Are you one of those people who fear going to the doctors? Do you avoid going until it’s absolutely necessary? According to an article from health.usnews.com by Lisa Esposito, you may suffer from Iatrophobia (the fear of doctors).
Luckily for you, you’re not the only one with this problem! We’ve gathered our top 5 tips from this article to help you overcome your fear of doctors!
- Distract yourself.
Andrew Rosen is the director of The Center for Treatment of Anxiety and Mood Disorders in Florida, and he says to distract yourself from the anxiety.
Ways to do this would be bringing items along with you that could distract you, such as something to read. Check your email inbox, go on your phone, or even play a game. Going in a quiet hallway or corner of the room as opposed to the waiting room may even help.
- Get some exposure therapy.
Lisa says to expose yourself to some images of medical equipment (such as stethoscopes) first, and then get used to watching “Grey’s Anatomy” or other medical shows.
We tend to be scared of things that we don’t know much about. By being exposed to medical things, they won’t be as unusual and scary to you when you see them at the doctor’s.
- Talk to your doctor ahead of time.
Matthew Messina has a private Dentistry practice in Ohio, and he says talking to your doctor is beneficial for your phobia. As a dentist, he realizes that there is a lot of invasion of personal space, and this can be an issue for some people.
He says, “We have to confront the fear and name it, then we can have a chance at overcoming it.”
While medication is not always the answer, they can help you to “ease short-term anxiety,” says Lisa. Medications do not help you with your phobia in the long run, so therapy and other natural treatments would be the healthier option.
- Practice positive self-talk.
Tell yourself that everything is going to be ok and that the time will pass quickly. Virginia Lonsbury is a woman who started a foundation to help people who have a fear of doctors.
Her words of wisdom are, “The main point is, wherever you are, it’s only temporary. Nobody’s ever gone to the doctor forever.”