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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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[400]
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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LollyNews's picture
[62015]
Aug 23

@LizzyJ2020 I can relate to this. I feel the same way. How are you doing now? I can tell you for myself, I just have a breakdown every now and then and after that I feel better. Just holding on.

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[32440]
Aug 23

Hi again Lizzy,
Sorry you're having these many challenges. It does sound so frustrating and difficult to solve. Re: finding a PCP, every insurance is different. Do you know if your particular insurance needs you to have a PCP first in order to get a referral to a mental health practitioner? Or can you see one without a referral?

Also, there is some free psychotherapy available out there. You might want to contact universities, hospitals, etc. and ask for the psychology/psychiatry/mental health/social work dept., and tell them you are low-income but need therapy.

Re: medications. Sorry you have a gag reflex to bitter pills. I wonder if you could coat the pill in something sweet, like a sugar or chocolate coating, then wait for it to dry, then take it?

I've had good results from my anti-depressant and my anti-anxiety, but I have a friend who reacts the way you do - they just make her feel worse. I don't know if this can help, but there are youtubes on Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). It's a free, do-it-yourself, do it at home, easy to learn technique for emotional and physical problems. Just google "EFT anxiety" or "EFT gastro-intestinal" or anything else, and see if you find the technique works for you. Some people find it really helpful, others don't.

Re: anxiety, do you find that yoga or meditation help? Or breathing exercises? If your "in" breath takes fewer seconds than your "out" breath, that will reduce anxiety. Or is there anything else you do that helps with your anxiety?

Re: doctors taking you seriously, I totally get it. Most doctors don't take most patients seriously, so unfortunately you're in good company. Especially around psychiatric issues. I find that the best way to deal with that is to expect little, and to write it up in advance, and to stay very polite but very persistent when talking to them, and choose my battles.

Hope some of these might be helpful?

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