by Melissa Chichester
Going to a routine doctor’s visit can be extremely stressful for many people. You may have this fear because of a negative experience. You might be scared of needles or having your blood drawn. Maybe you’re afraid of getting bad news. Or you may have this fear for no reason at all.
It’s normal to have a little anxiety or fear about going to the doctor. However, routine checkups are an essential part of preventative care. Here are six ways to overcome this fear and make the experience easier for you.
Having a support system can make you feel calmer when you go into the doctor’s office. You will have someone to talk to while you wait, and you can express any fear or anxiety you may be having to that person. Plus, if you are waiting for the results of a test, they will be there for you when you get the news.
If your doctor’s visit makes you freeze up, write down anything you want to talk about with the doctor before your appointment. Make a list of any concerns that you have about your health. You can also write down any medications or supplements you are taking.
This is also a great time to document your questions about supplements for your doctor. For example, you may have heard people who live in northern environments should take Vitamin D. However, your doctor can order a blood test and make this recommendation if it is right for you.
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In today’s world, many doctors will make time to speak with you before your appointment even begins with a quick telehealth visit. During this visit, you can be candid with your physician about your fears of coming into the office or undergoing certain tests.
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Waiting long for an appointment to begin may add more stress to your visit. Schedule your appointment for the first time block of the day if you can. This reduces your chance of waiting and your fears growing.
If you anticipate waiting for some time before your appointment, bring a book with you. Having something to do will keep your mind off of the appointment. If you don’t like to read, bring another handheld hobby with you, such as a journal, knitting, or handheld video game.
This one is the most important. If your fear of the doctor is keeping you from making appointments or you cancel them consistently, it is essential to speak with someone about it. Stopping yourself from seeking out preventative or follow-up care can create additional health problems in the future.