disorder, any anxiety related difficulties)

    Votes: 33 86.8%
  • Trauma (PTSD, BPD, other trauma-related difficulties)

    Votes: 16 42.1%
  • Autism/Aspergers (and sensory processing disorder, and other spectrum-related difficulties)

    Votes: 5 13.2%
  • ADHD (any difficulties with attention and executive function etc)

    Votes: 9 23.7%
  • Depression (of any kind: clinical, post-partum, PMDD, SAD, or any struggles with frequent low mood)

    Votes: 22 57.9%
  • Delusions (paranoid delusions, schizoprenic episodes, psychotic episodes, any break from reality)

    Votes: 3 7.9%
  • None of the above (whether no suspected or diagnosed issues, overlapping issues, or none that fit)

    Votes: 2 5.3%

  • Total voters
    38
Sevena

Sevena

Super Moderator
Joined
Jun 24, 2012
Messages
825
Location
UK
Which issues affect you the hardest, whether it's daily life, or doing things like visiting the dentist? This isn't meant to categorise you, and indeed many posters will not fit into this poll, but to give a broad overview of the common issues that affect our dental phobia visitors, other than pure dental or medical phobias. :)
 
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krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

Super Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Jul 26, 2017
Messages
3,036
Location
Sioux Falls, SD
I have dealt with situational and trauma based anxieties coming from background of abuse , I do ok for the most part but sudden changes or shame based situations or dealing with those who in the past abused me really triggers my anxieties
 
S

Surreyvwphobic

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
228
Location
In dental heaven
At this moment in time, I am mostly struggling with "Sad" (winter blues) and welcome any support or ideas from anyone especially from the Ely (Cambridgeshire UK) areas. Until I successfully conquered my dental phobia a few weeks ago, I was still struggling with post stress trauma disorder which originated from a terrible school life and dental abuse in the eighties. I did receive some very helpful and mostly effective talking treatment from a private practitioner a few years ago which banished most of the flashbacks, though the odd one crops up occasionally. All thanks to my two lovely dentists; I could not have believed that this could have had such a bad effect on me for so long. At least the teeth are one less thing to worry about now!

My only other issue is coping with a very weird sexuality and gender identity and where to find kindred spirits (again in Ely Cambridgeshire and Anglia regions UK). Any useful leads gratefully welcomed........

From dental heaven with love. Simon XX
 
T

Thephilsblogbar

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 23, 2015
Messages
789
Location
United Kingdom
Health anxiety for me. I think every symptom I get it serious, also every bump, lump, mark etc is serious
 
S

Stupiddentalfear

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 6, 2015
Messages
143
Location
North Wales, UK
I have a number of struggles. A lack of confidence and low self esteem has held me back in almost every aspect of life. I have suffered with depression on and off for many years. I am a incredibly anxious person and highly emotional. My main anxieties are health related. I have struggled with various medical procedures that involve a certain degree of feeling a sense of loss of control i.e. dentistry, gynaecology etc. (My anxiety is raised in not being able to see what the medical professional can and in not being able to see what they are doing.)
 
S

Surreyvwphobic

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2010
Messages
228
Location
In dental heaven
My heart goes out to you. As I have found, finding someone you really trust helps enormously, and I am now discovering (fortunately!) that the vast majority of dentists out there really care and do want make things right for you. You mention being anxious of not being able to see what is going on; have you considered looking for a dentist who has the use of an intra oral camera? This looks very much like an endoscope with a tiny mushroom-like fitting on the end that allows your dentist to beam live imagery of your mouth onto a screen and thus allow you to watch what is going on! I personally prefer not to, though I have experienced it in the past, when a dentist has used it to show me what he was seeing and to help explain the situation. The other idea might be to hold a mirror yourself, so you can selectively choose to watch at intervals, or the nurse might be willing and able to do this for you. Worth asking........

These techniques are increasingly being used in hospital surgery situations as well; how often do we see images of live cardiac surgery being performed? Quite extraordinary.

I share your difficulties with depression, though fortunately have started to find and get the help and resources I was seeking. A couple of insights I would like to suggest that might help are:

If you have any religious beliefs, well worth approaching a local church or equivalent place of worship; these institutions really are very helpful and extremely supportive and will help where they can and advise where to look if they cannot. My local church has been life changing for me and now feel much more settled since breaking the ice.

Assuming you are fit and able to, going out walking, preferably with others is always a good thing to do; free and easy to do and at this time of year a way of boosting light levels for us "sad" sufferers. I am braving a first meet with my local "health walk" group tomorrow (Tuesday 11th December 2018) and hope that it will prove to be of benefit; happy to report back how things went, but am sure it would help anyone. These walks are organised across the whole of the UK, so anyone reading this from the UK can potentially benefit. Not aware of anything like this in other countries, but would guess that others have simular schemes somewhere.

The next day (Wednesday 12th) and the same day as my next cleaning ironically, I am seeing my practice nurse for my first "health check" and at the same time using the session to ask for advice and resources for starting a gentle fitness class of some sort to help me get my fitness levels back up following some lengthy spells of being unwell and of flat spirits. This might be of use to yourself; surgeries would much rather prescribe "natural" solutions than chemical ones (much cheaper and more beneficial and more pleasant overall).

Hope this is of help and please do let us know how things progress for you. Simon XX
 
S

SolitudeIsBliss

Well-known member
Joined
Nov 14, 2017
Messages
113
Location
Australia
I have depression, low self esteem/worth and social anxiety.

Depression has left me neglectful and apathetic about my health and appearance over the course of years. Which is why I'm in this mess I guess. My poor dental health, and my embarrassment about it, has left me with low self esteem and self worth. This keeps me in the cycle of shame, depression and neglect. My social anxiety makes me very fearful of judgement and that has been a major contributor in putting off seeing a dentist for so long. I feel absolutely crushed when someone is critical of me and for a long time I believed that dentists would scold and shout at people with teeth like mine.

I'd say that at least half of my current mental health issues are related to how I feel about myself in relation to my teeth.
 
R

ReginaPhalange

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 11, 2018
Messages
178
Location
UK
It isn't significant at all in comparison to those other issues, but misophonia.

I especially can't stand mouth noises (people chewing, swallowing, slurping, cutlery hitting teeth, etc, etc), and I always need the TV or other background noise when eating with anyone (or worse, them eating but me not). It makes me want to scream but of course that would be rude, so I just boil inside silently.

I don't think it will affect my dental treatment though, but we'll see!
 
D

Dawn65

Well-known member
Joined
May 26, 2019
Messages
126
Location
Warwickshire
Some situational depressions and anxiety - lived through some though situations, but it goes when the situation ends... That's sort of normal for everyone, I think. Depression is after all just a normal reaction to an abnormal situation...

But really this is ALL about the medical - especially dental stuff for me - I don't accept being in my body because if it goes wrong, as it inevitably does for everyone, it means dealing with dentists and doctors, the things they do to you, and the horrors of being in a body.

In between any illness I have always been a normal, sane, loving and productive person. I'm perfectly OK. Anything wrong physically, and I am literally bonkers.... to the point no one knows how to handle me or what to do for me.

And, the problem is getting worse and the reactions more extreme as I get older. I now can't see me ever being happy until I've left this world for spirit. I feel the real me is trapped inside this carcass which could bring me into contact with dentists or doctors at any second, and it's intolerable. Every encounter I do have with them; however "well" anyone else might think that went, traumatises me that little bit (or sometimes a lot) more. I'm slowly losing my mind.
 
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F

FearPain

Junior member
Joined
Jun 16, 2019
Messages
1
Location
Moline Illinois USA
I'm new here...

Dawn65, You wrote exactly how I'm feeling!! I'm getting worse too.

I have PTSD, medical, from the trauma of abdominal and back surgery 3 weeks apart.
Anything medical related, especially invasive can trigger thoughts of suicide. Even if a procedure doesn't hurt, I am reminded of past trauma and it's as if I've just gone through it all over again. I get worked up days before getting a root canal procedure, even with the gas I react violently to every little pain, leave office in tears, and fight off depression for at least two days during which I can't work or go in public; I can't think straight. So any procedure means living through a week of HE**.
So I've never had a mammogram, will never have another colonoscopy, gyn exam, biopsy, etc. I've decided if I ever get cancer I'll refuse treatment and try to die quickly.
I'm seeing a Psychiatrist and therapist, and here I am looking for help anywhere I can.
Thanks for "listening"!
Wishing you health!
 
P

Pocdasert

Junior member
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
3
Location
Newton, NC
My only issue at the moment is self care. I brush maybe once every 6months to a year. I shower probably once every month. I don't eat. I can't drink water. My clothes are reworn many times. My house is a disaster. And I don't bother with my hair. I just got back into therapy, and restarted Prozac, though, so I'm working on it!
 
G

Gilbo

Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2020
Messages
90
Location
norwich, norfolk, uk
My anxiety problems began at age 22, having suffered abuse for most of my young life. That all stopped at age 15, then seven years later, the anxiety, panic attacks, general stress and clinical depression started. I was literally kind of 'thrown in the deep end' and with no way to control or stop it. My doctor said "We won't give you any medication for this first bout, we'll just see if you can control it yourself." Thanks Doc! It took me nine months of shaking and being scared to eventually beat it with help from a new job and some fun workmates. Nowadays, nearly 40 years later, I don't get basic anxiety, but only if it is caused by a physical symptom. Six years ago, I had a grommet put in my ear, unneccesarily, although I requested it. The ENT forced something sharp into my ear and stuck this thing in. My head spun uncontrollably for about 7-10 minutes as I lay on the table. It eventually stopped, but the panic attacks and anxiety began and lasted for three months without a break! Until they removed the grommet and the hole eventually healed up over the next six weeks. The ENT had given me some antibiotics which said on the pack, something like, 'taking this medication will probably cause immediate and lifelong deafness in the affected ear'! Reading up on it, I realised that it definitely would do that, removing any quality of life 100%. When my ear healed up, I went back to the 50% hearing that I had had before, which is far more preferable to complete deafness! This also caused something else though. Smelling things also changed for me, since I had the grommet inserted, I cannot notice anything smelling the same as before.

Now I have another problem. I had a tooth extracted the other week. A first molar. As it is so far back in my mouth, everytime the corners of the teeth surrounding the gap touch my tongue, that causes a gag reflex, which is very uncomfortable. I am getting more used to it, but if one or both of those teeth dig in at an awkward angle, an enormous wave of fear and panic suddenly floods right through my whole system! I just had this about an hour ago and it hasn't died down yet!

I am seeing a new dentist for my first 'registration' appointment this Thursday (26th. March) and I really hope there is something she can do for me to relieve these symptoms. Just as a temporary 'stop-gap', if you'll pardon the pun, would be better than nothing. a temporary single denture, above the socket, or some other way of shielding my tongue from my very vicious teeth, while the gap heals and adjusts itself, would be ideal. My previous dentist, who wanted me to wait 15 weeks to have any treatment at all, started all this off again. I find that, whenever I request some kind of treatment that I've heard about from my dentist, they invariably say, "I can't do that" or "I won't do that" Or "I'm afraid that's illegal!" Like when one of my teeth, a second molar on the lower right side, started actually cutting into my tongue and leaving me with a mouth full of blood on occasion. I asked the dentist if he would just file a little bit of the edge on that tooth, so as to stop the bleeding. That's when he said it would be illegal. I can't imagine that it was at all, of course, but I know he never liked me much and that's NOT an over-exaggeration! So now I have a new dentist and I really, desperately hope that she will attempt at least, to do something to help me.

I have read all of this page and all of the rest of the other problems listed. I really sympathize with all of you and hope that you have found, or will soon find a satisfactory solution to your problems!
 
BoxerMom

BoxerMom

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 23, 2019
Messages
191
Location
Us
My only issue at the moment is self care. I brush maybe once every 6months to a year. I shower probably once every month. I don't eat. I can't drink water. My clothes are reworn many times. My house is a disaster. And I don't bother with my hair. I just got back into therapy, and restarted Prozac, though, so I'm working on it!
Hey Pocdasert, I just saw this post and I wanted to see if you’ve had any success with the Prozac and therapy.
 
P

powerwus

Member
Joined
Mar 17, 2020
Messages
20
Location
Canada
Anxiety disorder, panic disorder, some mild to moderate depression and ADHD. The first two can sometimes reach debilitating levels and really affects my dental issues. Even going in for my three month cleanings can be a chore of anxiety. I'm on Paxil, Clonazepam, Lorazepam,Vyvanse...it can be brutal.
 

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