Hospitals are supposed to be places where we can relax, safe in the knowledge that we under the care of medical experts. However, many people fear hospitals and are so anxious about them that they will avoid them as much as possible. Clearly, this is not ideal. So, if you, or anyone you know, suffers from hospital anxiety, read on. We’re going to share some great tips with you which should help ease your concerns. Let’s get started with some of the basics.
Why are people afraid of hospitals?
There are several reasons why people suffer from hospital anxiety – or nosocomephobia. They can be intimidating and scary places, of course, and there is never a 100% guarantee that you will come out. That might sound a little over the top – but it’s exactly what some people feel before their admission. There is something about the sterile and clinical decor that is off-putting, too, and being in the midst of very sick people is not exactly enticing. There are risks from infections, it can be claustrophobic, and you can be woken at any time of day or night. In short, it’s not much of a surprise that some people are fearful of hospitals.
Why is it so common?
In simple terms, one of the main reasons for fear of hospitals is that patients have no control. The medical team is responsible for your health entirely, and there is nothing you can do. Plus, when it comes to a surgical procedure, you won’t even be awake to experience anything. It’s an unnerving experience for anyone, and it can lead to a quite paralyzing fear and anxiety. It’s not just the negative aspects of hospitals, though. Hope is also a problem. We put a lot of faith into hospitals that we will go in and come out again a healthier person. So, there is always that little worry in the back of our minds that it won’t quite be so simple. Some people may go so far as to cancel their procedure, purely because they fear it won’t be a success.
What are the symptoms?
The symptoms of Nosocomephobia can vary a great deal. You might suffer from panic attacks, or feel nauseous. It can make you sweat, or raise your heart rate and breathing. You might sit in the hospital foyer paralyzed with fear, or you could just feel like running a mile or two until you are well out of reach. In some case, it can create something similar to a complete psychotic episode. You might find yourself detaching from reality, and feeling like you are going crazy. While these cases are rare, they are more common than you might think. For most people, though, the biggest problem is avoiding hospitals altogether. This causes an obvious problem, as it means you will never get the treatment you need.
How can I stop it?
Now, let’s take a look at some of the solutions for you or your loved one. First of all, it’s important to be able to put your faith into other people. It can be difficult for some, of course. But, if it’s going to get in the way of you receiving treatment, it makes sense to take action. A little humility can help, along with an understanding that you are in the right place. Doctors and surgeons train for years to develop their skills – and you are the beneficiary. Unless you are a medical practitioner, it is illogical that you know better. You can start trusting yourself better in other ways, though. If your body is telling you it needs help, there is little point in worrying about getting treatment. By trusting your body, you will give yourself a better chance of making a better recovery. A positive attitude can even help boost your immune system, meaning you will have a lot more resilience for your procedures.
Can I get any help?
There is plenty of help available. You can start by educating yourself about your medical issue. Saying that, doing so can increase your anxiety in some cases. Don’t rely on what you read on the web, though. The most popular medical articles will often be gruesome and scary because they satisfy a certain morbid curiosity we all have. For a truer reflection of your condition, you should read proper medical journals. Yes, they can be dry, but they will give you a more accurate representation of what to expect. In many cases, it will allay your fears entirely.
What about surgery?
Surgery is not a pleasant experience to think about. But modern technology and medical advancements mean there has never been a better time to go under the knife. Yes, particular operations are more dangerous – you can grab details from The Alternative Daily for more info. But, knowing what to expect gives you more control. It allows you to plan for your big day and start working on a recovery plan. The thought of surgery can scare many people, but having a focus beyond the event is going to help you pull through.
What about my other fears?
Fear of hospitals can also be a result of other medical phobias. You might be afraid of injections, for example, or the sight of blood. No one knows exactly why people have these fears. It might be triggered by an uncomfortable memory from childhood, which has been hiding in your unconscious ever since. But, the simple truth is that it doesn’t matter why you have these phobias – what is important is that they can be cured. You might have success with a CBT practitioner, who can come up with a strategy to help you overcome your fears.
Having a fear of hospitals can clearly have a major impact on your life. It is important to try and get help if you think you need it, as most cases can be solved with a few sessions of CBT. Educating yourself can help, too. It will help you understand more about your condition, and give you a newfound respect for the doctors that treat you. We hope this post has helped you learn how to deal with hospital anxiety – good luck!