According to psychiatrists, fear of the hospitals is known as nosocomephobia also called white coat syndrome. Such individuals feel abnormal leading to change in normal bodily functions while visiting hospitals. An individual may experience fear of visiting hospitals due to a negative or traumatic experience associated with a healthcare provider or hospital visit.
It’s essential to address nosocomephobia so that patients can get the required care and treatment.
A person can experience claustrophobia while doctors run CT scans, MRI scans, or other similar tests that require enclosed spaces. People with hemophilia are afraid of blood and therefore avoid visiting hospitals. Individuals suffering from atelophobia are afraid of healthcare providers such as doctors, nurses, and dentists.
Signs And Symptoms Of Nosocomephobia
- The rise in blood pressure
- Heart palpitations
- The feeling of being uncomfortable and anxious
- Excessive sweating (not due to weather)
- Trembling, shivering, or shaking
- Avoidance behavior or refusal to visit hospitals
- Shallow or rapid breathing with obsessive worry
Ways To Overcome Nosocomephobia
Acknowledge your fear
Every individual is afraid of something or the other. People need to acknowledge and understand their fear. Identifying and admitting the fear is the first step in overcoming them.
Identify and understand your symptoms
Getting nervous is different from having a phobia while visiting hospitals. Identify all the signs and symptoms faced by you while visiting hospitals. Check for symptoms such as palpitations, blurry vision, dizziness, sweating, or chest pain. Panic attacks need to be addressed carefully and hence seeking medical help is important.
Trust your doctor
Feelings of stress and anxiety reduce if one syncs with the person trying to help you. Establish trust and believe in the skills and abilities of your practitioner. Express gratitude towards doctors, nurses, and paramedics staff.
Talk to a therapist or your doctor about your fear. Learn about your disease, treatment methods, medications, and process of healing. If you’re facing panic attacks, try meditation or breathing exercises to alleviate anxiety and stress. Do not look for negative or traumatic medical stories. Gradually, start visiting hospitals for regular checkups. If you’re afraid of the checkup rooms, relax in the cafeteria with coffee and music on headphones.
The fear of the hospitals is known as ‘nosocomephobia’ or white coat syndrome. Individuals suffering from this fear show various signs and symptoms such as heart palpitations, excessive sweating, trembling, shivering, shaking, nausea, vomiting, and avoidance behavior or refusal to visit hospitals. Individuals may have fear of visiting hospitals in case of negative or traumatic past experiences associated with a healthcare provider or hospital visit. To overcome the fear of hospitals, one needs to trust and respect the hospital staff. Keep a journal to record all the symptoms you faced in a hospital. Try to seek professional help to cope up with nosocomephobia. Meditation, breathing exercises, and positive affirmations can help individuals to build positivity. One can also ask family members for help. Educate yourself and learn about your disease, medications, symptoms, treatment methods, and healing process to overcome the anxiety.