Most of us do not visit our doctors when we're feeling well. Sometimes the visit might be for a medical or other health check. But more often than not it will be because there's something potentially wrong with us. Which means that our visit is filled with fear and apprehension before we even meet the lady or gentleman who will be the doctor looking after us.
Add in that senior doctors are even scarier – often talking in cryptic short sentences or just looking at a chart and nodding – and that means a fear of doctors is perfectly natural.
So how can you get rid of your fear of doctors or at least reduce it to the point where you can visit them without breaking out into a cold sweat and pushing your blood pressure up?
Start by realizing that they are specialists.
In the same way as you would not work on a modern car yourself – you've taken it to a mechanic who specialized in your make and had all the right equipment to do a good job – you use a doctor for the same reasons.
Sure you can visit a site like WebMD to get an idea of what's wrong with you. But that will not give you the personal experience of an established doctor who is much better equipped than the mine words on a website to get the bottom of what's troubling you.
They'll know the questions to ask to be able to drill down to the root cause of whatever made you visit them in the first place.
They'll also be up to speed on the various potential treatments for your medical problem or – if they're not sure – they can send you on to a specialist in that particular field.
And they'll have the knowledge and contacts to be able to do that quickly, before whatever problem you have deteriorates.
All of which means that you should be reassured that you are in safe hands when you have to visit your doctor.
Of course, that does not mean that your mind completely acknowledges that fact.
Which, in turn, means that you need to find a way to quell your fear of doctors.
Some people find that asking a friend to accompany them on the visit is sufficient. The fact that you've got someone you trust with you and effectively give you a second opinion on what's being said to you can go a very long way to reducing your fear.
If that does not get rid of enough of your fear, another good step is to use a relaxation technique. This is very handy if you are at that stage of life where visits to the doctor are becoming annoying more frequent.
A simple breathing technique such as taking a few long, deep breaths can be good.
It gives your body more oxygen and the act of deep breathing relaxes you more.
Or something like hypnosis can be beneficial by helping your subconscious mind to overcome the fear of doctors with next to no effort on your part.