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I have major phobias involving pain, doctors, dentists and m

I have major phobias involving pain, doctors, dentists and medical procedures in general. Anytime I even read about doctor/dentist related stuff, I feel queasy and my heart starts racing.

A few times in the last 5 years I visited a hospital due to friends needing support and a family member passing away, and every single time I entered the building it was like I was on high alert. Heart racing, sweating, uneasy-ness the entire time. My anxiety peaks even just thinking about it. I have avoided seeking help for numerous issues due to my fears and I am at a loss as to what to do.

I have had people suggest I take medication before dental procedures to calm me down but I hate how medicine like that makes me feel. I have had people suggest I seek therapy, though that involves going to a doctor and therapy is linked with my phobias. I truly feel helpless.

Now with the Covid stuff it is even worse. No one can come in with you (my mother is my support system) and everything is even more time consuming than normal (more time to get anxious and panic). I don't know what to do. I need help so bad and I feel like I am hopeless.

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[360]
Jul 4

@L2015 Thanks for your reply. I have considered trying to do therapy over the phone/video chat, my only issue is I live in a small place with others and the walls are very thin. I may be able to go out and sit in a car but idk how good the wifi signal will be outside. Definitely something worth testing out if and when I am feeling brave.

As far as a doctor over the phone, idk how much help it would be as I am sure I'll just be told to come in to get tests done, especially considering how long it has been since I have been to a doctor (many years).

I am open to any further suggestions! Thank you.

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[31000]
Jul 6

@LizzyJ2020 Hi; thanks for your response. I think checking to see if your phone works in your car is a very good idea. Re: the doctor probably wanting you to come in in person, I have a few suggestions:
(1). Do you have health insurance? If so, it will probably cover therapy. In many cases, you have to see your primary care physician in order to get a referral to a therapist. In that case, could you do the "visit" to your PCP by phone? I know that my dr. is doing visits by phone or video nowadays. They wouldn't have to see you in person to give the referral. If they insist that you have to come in for tests, very calmly explain to them that you have severe panic attacks when you so much as think about medical procedures, let alone have to go there in person. (Write up your little speech in advance, so that you can read it to them when they ask you to come in.) And maybe if you saw a therapist who specializes in anxiety attacks or something similar, after a while you'd be able to see a doctor in person.
(2) Regarding anti-anxiety medications, you wrote that you hate how they make you feel. There are many anti-anxiety meds out there nowadays, and they have different side effects. So it is possible that they can prescribe you one that doesn't leave you feeling icky. (I have a prescription for clonazapam, and I love the way it makes me feel.)

Do either of these ideas sound doable? If not, I will think up a few others!

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[360]
Jul 25

@L2015 With the medication stuff, it isn't anti anxiety meds that make me feel bad per say, its more so "loopy" medicine. I had a primary care doctor years ago who wrote me a prescription for a sedative style drug and told me to take it before my next dental appointment (because I was so terrified). I've had to take medicines similar to this in the past when having major issues with pain and I hate them. They make me feel dizzy and loopy (basically high/buzzed) and I hate that feeling. Similar to the feeling of a sleeping pill kicking in. I get why she prescribed it because it was intended to relax me and make me loosen up but it had the opposite effect on me. It made me feel sick and out of control of my body, which always makes the anxiety worse.

On top of that the various anti depressive and anti anxiety meds I have taken in the past have never helped. Not sure if due to wrong dosages or what but the medicines either have no effect or make me worse. I just haven't had good experiences all around with medicine. I am one of those that needs extra medicine at the dentist to numb me so lots of shots in my mouth,.. It is honestly horrific.

My taste buds have an aversion to bitter flavor as well so any pill without a coating I struggle taking as my body goes in to gag and vomit mode when tasting anything bitter. I am an adult so it is so embarrassing when I can't stomach a pill or medicine that has bitter flavoring (which is most medicines). I also have a gastrointestinal disorder that effects my digestion, so I am unsure whether or not that also messes with absorption in regards to medication.

On the doctor thing, I have to find a PCP first. I haven't had one in years. I have insurance for now but not sure how long that will last (I'm low income). I know my state has opened up more with doctors offices and so I'm nervous about being forced to go in if I need any help. I just don't want to be walked over like I have in the past. I need someone who can respect my fears and take me seriously, which I have never had before.

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