Do you fear doctors? We all know someone who will be extremely sick but will still avoid visiting a doctor. Many times, this might be due to just being ignorant or stubborn, while, at times, there are chances that it is pointing towards experiencing “Fear of doctors”, also known as Iatrophobia.
What Is Iatrophobia?
It is an irrational fear of doctors or of medical tests. It is not uncommon to have anxiety about going to the doctor a few times. But, the fear of doctors is often strong enough to provoke high blood pressure in the presence of a medical professional.
Signs: What It May Feel Like?
If you suffer from a fear of doctors or medical tests, you may often experience one or many of the following symptoms while seeking a medical help:
-Nausea and dry mouth
-Excessive sweating and shaking
-Obsessive worry about visiting the doctor or hospital
-Fast heartbeat and raised blood pressure
-Difficulty in breathing
-Fear of dying
Iatrophobia can get you to ignore symptoms until it is too late. You cannot wait to let a cold progress into pneumonia. Ask an expert about that much-thought health query right away. CONSULT NOW
What Can Make Someone Develop A Fear Of Doctors?
-Fear of hearing bad news from a medical test or exam
-Anxiety about catching an illness from someone else in the doctor’s clinic or hospital
-Fear developed due to bad experience in a prior visit
-Sights and smells in a hospital or doctor’s office
-Fear of blood or of claustrophobia (for example, during an MRI, CT scan)
-Fear of pain from undergoing a test or examination or from shots and needles
-An anticipated diagnosis or fear of getting a wrong diagnosis
Whatever the cause might be, avoiding any medical tests or a doctor’s visit can delay a health problem being detected early. Don’t put off that much-awaited health check-up any longer.
Tips To Overcome Your Fear Of Doctors
Schedule it right: Try to schedule your appointments early in the morning or late in the day to avoid waiting too long in the reception area.
Keep yourself distracted: Take a book with you or listen to your favorite music to help you relax while waiting.
Take someone along: A supportive friend or family member can not only give a comforting presence, but can also help you in noticing the important details you might miss in your stressed-out state.
Control your breath: Try the 4-7-8 breathing technique (inhale to the count of 4, hold the breath for a count of 7, exhale for a count of 8).
Be honest about your anxiety: Your doctor has all the right to know about your physical and mental health. Discussing your anxiety and fear with your doctor can help him help you better.
(The article is reviewed by Dr. Swati Mishra, Medical Editor)