Some people have a real fear of seeing doctors, while others visit a doctor regularly. But seeing a doctor can mean the difference between life and death. Here’s why people should regularly see a doctor.
by Troop Atomic Mommy
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For many people, the idea of going to the doctor when you are sick is one of the most simple and straightforward concepts there could possibly be. You feel sick, you make an appointment, you see the doctor, you get treated, you get better. Simple as that, right? However, for some people, seeing a doctor even when you feel sick is not so straightforward. Below, we’ll look into why people might dodge the doctor, and why that’s not the best of ideas.
Why do some people resist getting the doctor’s help?
People are resistant to seeing a doctor for two main reasons. One, they don’t see the point of making a fuss. If they leave things to sort themselves out, as the logic goes, then they’ll get better without intervention. And two, they’re afraid. Maybe they are scared of getting bad news, afraid of needles, or just don’t want to be around sick people who may infect them.
Is there any justification to these beliefs?
It is sometimes true that a medical issue will fix itself, like in the case of a common cold. In fact, common colds can’t be cured, though the symptoms can be mitigated with certain treatments. These medications and treatments don’t always involve you going into a waiting room, and potentially spreading a virus which you’ll survive but others might not. On the latter front, phobias of doctors are by their very nature irrational – but understandable.
What is the best way to address a medical phobia?
The biggest and most logical argument to try and convince a patient to overcome their phobia is a relatively simple one. Yes, you don’t want to go, but delaying a doctor visit does not mean you don’t have to go. It just makes the possibility of a worse diagnosis, much more likely. And while an emergency room visit at the hospital, or quick stop at an emergency dentist will provide an excellent level of treatment, you could prevent an emergency from developing with one simple visit. It will save you a lot of pain in the meantime.
In the long term, it is worth having counseling about a medical phobia. Most of us – all of us, in the long run – will have times when medical intervention is essential. It’s better if you can face up to it in a comfortable way.
What are the potential consequences of not seeing a doctor?
A lot of us gain confirmation bias from a lifetime of saying “It’s probably nothing, I don’t need to see a doctor for this”, especially if the problem clears up on its own. However, that same line has been used by many people who then became more gravely ill, at which point, there was less that could be done for them at this point. If you want to wait for things to clear up on their own, don’t leave it for more than a few days. If it’s persisting for more than a week, then it’s severe enough to at least require medical advice, and waiting won’t make it less so.
It’s perfectly reasonable not to see a doctor for everything that makes you feel under the weather – but it should not become the standard response to everything to do with your health. Being ready to see a doctor could be crucial in your long-term well-being. So, don’t procrastinate making an appointment to see a doctor if your symptoms progress from, “I think I’m sick.”, to “I feel like garbage.”.