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Fear of Doctors


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Literally nothing gives me more anxiety than doctors.

I was talking to someone the other day about some symptoms I get, and she was appalled at certain things I mentioned that I didn’t go to the ER for, but instead ignored. And I was appalled at how frequently she visited the doctor for things that I would never even consider going in for. But I've grown so accustomed to my body's quirks (10+ years before even seeking a diagnosis, a huge chunk of that occurring while I was still a child) that I've lost any standard for what normal should feel like and just assumed most of what I was dealing with was normal. 

And I also have this complex, where I minimize my own struggles and feel like being honest makes me seem dramatic. I do it with everything in life, but especially my health. I convince myself that I am a fraud. I’m not sick, I’m just lazy.  Or a hypochondriac. 

In turn, this makes it hard for me to be honest at medical appointments. I don’t share the severity of my symptoms, or I leave some of them out, as an overcompensation for a fear that the doctor will see me as a fraud. I feel like a burden on doctors, that I’m wasting their precious time, or that they aren’t interested in my issues when there are people out there with “real” problems. I'm sure some of this stems from the generally dismissive attitude of doctors, but I seem to be much more apprehensive about it than most. 

So having this diagnosis is causing my mental health to spiral. I now know for a fact that something is actually wrong with me and I really want to find some sort of stability with my health, as my current state is not reasonable or something I should have to put up with. I got as far as a diagnosis, but so far the doctors simply advised me to increase salt and fluids,wear compression stockings, and stand up slower.  That's not working, and I want a more realistic treatment. I know that in order to get that, I need to advocate for myself. But I'm struggling to figure out my next steps or get to a place mentally where I am capable of advocating for myself. 

I mainly just wanted to rant, but if anyone has any useful advice or commentary about this, I'd love to hear it. 

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I don't have anything useful to offer except I'm the same way. My mother was so dramatic over everything that I go the other way. I don't have trouble with Drs blowing my problems off because I've got some things that are easy to see (like about 15 lbs of inflammatory edema on my lower right quadrant on an otherwise light frame) that go along with other associated things. However, I while I'm not afraid or anxious to go to the Dr., I just don't want to anymore. I don't go to the ER either, no matter how bad things get. Each time I live through it, it gives me more confidence to not go the next crisis. As for the regular Drs, they're good but I've accumulated so many things we have trouble trying to sort through what each speciality covers. I've now just melded into one big autoimmune mess that's no longer easy to put into boxes for the specialty areas. The best treatment I've had to deal with all of it is IVIg. I hope further treatments will help more.

I wish you luck dealing with your POTS. Mine has just continued to worsen no matter what I do. I have hyperadrenergic POTS though so it's a little different.

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