Iatrophobia:- fear of going to the doctor
Iatrophobia or the fear of doctors is a blood-needle-injury type phobia. It is quite common in young children, though many adults are also known to suffer from it. The word Iatrophobia is derived from “Iatros” which is Greek for ‘healer’ and Phobos which means ‘deep dread or fear’. Another term given to this anxiety disorder is “white coat hypertension”.
Causes of Iatrophobia:
v Doctors are associated with needles or vaccines and tend to give “bitter pills”. One usually needs a doctor when not feeling well physically or mentally.
v Doctors typically work in hospitals and other settings associated with trauma, accidents, death, etc. As a child, the sufferer might have experienced a negative or traumatic incident which might have caused his Iatrophobia.
v Alcoholics or substance abusers fear doctors since they believe they will make them confront such issues.
v Medical films, news reports about botched up surgeries or medical malpractices etc can also instill negative images leading to the fear of doctors.
Symptoms of Iatrophobia:-
v Shaking, trembling and having muscular tension
v Having nausea or feeling like throwing up
v Children try to run, scream, cry or flee
v Phobics often put off routine medical exams and keep postponing medical/dental appointments
v They have normal blood pressure at home but tend to have clinically raised levels or hypertension in the doctor’s clinic.
v Many phobics fear illnesses and injuries and worry about the smallest coughs or colds fearing they will need medical treatment.
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