Iatrophobia is the fear of doctors, or of any medical authority. This phobia along with any anxiety about needles or about any kind of medical treatment could prevent you from receiving proper medical attention.
As far as the fear of doctors specifically, it can cause you from not being able to follow through on doctor’s checkups. If you are healthy this may not be such a problem, but if you are noticing that you may have signs that something is wrong with you this neglect could cause you not to get the help you need.
As far as symptoms of iatrophobia is concerned, the symptoms of this condition are similar to that of most phobias. Avoidance is a huge one, but also in the process of confronting this fear before a person is ready can lead to panic.
As far as physical symptoms of panic, iatrophobia is often characterized by racing heartbeat, sweating palms, or intense dread. You might even have difficulty breathing and you might feel like you are going to pass out.
Why are people afraid of doctors?
It could be any number of reasons. Maybe they were socially conditioned to believed that doctor’s really do not care about people. Although some doctors do, this is not always the case. People may also be afraid of a doctor because they or someone they know has become a victim of malpractice.
If you want to get rid of the fear of going to the doctor these tips may help:
- Learn the true role of a doctor. Of course, your physician should be properly trained and licensed. However, your doctor should also be patient, understanding and compassionate.
He or she should also be able to communicate clearly with you about any health issues that affect you. Having this kind of positive experience is what will heighten your overall experience when seeing the right medical professional.
- If you are planning a trip to the doctor distract yourself. You can do this by thinking of all the reasons you would want to go to the hospital versus not go. For instance, maybe there is a cut nurse or doctor you have your eye on. (It would not be ethical to date medical staff that is taking care of you but you can at least admire the beauty of the people. Also, if make your health a priority you will have to find a way to convince yourself to go.
- Ask as many questions as possible. You can even request a phone consultation with a doctor to help you feel more comfortable. Explain to a potential doctor all your fears and ask as many questions as you need to about the procedures.
- Ask a friend or relative to go with you. It always helps to have support when attempting to face a fear. A good friend, significant other, or family member would encourage you rather than put you down as you allow that person in.
- Bring a book or activity along. This will keep you occupied while you sit in the waiting room. The purpose of this is to not only pass the time but to help keep your mind off your fears. You can bring a book, a portable media device or anything you are allowed to have in a hospital waiting room.