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Doctor phobia.

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  • Doctor phobia.

    I have a most intense fear of the doctor/dentist/ANYONE and everyone in the medical profession.

    I'm 20 years old... I haven't seen a doctor since I was 12.
    My mom would try to make appointments for yearly physicals, and I'd have a nervous breakdown, so she pretty much stopped urging me to see a doc.

    The thing is, I need to go to the gyno, not only to get on birth control but to just get checked out. And I'm deathly afraid of just regular doctors... I can't even explain my fear of doctors who pry open your lady parts and **gasp** look inside!

    Am I nuts? Is there anything I can do to get over my fear of doctors?

  • It is not uncommon for people to fear visits to the dr, dentist, gyno. they call it white coat syndrome. When ever a dr takes my blood pressure it is high but if I sit and talk to them for a while and have it retaken I have settled down and it is then normal. Are your fears stemming from a particular experience?

    there are some great meditation type cd's you can buy from new age type shops that help with things like feeling relaxed about going to hospital/dr etc. I used one before an operation a few years back and it helped me practice being more relaxed.



    • Well, when I was 5, I spent a couple months in and out of the hospital. I almost died of pneumonia. I also spent a lot of time in the dentist's chair, undergoing lots of painful procedures because I had horrible teeth as a child.

      Maybe this has something to do with why I'm deathly afraid of docs?


      • Sherah, I would say these past experiences are definately why you fear going to the Dr. and it sounds like it was pretty traumatic.

        One method that is used to over come fears is called 'gradual exposure therapy' ( I work as a children's counsellor). An example of this would be if you were afraid of spiders for example, you would gradually expose yourself to spiders. Like seeing pictures of spiders and then when you are feeling comfortable with that watch a dvd about spiders, and then be in the same room as a spider that is safe in a container you don't look at. Then looking at the containers, then touching the container so on so on.

        You maybe able to use this example in your case with a Dr. eg: park outside the Dr's surgery. go in but not see the Dr, with a friend if they are going if it seems too wierd to just hang out in the waiting room. then go and see a Dr for something very minor and unintrusive. The take a support person with you when it is for a more intrusive thing etc.

        hope this helps.



        • I'm terribly afraid of doctors too. I always have been. I also fear them even outside of the office. I have a cousin who is a doctor and he's really nice but I always feel he's a doctor 24/7 and at family gatherings he'll notice something wrong with me or something. I have a friend from middle school and high school that is probably a doctor by now too (I haven't seen her since we graduated but she was going in to pre-med and very smart and that was her dream, and she was probably very suited for it), and another cousin (the doctor's daughter) and another family friend from childhood that are nurses.

          I used to fear teachers outside of the classroom when I was in school, like they would always be a teacher or something and I was afraid of authority. I got over that, teachers are no big deal now, just people (I even kind of have a dream of being some sort of teacher), but still the fear of doctors.

          I have also gained a lot of weight now and have other habits that....well I don't always take the best care of my physical body so that makes visits to the doctor even scarier. Afraid of disapproval i guess. I avoid it until I'm really worried about something that might be wrong with me, or it's been a really long time since a check up.

          I also had what I call "woman problems" when I was a teenager and my period started. I was born with two uteruses and two cervixes (and only one kidney), it's complicated, but I had to have surgery and now have scar tissue. It hurts to wear tampons...not putting them in but after they're in, and I've had vaginal ultrasounds that didn't hurt but whenever I go to the gynocologist, it's EXTREMELY painful. I've finally decided I'm going to ask them if they will give me some sort of pain killer or something. Women get epidurals when they give birth, I don't see why I shouldn't get some sort of lesser pain killer to take the edge off if I'm in just as much pain, even if it's only for 5 minutes compared to hours. I'm sure there is something that is not too risky they'd be willing to give me. Otherwise I'm gonna put it off another few years before I finally get checked out and it's on their heads if I get cervical cancer or something before then. Cause it's just too traumatic.

          Anyway, my blood pressure is always too high when I go too. It's not quite high enough for them to put me on medication yet, they say. It's probably partly because of my weight and the medication I'm on, but there's no way the anxiety is not also a big part of it. It's that they take your blood pressure BEFORE your examined, because that doesn't give them an accurate picture because so many people get nervous.

          sorry this is so long.

          Also I was gonna say about my childhood friends and my cousin (the nurse), I love them are they are super nice but I probably won't look at them quite the same now that they are in the medical field, always worrying they'll notice something wrong with me or get on me about my weight. I need to get over that, because they are important to me, or otherwise start treating my body better.
          Last edited by CHANDLERS WISH; 08-02-2008, 09:37 PM. Reason: merge posts


          • I used to have a fear of dentists...until I was about 18, and then I realized they are nothing to be afraid of and there are worse things in life to worry about.
            I wouldn't have survived pregnancy without chocolate candy!


            • Well when I first read it I thought maybe you were abducted by aliens because I heard that's a characteristic [being scared of doctors]. Just kidding but then I saw your reply about almost dying and that seems like it'd freak me out too.

              I've always had the fear of spending the night at a hospital - I'm not scared to GO to the hospital or doctor whatever - but SLEEPING overnight in a bed somebody probably has died in before gives me chills.


              • DH felt the same way. He had a really bad experience with a dentist and I would say based on the stories he tells about his previous doctor? Well its safe to say he has picked some real loosers for MDs. When he started having sexual problems (Ed Impotence, Hormone issues) he agonized over telling his doctor. What he decided to do was just see a different one. He said he had problems telling a another guy his issues so he went to a local clinic to see a female MD. This helped a lot because unlike the previous "dud" with no bedside manner she was really good with frightened male patients.

                If I were you I would call a few clinics and when you ask for an appointment say your very twitchy having not seen a doctor for some time and do they have one that is good with patients who are not good with doctors? Every clinic has its share of fair to poor doctors. The people who make the appointments KNOW who the go to person is...

                Good luck and start doing regular visits it DOES get easier...
                "Don't compromise yourself. You are all you've got." ~ Janis Joplin


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