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What Is Iatrophobia?

“Go and see a doctor!”

“If you’re not sure, ask a doctor!”

“Don’t take this supplement before seeing a doctor!”

These statements are heard, time and again, if you ever research anything to do with your health. They make it sound so easy. Maybe it is – for some people. They have a health concern, they book a doctor’s appointment and that’s the end of it.

They’re the lucky ones. For some of us, we have a tendency to avoid medical intervention at all costs. Sound familiar? Then it might just be time to tackle this issue once and for all.


Reasons People Avoid Seeing A Doctor

To truly tackle the issue, it’s important to pin down why you have this reticence. Getting to the root of the problem isn’t simple, but it is crucial for finding a way through it.

  • Fear. Health Anxiety is a medical condition in and of itself; you may fear seeing a doctor not because you’re concerned about your condition, but about the mere fact of seeing a doctor. It can be quite an intimidating process and for some people, becomes a legitimate phobia called Iatrophobia.
  • Concern over health. Seeing a doctor might seem like the most sensible thing in the world if you have a health concern, but for some people, they fear their condition is serious – and they don’t want to hear just how bad it is.
  • Prior bad experience. If you have had a bad experience with a medical professional, it’s normal that you would be more reticent about repeating the process.


Think About The Repercussions

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Whichever reason seems to chime with you, it’s important to try and tackle the fear head on.

The best way of doing this is to admit to yourself how dangerous avoiding a doctor can be. At some point, your health is going to fail. You might catch a virus, get an infection, or something more serious – the key point is, it’s not something you can manage for yourself. Vitamins, a rigorous gym routine, and alternative remedies are only going to get you so far.

For the vast majority of illnesses, it’s all about early detection. If you leave something for too long, then it could become serious – even if it wasn’t to begin with.


Making It Easier For You

If you can’t just face up to the fear, then you have to take steps to make the process as bearable as possible.

  • Consider options like an online Dr as a way of obtaining health advice from the comfort of your own home. You could also look for telephone appointments with your GP, if they offer this.
  • Inform your doctor of the issue and ask they record it in your notes. If a doctor knows about your issue, they are going to be able to tailor the way they talk and act to your needs.
  • Choose very early appointments. If you have to wait all day for an appointment, then it’s too much time to get yourself worked up over the prospect. By going right at the start of the day, you’re more likely to just have to get on with it.

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