Our expert says:
Let's see. Yes, when people tell you you need to relax, they're usually right - but you didn't choose NOT to be relaxed, so its not so easy to just switch it off. But in fact one can learn to do exactly that. And you're right about the snowball effect - we get frightened in such a situation - then we start feeling frightened that we might start to feel frightened, and so on.
Though this is obviously a problem when at the dentist, it sounds, from your comments, as though there are a number of other situations in which you feel very nervous, too.
What would help most, and it need not take very long, is to arrange urgently to see a good local shrink who practices CBT ( Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ) and the Anxiety/Depression Support group can help you find one.
It can help you both to learn to de-fuse the potential for disturbing you of the various situations that currently trigger this response, and to learn to relax deliberately when you choose to do so.
Explain when calling for an appointment, that you would really appreciate it if you could be seen fairly urgently, because you are due in a month to start some intricate dental surgery and need to be able to face it calmly and get i over with.
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