What is (or was) your worst anxiety symptom?

What is (or was) your worst anxiety symptom?

  • Shaking

    Votes: 8 44.4%
  • Nausea/Upset Stomach

    Votes: 6 33.3%
  • Hyperventilating

    Votes: 2 11.1%
  • Heart pounding/racing

    Votes: 12 66.7%
  • Sweating

    Votes: 4 22.2%
  • Gagging

    Votes: 4 22.2%
  • Racing thoughts

    Votes: 10 55.6%
  • Tension/stiffness/rigidity

    Votes: 6 33.3%
  • Fainting

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Crying

    Votes: 5 27.8%
  • Speech/voice changes

    Votes: 4 22.2%
  • Other

    Votes: 4 22.2%

  • Total voters
    18
kitkat

kitkat

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I have experienced many anxiety symptoms over the years and some have been more tolerable and/or manageable than others. Sometimes, I have even found that I have actually been more bothered by my anxiety symptoms than the actual dental treatment. What is or was the worst anxiety symptom you have experienced while visiting a dentist?
 
T

thisisme

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Crying is hands down my worst anxiety symptom followed by shutting down... just getting very quiet and submissive... and insomnia the nights before.
 
T

thisisme

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Double post. I don’t know why. 🤷‍♀️

Crying is hands down my worst anxiety symptom followed by shutting down... just getting very quiet and submissive... and insomnia the nights before.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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This is an interesting post and point Kitkat. I'd say just mentally all the racing thoughts and "what ifs" as you walk through the door and the time leading up to it. then right before it starts the racing heartbeat, also well in any dental surgery my bp is like 162.. eeks.. so they always have to let me wait a bit after I get there to start. Tension and also I would say forgetfulness ..
 
M

MountainMama

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The racing heart is bad. I get that when I just step into a dentist office. The longer I have to sit in the waiting room the worse it gets.
As thisisme said, insomnia the night before (or the whole week before sometimes) is awful. Then I go into the procedure exhausted and unsteady anyway. I suffer from insomnia anyway, and it amps up when I have something unpleasant going on. The night before my first root canal, I was literally up the entire night, with no sleep.
 
Enarete

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Dissocitation. I would get completely blank - motionless, staring into space, not responding, kind of floating in another universe. After I came back there was few seconds of me not knowing where I was, looking around trying to find orientation and literally discovering that there is my dentist „waiting“ for me. The most intense episode was as I used the stop signal for the very first time in my life, I had to jump off the chair and then froze, it took few minutes until I started to move again and then I wanted to say something but my speech was blocked, I literally made several attemts to say something and there would be no words coming out. Quite scary for me but don‘t even want to think how scary that must have been for my dental team. Again, it‘s been a while since that happened last time.
 
Sol

Sol

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Freezing/tension are the bad ones for me. Hard to signal or other at times it feels like the tension causes me to release the tension all at once like spring and flinch. Put speech as well but its basically a loss of being able to talk/communicate. The loss of sleep during the nights before appointments is not great either.
 
kitkat

kitkat

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I forgot about insomnia. I used to struggle with insomnia and nausea (to the point of vomiting) a few days before appointments. Shaking has always been high on my list because I feel like it’s the one thing that “gives me away.” I still sometimes shake but it’s usually just initially when I sit in the chair and it goes away after starting a procedure. I used to get heart pounding as soon as the chair reclined and any type of instrument was being placed in my mouth but thankfully not anymore. Racing thoughts would happen (and sometimes still do) on the way there or the day of leading up to an appointment. Tension is something I have to constantly monitor and manage both in my face/jaw and as well as throughout my whole body during treatments. Sometimes, I would carry excess tension because I was trying to control the shaking but that doesn’t work very well. I sometimes have speech changes in that I give very short responses and my voice gets really high and squeaky.
 
K

kaekae

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worst one: i forget how to breathe when the drill is going. seriously. It's no longer autonomic. (this is probably because i'm a mouth breather cause of chronic congestion (I do take something for the congestion before dental work) i've never blacked out or even seen red from lack of oxygen or anything like that but it's scary. sometimes i feel ike i'm going to drown.
(but i have lots of the choices - this is just the worst)
 
K

kaekae

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The racing heart is bad. I get that when I just step into a dentist office. The longer I have to sit in the waiting room the worse it gets.
As thisisme said, insomnia the night before (or the whole week before sometimes) is awful. Then I go into the procedure exhausted and unsteady anyway. I suffer from insomnia anyway, and it amps up when I have something unpleasant going on. The night before my first root canal, I was literally up the entire night, with no sleep.
I used to use my inhaler right before I went to the dentist since I was terrified of having an attack in the chair. Never ever do that. it sends your heart race and anxiety racing so badly. It took me several visits to connect the dots. my heart still races but it's better now.
 
BoxerMom

BoxerMom

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My flight instinct goes into overdrive. I check for escape routes. Sweating, nausea, heart racing, crying. Ugh.
 
krlovesherkids777

krlovesherkids777

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Boxermom

"I check for escape routes. "

Me too... I check where the nearest bathroom and exit is "just in case" in new places or semi new, I literally called it my "bathroom trick".. and used it several times . I even told my angel dentist about this .. and whenever I go use the restroom , he'd say,, you are coming back right? so. its a real thing... and good to have a back up plan anyways
 
kitkat

kitkat

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worst one: i forget how to breathe when the drill is going. seriously. It's no longer autonomic. (this is probably because i'm a mouth breather cause of chronic congestion (I do take something for the congestion before dental work) i've never blacked out or even seen red from lack of oxygen or anything like that but it's scary. sometimes i feel ike i'm going to drown.
(but i have lots of the choices - this is just the worst)
I consistently feel faint when the slow drill is being used (only the slow one). I’ve never fully blacked out but my vision has gone very dim more than once and I get very dizzy. I have wondered if I hold my breath but it seems like even when I concentrate on breathing it still happens so I just don’t know. Now I have more anxiety about possibly fainting in response to the drill than the drill itself...ugh! I can’t win!
 
S

shinyonne

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Avoidance. I know that’s probably not an anxiety symptom but it’s the most obvious way my dental anxiety manifests itself. Avoidance of the dentist at all cost.
 
Enarete

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Avoidance. I know that’s probably not an anxiety symptom but it’s the most obvious way my dental anxiety manifests itself. Avoidance of the dentist at all cost.
Of course it is! And one of the very significant ones...
 
S

Surreyvwphobic

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My worst symptom of anxiety was held breath; although I still have a tendency to do this on occasions, in the past year things have been much easier since my feelings of extreme phobia have receded somewhat. This is partly why I insist on having some space incorporated into a session; if I have been struggling, the extra time allows me to rest and take proper breaths. My worst experience was with a witch in Surrey (UK) when I actually passed out (the one and only time this has happened fortunately) and died momentarily before suddenly coming back and ending up in a hysterical yelling fit. Thankfully the session had just about finished and so my friend came in to rescue me and carry me out! Thank God my current dentist is so lovely and looks after me impeccably, so hopefully this sort of experience will never happen again.
 
T

thisisme

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At my first hygienist appointment in 15 years, I opened up at the end how bad my anxiety was. How I wouldn’t look at dental offices when driving by, how I squirmed at toothpaste commercials, etc. she was shocked because she couldn’t tell. I mentioned it above that being quiet is a symptom, but I guess I never realized how compliant I become when I’m anxious. I’m usually very bubbly and outspoken and do hope I can get that way eventually at appointments.
 
kitkat

kitkat

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At my first hygienist appointment in 15 years, I opened up at the end how bad my anxiety was. How I wouldn’t look at dental offices when driving by, how I squirmed at toothpaste commercials, etc. she was shocked because she couldn’t tell. I mentioned it above that being quiet is a symptom, but I guess I never realized how compliant I become when I’m anxious. I’m usually very bubbly and outspoken and do hope I can get that way eventually at appointments.
I relate 100% to this. I used to be very quiet and compliant so I was somewhat surprised that my dentist was able to pick up on my fear so quickly (I didn’t tell her...I actually tried to hide it). I don’t entirely know what gave me away but I think initially, it was maybe the lack of eye contact...maybe I had a terrified look on my face but I’m not really sure lol. I was trying to force myself not to shake but I don’t know how apparent that was (the shaking came out full force at later appointments and she did take notice of it at that point). I remember she was pretty surprised by the shaking on a day that it was particularly out of control (for no real reason) and she commented that she had “never seen me like this before”...and then I thought “GREAT! Now I’ve outdone myself!”.
 
K

klol

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Nearly every time I go for an appointment, starts with racing heart and shaking, leads to shaking and then tears trickling out of my eyes, which inevitably turns into me trying not to cry which only amps it up worse. 5 minutes into dentist chair time and I’m shaking, sobbing as gently and quietly as possible so as to not interfere with the dentist and hygienist, and trying with every fiber of my being not to pass out. Usually my face and limbs go numb and it’s just a state of pure terror, even though I logically know I’m safe. My brain goes haywire with all of the “they’re gonna say you have 10 new cavities, they’re gonna day you need a crown, they’re gonna pull your tooth, oh, now they’re gonna pull them all.” Man it sucks.
 
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