Going to the doctor's office simply fills me with dread. Truthfully, the thought of going, even the call to schedule my annual visit, is enough to make my pulse rush!
For those of you who (I assume there are others, too) feel the same as I do, how do you cope with the anxiety while at the doctor's office? Any techniques you employ, ways you relax, or other suggestions that you may offer I would greaty appreciate.
I have anxiety when going to the doctor's office, too. My pulse and blood pressure are always through the roof. The last time I went, right before the nurse was getting ready to take my blood pressure, she was called to another room. The whole time she was gone, I did slow, deep breathing. Then when she came in, my blood pressure was not as high as it normally is. That is the only thing that has ever helped. I always look calm, cool and collected on the outside but on the inside I'm sooooo nervous. I hate it. I've been this way my entire life. I hope you find something that helps you relax at the doctor's office!
i am exactly like you--i also get nervous just making the appt. and i always say to myself, this is just crazy--calm down, but it does no good... I also worry about my appt days before i have to go in and then the minute i walk into the doctor's office i can feel my pulse start to beat extra fast and i feel extremely nervous, but to look at me you would think i was very calm---so when the nurse takes my blood pressure and it is sky high i have to tell her i have white coat syndrome...I have tried taking some xanax before my appt and it has helped somewhat, esp with my blood pressure...I think i get the most nervous about having my blood pressure taken after that is done i can usually calm down..It sure would be nice to be a calm relaxed person.
Thanks, everyone, for writing. It is so frustrating. I just wish that I could go to the appointment, let the doctor do his exam, and not be nervous. Unfortunately, it is never that simple. The funny thing is, I have no trouble going to the dentist, opthamologist, or my dermatologist. It's just my yearly physical exam that drives me crazy. I read a few articles on "white coat syndrome" which tried to put the anxiety into "some" type of perspective. Namely, reasoning, that it is the doctor who should be anxious, because they are the ones with the responsibility to ensure and safeguard the patient's health - for which he or she is handsomely compensated, too. I don't know. Maybe if I read the articles a few more times something will click......
I am the same way! And what's weird is that I'm such a health freak that I make myself go to the doctor's even when I'm feeling well because I like to get an annual physical and blood work to make sure I'm healthy. So you would think I'd be used to going, but no. I get very anxious before all of my visits-- family doctor, gyn, eye doctors, dentist, etc. I get the racing heart and my doctors always comment on it. I tell them this is one of those situations that triggers my anxiety. My blood pressure also goes up and I get sweaty too. Sometimes I feel like I'm going to pass out. I get different symptoms each time, but the racing heart and higher blood pressure seem to be consistent.
I can't offer too much advice as to what helps me get through the doctors visits except that I try to put my mind somewhere else. I'll think about what I'm going to do later that day or something, but it doesn't always help. And I'm miraculously better as soon as I get in my car to go home
And what's weird is that I'm such a health freak that I make myself go to the doctor's even when I'm feeling well because I like to get an annual physical and blood work to make sure I'm healthy.
My anxiety comes from the doctor performing the exam, and then expecting him to find something wrong with me. You know, one of those seemingly innocuous pains that we all experience (and then look up on the internet!), yet the doctor does become concerned about it. Plus, I will be going to a new doctor, so, I really don't know what to expect from his personality, etc. Kinda wish that I could get to know him first before he performs the exam. Sounds crazy, I know, but I think half the battle is having a comfort level to work with.
I could have written this post too!!! I hate this part of who I am so much!! The thought of even calling for my appt. is enough to send me threw the roof. I have to get my doc's number and put it on my desk and look at it for a week to get the nerve to call her. I get this way with every visit even getting my eyes checked!! I have severe health anxiety and I will do everything to prevent going to the family doc if I am sick. I stay on top of my gyn visits, but it's so painful mentally every year to go to them too. My dentist is now doing blood pressure checks and I have to say to the hygenist....don't take my pressure until after the visit!!!! Last year I went to my family doc for a headache (hadn't been since 1999! that wouldn't go away and on the outside I look very calm too...so he's listening to my heart and is taking a few minutes longer and he finally puts his hand on my shoulder and says.....let me ask you something...CAN YOU FEEL YOUR HEART BEATING THAT FAST???!!!! I very calmly say...yes, of course. I tell him I have severe white coat syndrome. He says...oh, ok, you had me worried there for a second because you look so calm and I coudn't understand why your heart was racing!!! Then he walks over to my chart and writes something which I imagine says....CRAZY PERSON! lol!
I have to go to the endocrinologist every year and he does the same thing every year!! It's like he forgets every year that I have this severe anxiety. He always says...what are you afraid of...I'm a nice guy! And I have to explain for the millionth time that it has nothing to do with him!! Sometimes I think these docs have never been schooled in this area which is why I start to believe I'm nuts!! I haven't had one doc say to me yet...it's okay and I see a lot of patients with this!!! They all just look at me like I'm crazy!!
Thank God I'm reassured when I come to these kinds of websites and see the many people who go through this. It makes me feel better. I won't take meds for it, and sometimes self talk just doesn't help!! It's like a force greater than myself!!