Latrophobia – fear of doctors, needles or anything medical” is just one of a long list of phobias suffered by over 19 million adults according to the Anxiety Disorders Association of America. Why is it a guy thing? Not sure, because those that have it don”t really want to talk about it.
Most importantly, they don”t want to go to the doctor. Latrophobia is far from a harmless phobia because it prevents men from seeking medical treatment. Since it seems easier not to deal with the anxiety, some go years without visiting the doctor. Rationally, they are aware that doctors are medical professionals whose job it is to prevent, not cause, disease. But since phobias don”t operate on rational principles, doctors reminds these guys of pain, needles, hospital stays, surgery – or fear of fears, even death.
This dread can have tragic consequences. Take the case of an elderly British man who thought a spot on his nose might be cancer though he never had it examined. He made an appointment to see his doctor, then stopped by the local pub the day he was scheduled to see the doc and had several drinks. After sharing his fears with family members and a bar worker, he killed himself and was found floating in a nearby river before he ever made it to the doctor”s office.
While this was an extreme case of latrophobia, it is a real fear that”s often the result of traumatic experiences in childhood. In many cases, from the ordeal of being held down while well-meaning medical personnel force treatment.
How can guys overcome it? The best way is use of positive thinking, and creating images that lead to a positive emotional state. Neuro-linguistic programming and hypnotherapy have also been known to work.
For more information on overcoming phobias, visit www.adaa.org or talk to your family doctor.