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Doctor Anxiety

Sorry if this seems like a rediculous post...

I am looking for advice on how to work on lowering my anxiety when doing anything "doctor" related. I have not made an appointment for a general health doctor in over five years (and even longer for more focused physicians) despite recent concerns for my health. Though I attribute this to a lack of medical insurance, I know my anxiety for medical situations has a large influence on my avoidance. I know some hold the opinion that no one likes to visit the doctors and that I should just get over my fears and I have tried minimizing them as a simple discomfort which I have to just get over, but in the end I still damage my health through avoidance. So any advice is greatly appreciated and thank you in advance.

Here are some specifics about me and my anxiety:
I am 23 years old and through a lack of medical coverage from my parents, I have never had a family physician or primary physician. My interactions with doctors are limited to hospital visits and urgent care clinics when I could not tolerate symptoms or overcome illnesses. My father was chronically hospitalized for several conditions which I am predisposed to such as diabetes and heart disease. My mom is in general good health.
My anxiety occurs on a single level of intensity no matter the type of medical situation and the symptoms have an instant onset and do not subside until after the situation. The symptoms I have are a racing pulse, stomach cramps, tightness in my chest, tensed muscles, a pressure in my ears and a flood of warmth rushing my face as I get lightheaded. These symptoms come simultaneously and are intense within seconds and remain in that state until I leave. I would have this reaction to the sight of doctors, nurses or even when standing in a room which reminds me of a clinic. This panic has gotten worse over the years as now the same reaction can occur when I so much as think about making an appointment or talking about it with somone else.

So that is my predicament and even while writing this post I am feeling some of these symptoms. I feel like an idiot for reacting like this but I do not know how to control those responses. Am I alone in having this anxiety?
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6 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar m tn
You are definitely not alone. You need medication like an SSRI. You have to somehow see your doctor to get a prescription. I finally did it after four years. I was rambling on about symptoms and he said "Stop. I can clearly tell from looking that you have anxiety." Gave me Paxil and I'm not perfect, so far anyways. Been on it for 6 months. Rebirth.
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Avatar n tn
This really sounds like anxiety and your not alone.I had anxiety eight years ago and it recently came back about three wks ago.U would be amazed all of the things your body can go threw when your stressed out or in a difficult situation.Read plenty of the post on here and u will see your sooo not alone.They have really helped me during my attacks and just getting more information.But,i was struggleing with the insurance problem to and so i went searching for places that would take a co-payment or Ones who billed me.I finally spoke to a doc.about what i was going threw.Knowing i would have an anxiety attack in the office to.I wrote down what i needed to say before i even got there so i didn't have to explain so much and freak out more.It really helped.He gave me 1mg of adavan and 10mg of lexapro.I was reluctant to take it at first even though i just bought it.How silly huh?So after realizeing i had a problem and it was not going away unless i did something about it.,I finally took the medicane and feel alot better.Matter in fact i just started today and notice some changes.Now everyones systems are not the same but,atleast u have hope.Keep your head up.See a doc,and a therapist if u can.And honestly realize u can win this battle.Good luck to u.Keep us posted.
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Avatar m tn
***EDIT***
I meant to say I'm perfect from the Paxil.
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Avatar m tn
Eeverytime I go into my family doctor my Heart rate goes up to 160 and BP skyrockets. I have whitecoat anxiety.
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Avatar m tn
You need to get rid of that fear somehow. They are there to help you. They are good!
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Avatar f tn
I can relate.  I think I have anxiety because I'm afraid they will find something wrong with me or the doctor will not listen or care about me.  It does help to take a list so you feel more in control.  Also, breath in and out deeply helps to slow the heart rate a little but not completely.  I am realizing that I too need an SSRI.  I'm hoping to get a prescription this week.  
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