Trauma and Phobias at Doctors and Dentists


 I can only speak for myself on this one. My emetophobia may slightly be activated when I'm having procedures done at the dentist. But it's not so much because of the gag reflex actually. It's more general nervousness, eventually escalating into that uncomfortable abdomen feeling.

 Interestingly again, the experienced nervousness rather seems to come from a feeling of being stuck, while lying in that chair with the staff and their semi-sadistic apparatus hanging over me. I can take much but not shooting pain. Unfortunately, I have suffered loss and bad quality of teeth. But technically I'm not the least stuck while being in that particular situation.

I can just stand up and walk away.

 Anytime. It's all in my mind. The worst thing that could happen is that I might disappoint the dentist, but that's not lethal, for any of us. And to be honest, they are really fast and skilled with their work. Before you know it, it's all done. To understand better how these irrational feelings of trauma may be related to my phobia, please feel welcome to read through earlier postings.







 One more thing that I want to add with this is something that happened in my childhood. My mom have told me this story, don't remember any of it myself. I was a bad case of ear infections when I was little. Had it all the time growing up. Once there was a moment when I refused the doctor to look into my ear. Apparently for some reason I didn't trust him, though I was far too little to even think in such terms one may think. Obviously I felt like that man had nothing what so ever to do in my ear.

 It turned out that I was right and my worst nightmare at the time seemed to come true. He then violated that lack of trust by unexpectedly lying me down and examine my ear by force. That, and that only, was enough to traumatize me from the health care system entirely. After that I was unable to visit hospitals without screaming in agony. My mom told me I was screaming just by seeing someone dressed in white.

 When I was almost 4 years old my younger sister was born. I turned out to become a turning point of this fear. I had to follow my mother to the hospital during her pregnancy doing her check ups. She had to ensure me that it was her, not me, that were to be examined, until I finally gained some courage. It helped me build up trust again. I ended up safely lying down beside her.

 If that was a depressing read, here comes the comic twist which maybe makes more sense as to why I'm sharing all this: One other time during my childhood, me, my mother and my older brother was in hospital for a few days because my brother was checked for some things. During this time he did an x-ray. We followed him all the way down the corridor until they had to shut the door. I wanted to follow with him. I wanted an x-ray too! In fact, I screamed and screamed until they finally let me in after my brother and let me go through what probably was an acted x-ray session.

 The fear of doctors and hospitals was obviously much easier to get over. I don't know right now if this all happened before or after the short time I had that fear, but the point is that it didn't seem inherited or physical like my emetophobia is. What happened at the doctor when I was little was something more of a mental or emotional trauma. Just as much impact nonetheless, only easier to be freed of. I'm sharing this only for the interest of anyone researching and exploring how to best recover from physical trauma and anxiety disorders related to body memories.