How to Overcome Fear of Doctors?
How many times have you been in a situation where you needed a doctor's consultation but you were too afraid to visit one? How many times has this impacted your everyday life?
There is a professional term for this fear and it's called iatrophobia. People who have this condition are extremely afraid of doctors and any medical testing involved in the process.
Doctors aren't scary, but the circumstances bringing you to the doctor's office might be. Having this fear causes people not to visit doctors even when they are really sick, or presenting signs of any kind of illness. There are things you can do to overcome your fear, and don't let it run your life. You should feel safe and be able to trust your doctors and not fear them and evade them. Not coming to your doctor or a healthcare provider for help can result in serious health issues that could have been avoided. Going to a doctor is not a fun way to spend your time, but routine checkups and medical tests can help early diagnosis and ultimately save your life. Here are some steps one must take in order to overcome the fear of doctors:
- Acknowledge and understand the fear.
First step towards healing is acknowledging that you have a problem. One needs to understand why they have that fear. Did something happen in the past? Did you have some sort of medical trauma that has caused this fear? Acknowledge that it is normal to have this type of fear and let go of triggering thoughts that are provoking this fear. Focus on things that bring you joy and happiness. Think positively, do things that keep you mentally engaged and you won't have time to think about doctors.
- Take first aid course
Having slightest control over your health can bring you some sort of calmness. Taking something basic as a first aid course can help you understand the benefits of being able to help someone. Treating heart attacks, wounds and bodily injuries at the spot can be life saving. Realizing that can make your fear subside a bit.
- Inform your healthcare provider of the fear.
Telling your doctor or a healthcare provider about your fear can make a situation far less scary. They will try to make your experience at the office more comfortable. Having all cards laid down on the table makes no space for confusion, fear or anxiety. Being honest with the doctor about your worries promotes a better doctor-patient relationship.
- Have in mind the risks of not going to the doctor's office
One must understand the risks of not visiting a doctor. Whether you need a routine check up or a more extensive testing, not seeing a doctor can bring more health issues. Visiting your doctor now can prevent illness in the future.
- Practice relaxation techniques
Many people find it helpful to do some relaxation techniques to help them cope with the fear. Whether it is deep breathing or meditation, it can help you control it. You can do this in the waiting room or in your car at the parking lot of the doctor's office. Controlling your breath with a 4-7-8 technique (inhaling to the count of four, then holding your breath to the count of seven, then exhaling for a count of eight) can help you greatly with your anxiety.
- Don't ask Google to be your doctor
We all have been there, and we all have made the same mistake of googling symptoms or illness. This is actually giving you more and more anxiety, because once you start typing you can't stop. Serious cases are proven to be more documented than benign ones, hence when you google your symptoms chances are you are going to get awful search results. Do not jump to conclusions, and let your doctors fight your fear with you.
- Work with a therapist
Talk to a licensed therapist. Whether they are behavioral therapists or psychiatrists, they can help you deal with your fear. Showing you strategies on how to deal with or prescribe some medication to control the fear, they can be of a great help for you.
- Bring someone you trust with you
Bring a loved one you trust to be there for the appointments with you. Having someone as benign as holding your hand can help greatly with fear control. Moral support is high on the ladder when dealing with unwanted feelings and situations.
Having any kind of fear is not an easy burden to carry, and not addressing it can cause serious health issues. Following some of the above steps can help you navigate through it and understand the importance of doctors in our life.
Keywords: doctor, fear of doctor, fear, doctor's office