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Overcoming the Fear of the Doctor’s Office

Mackenzie Thompson

by Mackenzie

Life Saver, NHCPS

posted on Jul 27, 2015 at 9:41 pm

DOES THE THOUGHT OF NEEDLES GIVE YOU GOOSEBUMPS? Why is it that so many Americans fear going to the doctor? Did you know that many insured Americans feel threatened and/or are scared to visit their doctor despite severity of symptoms present? This fear has left many Americans unable to participate in treatment. How can we confront this uncomfortable reality many face in a world of ever-changing healthcare?

scary looking doctor getting weirdFour Reasons why People fear a Visit to the Doctor

There are countless reasons why one may not take a trip to the doctor’s office. We’ve taken some of the most common and broken them down.

1. People fear the criticism by hospital staff and loved ones of their current condition or unhealthy behaviors.

2. Many patients are frightened by the thought of being naked or touched by a nurse or doctor.

3. Some people are afraid of needing to undergo a painful procedure.

4. Lastly (and possibly the most common), many patients are fearful of a possibly serious diagnosis.

These fears are valid and not to be taken lightly. What can be done about them?

Four Ways to Face the Fear Head On

1. Identify the source of your fear. Did any of the above points resonate with you? With knowledge of what actually scares you, you can lessen the anxiety and remove the feeling of the unknown associated with your fear. This can allow you to more easily confront the issue.

2. Talk with your doctor about your options. Doctors understand the fear, as they see it all the time. Many will offer options to improve your coping, such as counseling, medications or other therapies. If a procedure needs to be done, discuss with your physician all the scary things, like pain, recovery time, and any possible side effects. Information will counter the fear of the unknown.

3. Take a friend or family member along with you during the visit to help you confront the things that cause you anxiety and provide emotional support.

4. If you feel fear, frustration or anger towards your current doctor, don’t be afraid to seek a second opinion. Trust in your healthcare provider will help address many fears and ease many anxieties.

There are ways to help cope with common healthcare fears, but it’s important to understand that you are not alone. Many others experience the same distress. Ask yourself what you are afraid of, and then assess the problem by utilizing our tips above.

Fear of doctors is known as latrophobia. Do you feel anxious prior to going to the doctor?

About Mackenzie

Mackenzie is a lover of world travel, photography, design, style and Chinese cooking. She is passionate about working towards a purpose, recently graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Media and Marketing, and is currently residing in Manhattan.

Contact Mackenzie at [email protected]

  1. Worthy madam,

    I am victim of latrophobia as feel fear of seriuos diagnosis. Please, help me to get rid of this deviant behaviour.

    Mujahid (PhD – a freelance manuscript writer)

    1. Mackenzie Thompson says:

      Hello Mujahid,

      Thank you for reaching out. May we recommend that you look into potential cognitive behavioral therapy that will allow you to better examine the causes of your concerns.

      Thank you,


  2. You made a good point that having a companion is a good way to overcome one’s anxiety about going to a doctor’s office. Due to some frequent migraines weeks ago, a friend of mine is concerned that something strange might be happening to her. Maybe it would be best if I go with her to the hospital this weekend.

    1. Greta Kviklyte says:

      Thank you for the comment. Give it a try. I am sure that your friend will be very happy and grateful. It’s important that your friend understand that there will be you that will be there to support him/her every step of the way. Best of luck to you and your friend!

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