Hi! I'm Sally and I'm a third year Psychology student. I love music, photography and going to watch West End shows. I am very passionate about mental health and am currently the Mental Health Project Editor.
It’s World Health Day and in order to celebrate and make sure that we are keeping healthy it’s also important to remember to make doctors appointments and not be afraid of them!
It’s easy to put off making doctor’s appointments because you’re anxious or scared of the process of going to the doctors or having to talk about your problems, or even scared of the results of what the doctors will say. But this shouldn’t stop you from going!
I admit, sometimes the doctors can seem really scary if you have anxiety or hate going to the doctors but don’t let that stop you from getting something checked if it needs to be. At the end of the day, your health is more important than the fear of going to the doctors. It is better to go and get something looked at or discuss something with your doctor and it turns out to be nothing than put it off and let the problem get worse.
A few tips to help you get over doctor’s anxiety:
- Use the econsult system so that the doctors already know about any health issues that you have concerns about so that you don’t have to say as much in person or over the phone. The econsult system allows you to go through any problems you are experiencing and will ask you tailor questions about this and will then send this across to your doctor. This can help particularly if you have a sensitive problem and feel a bit nervous about saying it out loud.
- Request a specific doctor. If you’ve been to the doctors before and had a particularly good experience with a doctor you can always request to see them again. Or if you have a sensitive issue and want to see a doctor that is a particular gender then you could also ask this. This can also be done on the econsult service.
- Walk with a friend. If you are feeling nervous about the appointment, ask one of your friends to walk with you to the doctors to take your mind off the situation. They can even wait for you outside the doctors until you are done.
- If you are having a blood test or injection try to have some food and drink water before you go as this will make the process easier and mean that you are less likely to feel ill afterward.
- Try to book the appointment at a convenient time of the day so that you do not feel rushed before the appointment or after. This might be hard as the doctors are spread thinly so it is worth remembering that the university will authorise absence requests for doctors appointments if you need to miss a lecture in order to go to the appointment.
- Remember that doctors have seen everything before and have been trained for these exact situations. Try not to feel embarrassed by showing or telling them something as they would rather you were completely honest so that they can find the solution and help you.
Overall, yes the doctors can be scary but it is much scarier to leave a problem for too long and let it get worse! The doctors are there to help you and want you to feel comfortable around them.