Most people understand that you need to go see the doctor sometimes. Even if you feel healthy and can’t identify any particular issues about which you’d need to talk to a doctor, you should go once per year when you’re younger to get a thorough checkup. When you’re older, you might start going once every six months instead.
Many individuals feel fine about doctor visits. However, some don’t like going to the doctor so much, and others might even have a phobia about it. We’ll talk about that a little in the following article.
We’ll also discuss some ways you might make doctor’s appointments less intimidating.
What’s Wrong with Doctor Visits?
It is the rare person who actually likes going to see a doctor, but others might go so far as to feel emotional distress because of a doctor visit. What causes this?
Some people who don’t like seeing doctors describe how they don’t want anyone touching them. They might tense up when a doctor examines them by physically placing their hands on the person’s body.
This touching should take place in a professional manner and never inappropriately. Still, even if that is all that’s happening, it’s not easy for some people to get through the encounter.
Some of these individuals may be on the spectrum. Certain people who have received an autism diagnosis don’t like it when people touch them.
Some people are sexual assault survivors, and when a doctor touches them, it can trigger a nervous response for that reason. If a doctor is the same gender or in any way resembles the person who assaulted them, that makes the situation worse.
Even for people who don’t fit into the categories we mentioned, though, a doctor’s visit isn’t exactly fun. You’re in an unfamiliar place. Someone is probably asking you to remove much of your clothing, and they’re going to put their hands on you. Even if you know it’s all for your health, it’s hard to get over the discomfort the situation inherently generates.
Individuals who belong to certain groups also report feeling some extra discomfort around doctors. For instance, some transgender or gay people feel like they might not be 100% comfortable talking with certain doctors about their medical issues. Some of them report feeling as though the doctor judges them or doesn’t approve of their lifestyle.
Ethnic minorities also sometimes report doctor-related issues. Some feel that if they mention discomfort or pain because of an acute or recurring condition or injury, the doctor might not believe them. These individuals talk about instances where a doctor downplays what the person feels because they believe they are only trying to get powerful pain medication that they can abuse.
A doctor must take the Hypocritic Oath, which says they must first do no harm when treating someone. You’d hope that a doctor would take that to heart. However, even if a doctor believes they’re not harming the person they’re treating, that doesn’t mean they are free of bias related to the patient’s sexuality, gender, race, etc.
How to Get Over Doctor-Related Fear or Discomfort
If you do not like going to the doctor, one of the first and most important things you have to do is to find one with whom you feel comfortable. That means you might not have the best luck if you simply pick a random doctor who’s close to you and who is within your health insurance network.
You may need to research that doctor to see if you can find out whether they’re good with individuals who don’t like other people touching them. That must happen at a yearly physical, but if you can at least explain to the doctor how you feel, then they will hopefully know about your boundaries and respect them.
You can try to determine whether this doctor regularly treats individuals belonging to the particular group with which you identify. You might also speak to the receptionist about your concerns. You can scour the internet for feedback about a doctor you’re considering.
You might also speak to friends or family to see if they have any recommendations. Maybe they have some of your same concerns or fears, and they found a doctor with whom they’ve established a rapport.
Medication Might Help
When the time arrives that you need to see the doctor, you might even think about taking prescribed anxiety medication if that’s what it takes to keep you calm during the visit. More than anything else, though, you need to locate a doctor you’re comfortable talking to about these issues.
Seeing a doctor can be so traumatic for some individuals that it can trigger a full-scale panic attack if they’re not careful. Both the doctor and the patient should be aware of that possibility.
Everyone needs a medical examination eventually, but getting to a point where you feel okay about it might prove challenging. You’ll need to explore some of the options we brought up in this article and locate the right person for you.
Once you do, you can establish a routine, and that might make the whole process easier. If you go to the same doctor’s office and see the same receptionist every time, that is usually not as intimidating or scary as going to a new place and dealing with new people.
If you see the same doctor a few times in a row, and they seem like a good fit for you, you’ll be able to talk to them about your fears, and hopefully, you can articulate the reason for them. The doctor should try to understand your trepidation. If they seem impatient or annoyed by how you feel, that is a sure sign you should go see someone else.
Remember that you have valid feelings, and a doctor should respect them. If you feel like that’s not happening, you are perfectly within your rights to keep looking until you find someone who does.