Thursday, January 3, 2008

Iatrophobia: The Fear of Doctors

Iatraphobia is the fear of going to the doctor or of doctors in general. It is classified as a social phobia and is especially serious because it may result in someone not receiving proper medical care.

There are many possible causes of Iatraphobia including a traumatic event involving doctors or in a doctor’s office, being intimidated by a doctor, the smell of medicine in a doctor’s office, emotional unavailability of doctors, fear of catching other illnesses while in the doctor’s office, fear of having procedures done, fear of negative outcomes and fear of pain from needles, resetting broken bones, etc.
As with most phobias, a person with Iatraphobia may experience the following symptoms when presented with a trigger: breathlessness, excessive sweating, nausea, dry mouth, feeling sick, shaking, heart palpitations, inability to speak or think clearly and anxiety attacks.

I don’t have a fear of doctors; I’m just not too fond of them these days. I do know a few people though who wouldn’t go to a doctor if their life depended on it. Although going to a doctor isn’t always pleasant experience it is sometimes necessary to prevent or treat life-threatening illnesses. Many people go undiagnosed with serious ailments and suffer the ultimate consequence…death.

Do you have Iatraphobia? I would love to hear your story. There’s no better information on the subject of phobias than from someone who suffers from them.

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