Dental phobia creates high levels of anxiety which can lead to panic attacks when confronted with dental issues. It is fairly common for anxiety such as dental phobia to be linked to and/or cause depression. When dealing with dental phobia, it is common for the individual to isolate due to the avoidance of possible triggers due to the fear of dentists. This isolation and avoidance can worsen the symptoms of depression.
Another way dental phobia can lead to depression is due to possible feelings of guilt and shame due to avoiding dental care because of the overwhelming fear. This can create a cycle of fear and avoidance leading to increased isolation which worsens the depression.
Ways to overcome dental phobia and depression
If the depression is caused by the dental phobia, it may disappear when the overwhelming fear of dentists is addressed and overcome. There are many helpful techniques to help with overcoming dental phobia and depression.
It can be helpful for the individual to seek professional counselling. This allows the individual the ability to talk about any traumatic past experiences. A counsellor can also help the person with coping strategies to deal with the dental phobia and depression. Exercise and journaling are helpful coping strategies which can be utilised. Desensitisation is an approach used to deal with various phobias.
Dental phobia can cause or be linked to depression. Although dental phobia can seem overwhelming, it can be overcome through various strategies. Once the individual is given the opportunity to talk about not only the fear itself, but also keep an open line of communication with the dentist, the anxiety and panic linked to dental visits can be overcome.
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