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hug_of_war's avatar

I am too scared to go to go to the doctor, how can I reduce my anxiety?

Asked by hug_of_war (10720points) October 2nd, 2010

I’ve been lightly spotting a day or two before my period (enough to wear a pad) which I read may mean I have a serious condition but I am more scared of going to the doctor, and especially a gynecologist than dying. I feel like I can’t breathe just thinking about it. I don’t want to be forced to be on birth control, to have emergency surgery, I don’t want my genitals touched, I can’t swallow pills, I gag or throw them up. I panic at doctors (I struggled hard against a doctor the last time an IV was attempted, I spit in the face of my orthodontist, I cried while watching a video on getting my wisdom teeth out, I’ve had to be gased at the dentist, I frequently want to run out of waiting rooms and only stay because my mom is my ride, etc).

(I am 22, a virgin, and yes I know I’m supposed to have normal visits but like I said, I am extremely doctor phobic).

I don’t know what to do.

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17 Answers

meiosis's avatar

It might be advisable to confide in your mum, and see if she can come with you to help you through the appointment. As well as discussing your gyneacological issue, I think you need to see if your doctor can also help you address your medical phobia. Good luck

everephebe's avatar

Well, I’d say you could see a doctor about that anxiety but… yeah still the same issue.

While light spotting before can be a number of serious conditions and they say always to check with your doctor about it, it is usually benign. The won’t touch you unless you give them permission or make you take pills, or give you surgery without your consent.

Relax and remember that those people are there to take care of you, and need your permission before they do anything. Let them know about your anxiety.

Do you know why you are so afraid of doctors, is there a reason?

crisw's avatar

Have you thought about talking to a health counselor somewhere like Planned Parenthood? This might be helpful at assessing your condition and alleviating your fears about the doctor.

JilltheTooth's avatar

A licensed hypnotherapist could probably help you with alleviating your anxieties.

Gemini's avatar

Your anxiety is probably more serious than the spotting itself. In fact, anxiety can often be the cause of physical reactions in our bodies. I have some health anxiety issues myself but not the fears of doctors, so I usually get checked out when I have these worries. Since you are not comfortable with this let me just say that there are so many reasons for these women’s issues throughout our lives and many of them are very minor and very easy to deal with. If you can’t bring yourself to see a doctor right now, try not to search for information on the internet——there is a lot of stuff out there that scared me half to death and I would later learn that I was perfectly fine. I hope your spotting stops, but if it continues I hope you find the courage to see a doctor. There is no better feeling than finding out your worries were unwarranted. Good luck to you.

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Seaofclouds's avatar

I’m curious, when you say you are spotting a day or two before your period, are you sure you aren’t just starting your period earlier? How many days are in your cycle (from start to start of your period)? I can understand being concerned and I can only imagine how you are feeling. When you do get the courage to go to the doctor, just be honest with them. Explain what is going on and explain how you are feeling. When you make the appointment, have them put a note on your chart about your fear of going to the doctor.

rodydoe89's avatar

Get one of your close friends to go with you. That’s what I had to do for a while until I got comfortable enough to do it alone. There’s nothing wrong with being nervous. Doctor’s offices can be a little scary. Remember, they aren’t there to hurt you or cause you any harm. They care about your health and safety and that’s what they’re here for! I’m sure it will also help to have a female gynecologist check you out. She isn’t there to judge, trust me, it’s her job and she has seen hundreds of naked women. She cares about her patients and her lot in life is to ensure the health of women. You’ve got this!

YARNLADY's avatar

Talk to the staff at the office on the phone and discuss your situation with them.

tranquilsea's avatar

You need to talk to someone about your fear of doctors. It could be bad if you don’t address it and keep avoiding doctors.

The spotting before your period is probably nothing. Periods can move around a bit if you are under stress. And they can change in their presentation. I went through a couple of years where I spotted for a couple of days before my actual period started. I looked at it like a warning signal.

If you haven’t been for a physical in a while this would be something you could bring up at that physical.

MrsDufresne's avatar

My advice would be to make an appointment for a consultation.

A consultation is just talking and no exams. No one will touch you during a consult, and you can choose whether or not the doctor is someone you would feel comfortable treating you.

If you do not feel comfortable, you have every right to make more consultation appointments with as many doctors as it takes until you find one you trust.

If you find one, tell them first and foremost, that you are afraid. Tell them exactly what you have asked here. They should understand and respect your feelings.

Good communication eradicates fear.

I have very similar feelings about doctors and hospitals.

All the best to you!

gondwanalon's avatar

When I was in grade school all the students were lined lined up for shots one day. I was absolutely terrified. But I noticed the other kids seemed normal and I watched little girls ahead of me in line standing tall and taking the shots so bravely. I thought: “If they can do it so can I” and when I got the shot it was no big deal. I hardly felt it. It was nothing.

Try to keep in mind that the procedures that doctors offer you are very important to your health. You are lucky to have health care. Try to be tough like the brave little girls that inspired be so long ago. Soon you will realize that doctors and dentists are not to be feared as they are there to help us to live better and are true life savers.

Good health to you!

rooeytoo's avatar

I think @MrsDufresne made an excellent suggestion. People often forget they are the customer and call the shots at the dentist, doctor, etc.. You will have to pay for a consultation but it is worth it until you find one you can tolerate.

Also I would definitely suggest counseling. Everyone has fears, often they are irrational, but when they completely affect your life as you describe, it is time for you to take control of your life and try to stop relinquishing it to your fears. You can be helped, again do some shrink shopping until you find one that feels like home, then you can settle into getting your life back.

mattbrowne's avatar

Lingering anxiety can actually cause anxiety about anxiety itself. When we look at the statistics there are millions and millions of cases of people thinking something is seriously wrong while in fact it wasn’t and only thousands of cases with doctors giving you bad news. So how about this:

I will see the doctor because most likely he will tell me that nothing serious is wrong with me. When I leave the doctor’s office I will reward myself with a treat (a large portion of expensive ice cream for example) because I will be in the mood to celebrate. And I earned it. My anxiety will have disappeared.

augustlan's avatar

As others have noted, the spotting is probably nothing to worry about. The anxiety, however, is. You have a phobia, and there is definitely lots of good help out there for overcoming phobias. Some phobias are easy to live with, but yours is one that really needs to be addressed. You need to be able to go to a doctor for check ups and when you are ill or pregnant, so please look into counseling for the phobia. Best of luck to you!

Kardamom's avatar

I also agree with MrsDufresne about getting a consultion first. And you should also pick someone, whether it’s your Mom or a cousin or an Aunt or a close friend to go to the appointment and into the examination room with you. Before you go, sit down with your chosen person and write out a list of questions you have for the doctor along with your concerns and fears. And yes, just have a consultation first and then schedule another appt for your examination (and bring your buddy along). You should ask the doctor during the consultation if he can give you a mild sedative before your examination. And I agree with jillThe tooth that hypnotherapy might work for alleviating some of the anxiety. Just make sure to take your appointment buddy with you to each appt. I wish we could ALL go with you : )

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