PEOPLE AND DOCTORS VISITS
Not everyone enjoys a visit to the doctors, in fact many people feel at least a little bit of trepidation. This could be, because they don't like needles or having certain examinations done. It could also be that they just don't trust doctors and would rather avoid them at all costs. However it is important to see a doctor periodically so as to maintain ones health.
There are however people who fear doctors so much, or that which is associated so much with them, that they'll avoid seeing a doctor altogether. It's one of the more common fears among people around the globe.
Children seem particularly prone to developing iatrophobia and in some cases their fear of doctors can carry on over into adulthood.
WHAT IS IATROPHOBIA?
Iatrophobia is the irrational fear of doctors. It is more than just a fear, but is instead a phobia. A phobia is an intense fear that can be difficult to overcome. It is one of the better known phobias as many people suffer from it. There are those who may have milder cases of iatrophobia, unfortunately even mild cases can get worse.
A phobia is not something a person can control, but that doesn't mean there isn't any help for the person afflicted with itarophobia. Each and every phobia in the world, can be treated. Iatrophobia is no different than other phobias when it comes down to it. It is, like all phobias, an irrational fear.
Iatrophobia is perhaps not just one of the most widely known and accepted phobia, but probably right there at the top of the phobia list.
HOW COMMON IS IATROPHOBIA
As previously mentioned, iatrophobia is probably the most common phobia in all the world over. Doctors are supposed to help pepople get well, but some doctors don't always seem to be sympathetic. Some doctors, whether they want to admit it or not, are only doctors because of the money. A true doctor is someone who really wants to help people, save lives. They also want to see a smile on their patients and their patients families faces.
Unfortunately, not every doctor is kind and some can seem downright grumpy. Although when they're like that, patients may decide to choose a new primary physician for themselves and their children's pediatric doctor.
A bad experience with a doctor can lead to a child's fear of them, but so too can receiving a painful shot jump start their iatrophobia. Although the fear of needles alone is known as trypanophobia or even aichmophobia.
While its usually the nurse who gives the shots, people will label doctors and nurses together. Thus people, particularly young children who don't deal well with the pain of a needle pricking them will avoid them at all costs. While parents have a say in making sure their children see the doctor, grownups with iatrophobia are a whole different story.
There are people who avoid not just physical doctors, but also dentists. They may even avoid anyone else with the title of doctor due to their irrational fear of doctors. Which can lead to complications in their day to day lives.
As most with iatrophobia probably developed their phobia during childhood, its important that both their pediatricians and parents are careful. They should be understanding, considerate and sympathetic to the child receiving a shot or exam. There are many children who would be happy to sit through an exam and shot if they're rewarded with a sucker or toy.
However not every child is going to be placated so easily. A needle in their arm may keep them healthy, but pain is still pain after all. No kid is going to enjoy feeling pain.
WHAT ARE THE SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS OF IATROPHOBIA?
The signs and symptoms of iatrophobia are quite similar to any other phobia. The only real difference is the stimulus. In the case of iatrophobia the stimulus happens to be doctors.
While it is normal for people to worry about an upcoming doctors appointment, most are able to distract themselves until the actual appointment. However, someone with iatrophobia will worry endlessly from the time the appointment is made till they're at the doctors office. Someone suffering from iatrophobia will very likely then begin to panic. They may get the shakes, start to sweat, or burst into tears. Some people might even refuse to enter the examination room. It is at that time best not to force them, because they may start screaming and kicking out at anyone who tries to push them toward the exam room.
IS IATROPHOBIA TREATABLE?
Yes, iatrophobia is treatable. There is however a problem, because iatrophobics often times may also fear mental health professionals. They are after all a type doctor. Many, if not most or even all iatrophobics may have difficult seeking out help for their phobia. Therefore it is one of the most difficult phobias to treat, as not everyone with iatrophobia will seek out the help of a mental health professional. Yet the only way to overcome the phobia, is with the help of a psychologist or mental health professional.
There are however some mental health professionals that may be easier to speak with than others depending on their setting. Some may even work from outside an office in their own home. They might even just wear street clothes like jeans and a t-shirt rather than a suit. Some who suffer from iatrophobia may find that mental health professionals which work in low-key settings make them feel more comfortable. Still it'll never be easy for an iatrophobic, but its a step in the right direction in order to overcome their irrational fear of doctors.
Once an iatrophobic has gotten up the courage to see a mental health professional and continues to go, then its up hill from there. Some people with iatrophobia may want to take a person with them for support when attending a visit to their therapist.
As with all phobias, the best treatment is that of cognitive-behavior therapy. Hypnosis may also be an option, or even an iatrophobia support group.