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How Can I Get Past My Dental Phobia?

I am terrified, just writing this to you is make my heart thump, but I need to do something.
The last time I visited the dentist was in 1976 and whilst I was wary then, I really didn’t have the fear I have now.
A colleague and I were going through similar procedures (different dentist) at the same time and unfortunately she died under anaesthetic.
Now I know that this was an extreme case, however over the years my phobia has just increased and unfortunately I have recently suffered depression where I haven’t been caring for myself at all well. I am a sensible person really and I can’t get past this awful, awful feeling, embarrassment too, how stupid I feel etc.
How can I get past this please?

I think that you would come into the category of a very severe dental phobic. That has nothing to do with the sensible person you are in the rest of your life
The incident with your friend was a severe trauma and is perhaps not surprisingly it has left a deep and abiding memory, which has prevented you from having any dental care.
But what to do next?
If you haven’t been to the dentist in 40 years, its likely that something will have to be done. The first thing is to find out what that might be.
It may be that you need help from a CBT psychologist and your doctor may be able to refer you  so that you can get started. If you join Anxiety UK, they have access to low cost services which can be accessed face to face or by phone.
I hope this helps, Jenny.

Answer provided by: Dr Jennifer Pinder Retired
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