The next few weeks are going to be tough for me, OCD-wise. I know I'll get through it, because I always do.
But rather than fret about that, I will share my story of the dentist appointment. It's not an exciting story, but it does represent for me how I can learn to face things I've been unwilling to in the past.
I've long hated the dentist. I think most people do, but I'm pretty sure my phobia is on the higher end of the spectrum. Growing up I had a lot of cavities and a dentist who didn't use enough novacaine, which I did not learn until I was an adult and got a new dentist and found that fillings were a much less terrifying experience.
But then I got to add on OCD fears as well. Sure, you can't get HIV at the dentist. Except those (very very) few unfortunate people who have. When I'm there I pretty much just have to not pay attention to anything around me, or I completely freak myself out.
My dentist these days is part of a huge-huge HMO. The care is good, but access is terrible. Cleaning/exam appointments are usually about 3-4 months out. But I learned early on that I can call to check on cancellations and generally can get an appointment within a few days. For years that's what I've been doing, since I've been unwilling to handle the stress of knowing for 3 months that I've got that appointment on my calendar. Back in June I needed to make an appointment in order to get a prescription. Sure enough, the appointment was in late September. I fully intended to call back the next week and cancel it. I've done that before.
But then I decided not to. It was time to face the dreaded anticipatory anxiety. So I stuck a giant post it note in my calendar and spent the last three months knowing it was out there. Last week I finally had my appointment. It was uneventful, but I was still pretty excited about how it all worked out.
Brain-Circuit-Based Therapies for OCD
1 week ago