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phobia of the dentist

Hey Sam:) how are ya? I'm a 15 year old girl and ever since I can remember I've had a really bad phobia of the dentist. It's on my medical records so my dentist, orthodontist and parents know. Im a triplet and I was born premature so my teeth and bones aren't very strong so I constantly have to get work done. The last time I went I had a panic attack (I've only ever had 2 in my whole life) and I have to go tomorrow and I'm really hoping I don't freak out and embarras myself. When I try talk to my friends about it, they say I'm being babyish and that there's nothing to be scared of. Is there any thing I can do to like stay calm and not freak out? Thankyou:)
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Sam

Hi there,

Panic attacks usually happen when someone is feeling anxious, and are often caused by changes in how you breathe. This means that a good way to prevent a panic attack is to focus on breathing slowly. Practising breathing in this way at times when you are already calm can be really useful. It can make you more prepared if you’re having another attack. You can read more information about ways to control your panic attacks.

Having a phobia isn’t something to be ashamed of, and the staff will understand how it affects you.  Having a note about your phobia on your medical records is a really good idea as it means that medical staff already know that you may be feeling stressed when you arrive. You could have a look at more information about phobias and how they can be treated on thesite.org.uk. Perhaps you could think about talking to your parents or staff about what other support may be available.

Being told not to be scared might not feel helpful. It seems like you feel your friends don’t understand your phobia. If you would like to talk to other young people about your experiences you can use the ChildLine phobias messageboard to find other young people who feel the same way and also read more about ways people cope with their fears.

If you would like to talk about your most recent visit to the dentist, or talk more about anything at all you could speak to a ChildLine counsellor about that, online or on the phone, or send an email.

Take care
Sam

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