Fear or Anxiety About A Visit to the Doctor: Iatrophobia

fear of doctor, anxiety about doctor, iatrophobia, colorado natural medicine and acupuncture

It consumes you for days. The worry, the fear, the angst.  It’s all you think about.  And that’s just for calling to make the appointment.

Then the anticipation begins.  What if the doctor finds something?  What if something is wrong?  What if I have what my loved one has/had?  Or, what if something goes wrong with a procedure?

Your mind can go in dangerous circles, filled with uneasiness and piling on more stress – just at the thought of sitting in the doctor’s office.  When you finally get there, your pulse may be racing, your sweat glands on full speed, and your blood pressure may also be high. You can barely stand it.

If any of this sounds familiar, we want you to know that it’s okay. It’s not only you that has these feelings and at CNMA, we actually treat a significant amount of clients that feel or have felt just this way.

Let’s discuss this paralyzing fear and how we can work through it together.

First, know that you are not alone in your fear.
Did you know that there is an actual name for having phobia of the doctor?  It’s called iatrophobia.  It’s a fear of going to the doctor that can affect you both physically and emotionally.

You may feel your heart beating faster, sweat increasing, and/or feeling nauseous to name a few symptoms.  You also may find yourself with significant anxiety, for even the smallest of things.

Not many people enjoy going to the doctor, but be mindful if you need extra special attention for your fear. You don’t have to keep it a secret and feel alone. It is completely okay to be scared and worried.

Second, understand what your fear may stem from.
There’s a reason for your fear. Some examples are:

– how the doctor was revered in our lives as children

– past negative experiences

– a traumatic experience with a loved one who was ill

– fear of suffering/pain

– fear of death

– media stories

These are just a few illustrations of why we may have fear of the doctor.  Not to mention, medical errors are the third leading cause of death in the United States. That’s extremely unnerving!

Whatever it may be, do not feel embarrassed or ashamed of your despair.  You have had experiences unique to you that have built upon this phobia and there is nothing wrong with you for feeling this way.

So, what do you do if you’re afraid?

Take a deep breath and slowly let it out.
The fact that you are reading this article is the first step in having the courage to face your fear. Good for you.

Next, think about what may be the cause of your fear.  How can you begin to process that anxiety? Is it finding a safe place to share your feelings? Is it acknowledging the grief you are holding in from past trauma? Is it undoing a fear that was ingrained in you as a child? Is it facing the inevitability of death?

It may just be something you talk with your doctor about – and THAT alone can be an impactful step!

Then, consider what kind of doctor you may feel most comfortable visiting. Consider such aspects as:

– the environment of the office

– the personality of the doctor

– the gender of the doctor

– the health care perspective of the doctor and doctor’s office

– traditional versus holistic health care

This may take some research and maybe even a visit to a few offices to check them out – don’t be shy!

In particular, you may choose to rethink traditional medicine and look into holistic opportunities that may provide a different feel to your health care.

Traditional medicine is based on an authoritarian viewpoint.  There is a certain amount of time designated to you, doctors are to do their job and find any disease and then prescribe medicine or surgery to fix it.

Holistic medicine, and our offices at CNMA, can be more authoritative.  Our doctors are experts in health, but partner with patients by showing empathy, spending more time with them, and working together to find the real root cause of any issue.

This authoritative tone can be much less intimidating and you may experience less scare tactics. The results can be staggering.  We have found that clients can have high blood pressure at a traditional doctor’s office, but they have normal readings in our office!

As mentioned, a non-committal visit to a doctor’s office may help you feel more comfortable in the decision you make, but also look for a doctor that can introduce themselves to you to see if you feel safe with them.

At CNMA, we encourage patients to schedule a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation with Dr. Adam Graves. This can provide those who are afraid of the doctor the space to share their fear and learn if and how holistic medicine may help them.

We know that going to the doctor isn’t on most people’s fun list.  But we do know that a trusting relationship in a safe environment can make a world of difference in how patients view their health and healing.

If you are scared of the doctor and want to put your mind at ease, we encourage you to schedule your own 15 minute phone consultation with Dr. Graves – even if you are out of state. Together, you can work to process your fear and better your health in a calm and less-scary way.

However, if you live in Castle Rock, Castle Pines, Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Lone Tree, Parker, Larkspur, Monument, Colorado Springs, or the Greater Denver Metro area, please feel free to contact us at (303) 688-6698 for a complimentary 15 minute phone consultation or in- person appointment or schedule it here.

Are you ready to make the determination to face your fear? We know you have the courage to do it, and we are here to help you through it all.


health.usnews.com/health-news/patient-advice/articles/2014/07/01/how-to-overcome- extreme-fear-of-doctors cnbc.com/2018/02/22/medical-errors-third-leading-cause-of-death-in- america
Posted in Anxiety, blog, Functional Medicine, Natural Medicine, Self Care, Stress & Adrenal Health Tagged with: , , ,

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