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Dental School + OCD

Discussion in 'Pre-Dental' started by RootCanal, Feb 28, 2007.

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  1. RootCanal

    10+ Year Member

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    Hello. I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and have been accepted to Dental School. Generally speaking, I have had my symptoms under control for 9 years or so and have never been on medication. I haven't been formally diagnosed but it is fairly common afterall. Anyway, it used to be so bad that I would have to do certain activities for 3 hours +/day and it caused intense anxiety and interfered with my life a lot (from 12-17yrs old.) I thought I outgrew it, but 1.5 years ago I had a 'flare up' for lack of a better word. I was so consumed by the thought that I had cancer for 2 months that I felt a non existant lump about 3 times/minute for the entire 2 months. I lost 10 lbs, had 4 drs tell me it was nothing and I wasn't convinced. Anyway, my question is... it flares up mostly in stressful times (not particular situations). I wish I could shake the thoughts, but I can't... the harder I try, the harder it is to focus on anything but what I am trying to avoid thinking about. If anyone here also has OCD, what do you plan on doing during stressful dental school to keep it under control? I don't want to be medicated etc. That's something I don't want to get into. Thanks.
     
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  2. etan4

    etan4 Senior Member
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    In all seriousness, what happens if you have a "flare up" with future patients? Will there be an increased possibility for misdiagnosis, in the same manner as how you thought you had a lump when there really wasn't? Dentistry can be very stressful at times, especially when you are attending to multiple patients at once, and not everything is going as planned.
     
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  3. OP
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    RootCanal

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    I can't speak for others, but at least for me...it isn't anxiety about just anything. It is pretty much one focal issue at a time. Individual stressful situations I can handle with a very level head. It is a thought like of a parent dying that I can't shake, or a thought of me having a terminal illness. I can't explain it well, but it isnt day to day situational matters like general anxiety. I can pretty much handle anything. It is just when one image or thought consumes me that its hard to focus on anything else. I know I just will have to be more attentive to detail if i flare up while I'm a dentist. I'm more concerned about the academic aspect. For the most part I can handle it at school or work, but when I get home...that's another story.
     
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  4. Ething

    Ething Junior Member
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    Some of the situations you mentioned indicate pretty serious OCD. I would'nt look for advice here on the pre-dent forum. I recommend talking to your doctor about it. There are many things you can do to learn to cope with OCD......and seeing a psychologist/psychiatrist is not the end of the world. Dental school is MAJOR stress, it will probably be more stressful than anything you have dealt with before. If therapy and various techniques do not work, there is nothing wrong with medication. Pills were made for a reason. Dental school is a breeding ground for anxiety attacks. Do what you can to avoid those attacks, or it can be very hazardous to your health.
     
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  5. OP
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    RootCanal

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    I didn't even recognize my own symptoms until a few weeks ago after my husband has said since our marriage "OCD, OCD, OCD...why do you have to check the alarm clock 35 times before accepting it's set for the right time?" and I decided to prove him wrong. I started reasearching it and there it was. Very textbook. I'm surprised this many people have looked at the link and aren't claiming to have it. They say it happens in about 2-3% of the population. That's a HUGE number. Maybe people have it and don't know it like me?
     
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  6. aphistis

    Moderator Emeritus 10+ Year Member

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    Nobody here can answer this question for you. You need to consult a qualified professional. Good luck.
     
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