The results of public opinion polls showed that 30 percent of the population experience anxiety of varying severity before visiting the doctor. In this case, the leading positions are occupied by professionals such as dentists, gynecologists and surgeons. The pathological fear of doctors, with which a person is not able to cope with his own forces, was called iatrophobia.
What Can Cause the Development of Fear?
Iatrophobia can occur as a result of various negative situations that left an imprint on the human psyche:
- Personal negative experience. Unpleasant or dangerous situations that have occurred in the building of a medical institution or directly at a specialist’s visit (physical pain, general deterioration of well-being) can lead to the development of doctors’ fear. Furthermore, neglect, disrespect by medical personnel to the patient may also provoke fears.
- The impact of psychological trauma of childhood. Often, parents in order to intimidate tell their child that a doctor will come and give him an injection. Such situations can cause severe stress in children, which can later transform into various phobias and neuroses. In addition, some parents overprotect the child and, for any reason, take him to a clinic for consultation, which further forces an adult to avoid doctors.
- Transferred complex operations. Some surgical interventions, which were accompanied by complications or were psychologically difficult for the patient, can leave a deep impression on the psyche and further provoke the occurrence of phobias.
- Negative experience of other people. Sometimes for the emergence of sustained anxiety and strong fear, it is enough to witness an accident in a hospital or hear a story about a medical error, a misdiagnosis, an unsuccessful operation, and so on. In this case, suspicious, sensitive, cautious people are more susceptible to the development of fear.
Note!Another reason for the development of yatrofobii can act in the fear of contracting hospital infections or viruses. People who are particularly susceptible and suspicious are also prone to such fears.
Symptoms of Phobia
A person experiencing panic fear of doctors prefers self-treatment in all situations. Rather than seek professional help, he uses traditional medicines, asks advice from friends and enjoys unverified information from the Internet. As a rule, self-treatment does not lead to the desired result, and the circle closes: the patient is again overwhelmed with anxious thoughts that he needs the advice of a qualified specialist. In addition, in some cases, self-only exacerbates the disease, which means that longer follow-up by a doctor and as a result – heavy memories. The physiological symptoms of the disease may begin to manifest themselves at the planning stage of medical consultation. Most often iatrophobic person feels:
Also, a person experiencing the fear of doctors is worried by symptoms such as shortness of breath, increased sweating, and rapid heartbeat at the night. An interesting fact is that a person suffering from iatrophobia increases blood pressure if the measurement procedure is performed by a doctor (nurse). In the event that the patient measures the pressure himself (or with the help of relatives or friends), the results correspond to normal values. This phenomenon is known as “white coat syndrome”.
Treatment of Disorder
The most productive way to deal with yatrofobiey is psychological counseling. The fact that a psychologist-consultant (unlike a psychotherapist) does not have medical education and can receive clients at home or in an office that does not resemble a medical institution is of great importance for person with that fear. A psychologist, like a psychotherapist, will help eliminate anxiety and fear with the help of various techniques. Among them:
- behavioral methodology;
- gestalt therapy;
- psychoanalytic technique.
Also, psychological counseling can be conducted online, which makes it possible for such patient to feel even more comfortable and calm. It is known that some diseases cannot be cured on their own. The main danger of fear of doctors is that patient, recognizing only self-treatment as an aid, can be seriously harmed if they are overcome by a serious illness. This phobia must be fought at an early stage. Light anxiety before consulting a doctor may be the beginning of the development of uncontrollable fear, which would later provoke a complete refusal of observation by a specialist.