Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Dental Anxiety and Teeth Brushing

Written By Don Shetterly
I've got a feeling I'm not the only one out there struggling with this issue.  In fact, I know others that have admitted this to me.  If you've followed me for some time, you've probably seen that I struggle with dental anxiety.

Now, I'm not just talking about being a little afraid of going to the dentist.  I'm referring to full on anxiety attacks in just making an appointment.  For me to pick up the phone, that's when the anxiety at full speed.  Getting into the dentist office is nothing short of running 20 marathons in a single minute.

One of the things I truly struggle with is anytime anyone puts anything in my mouth like the dentist.  I freak out.  I freeze.  My body literally goes into such a fear response that it becomes very rigid.  I'm so frustrated with this and I put off much needed work until it got so bad I had not choice but to go in and struggle with my fears.

A dentist I've found close to me is very good about working with me.  I do use some medication to help me get in the door and I have a trusted friend with me at all times.  In fact, my friend is the one that makes the appointments and handles anything over the phone on this, because I just can't bring myself to do this part.

One of the things I've noticed in myself about dental anxiety is how difficult it is to brush my teeth.  I grew up doing this every day, but when the memories of abuse triggered me so much, it was an all out battle to get myself to brush my teeth.

Now, I have noticed that just to insert the toothbrush into my mouth is triggering beyond any words I could write here.  Of course, this compounds the problem.  I'm pushing myself to brush my teeth now, but it feels like I'm being abused and molested every time I do.

I just want people to be aware of this, especially dentists.  Some of us struggle so hard and while we try to trust the professionals, it is not easy.  As I said, it feels like I'm being abused and molested every time I go for a dentist appointment.  My dentist is great and works with me, but no matter what, I feel that trigger.  My body feels it.  My body reacts to it.

Even writing about this is difficult and I can feel the anxiety and heat rise within me.  It is not a simple trigger to me.  I'd so love to get beyond it and be able to go to the dentist office like normal people do.  I hate this part about life because it is exhausting and overwhelming.

Blog Post And Images (c) 2017 by Don Shetterly
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