I am currently eighteen, and have had a long-standing unease with doctors/hospitals/anything medical if it has something to do with me. At a very young age I would hide under the table to take medicine if I was ill, because I thought it would make me look 'weak' or that I couldn't look after myself. I still get squeamish at the idea of not being in control of my own body, and some stranger having the upper hand.
Earlier today I was looking online, and I read an article about gynecologist visits and how many women don't like them. I've never been to one myself and don't intend to. So I read a few random articles and found myself getting very upset at the mere thought of it. The same thing happens when I contemplate the idea of pregnancy/hospital births. I actually surprised myself with how upset I got while reading- I was actually on the verge of tears. And I have no idea why. I just can't stand the idea of someone else being in control.
I know its a very long time before I'll be even contemplating having children, etc so what I expressed in the above paragraph isn't really relevant yet, and I'm rarely ill. But if anyone has any ideas on how to look at doctors visits differently, they would be appreciated. I can't help but feel like a wimp for being so bothered by this...
You're not alone in your fears, many of us do experience difficulties with not being in control of our bodies and being vulnerable with a stranger, like a doctor. Sometimes, it can be good to think of getting healthcare as something you're deciding to do for yourself, to take care of yourself as best you can. Your doctor is someone providing a service which you would like to have. We should be able to come to a compromise with our healthcare providers, rather than someone taking the upper hand, even when we disagree with each other. In the end, decisions about your body and your health are up to you. You *are* in control.
It can also be helpful to let your healthcare provider know when you're feeling anxious and about what you need, such as extra explanation or a support person present.
You may also consider seeking out counselling to address these issues and many people find it really helpful.
-------------------- "Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation and that is an act of political warfare."
What you are describing is an awful lot of what I feel around anything to do with pretty much anything even vaguely related to medical things when they apply to me. Its been like that for as long as I can remember for reasons that are still indiscernible to me. I can't remember ever having a particularly bad experience with a doctor or anything like that. To the point where I had bronchitis (I know because I caught it off a friend who had the exact same symptoms and was diagnosed by a doctor, took a week off school and had antibiotics) and I would go and stand in my wardrobe to cough so I couldn't be heard because I knew my parents would send me to the doctor and that terrifies me. I didn't take any medication or a day off school. I find it really hard to trust a complete stranger with my body, it just feels really foreign and frightening for me. I start to breathe really fast, sweat, feel dizzy and nauseous and then really have to use the bathroom or I occasionally vomit when it's really bad. Intellectually I know that it will be fine, I just can't understand why I react like this.
Last week however, I went to get a flu shot. In the waiting room (usually when I am most terrified) I felt very nervous and a little nauseous. This was absolutely worlds apart from previous experiences and I was so proud of myself for not freaking out and keeping it together.
Some things that I found helped were to dwell on and think about the times when I have been in contact with a medical professional, have been treated with care and respect, and have felt glad that I went. I also did some research so that I would know exactly what to expect and wouldn't have any surprises. Those were the two things that helped me most and though even now the idea of going in for an actual consultation really scares me, I'm glad that I have got at least this far, and I hope that I can keep feeling better about it each time.
Hope it goes well for you!
"Oh baby I said, It's all in our hands, Got to learn to respect, What we don't understand, We are fortunate ones, Fortunate ones, I swear." Posts: 61 | From: Melbourne, Australia | Registered: Jun 2007
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