Hospitals make you anxious? Here’s how to cope with hospital phobia

Published on May 12, 2022

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Have you ever been to hospitals and felt anxious? In the past two years many people developed an anxious feeling about hospitals because of the pandemic and traumatic memories attached to hospitals because of that.

The phobia of hospitals stops you from visiting the doctor even when you are struggling with a severe mental or physical health condition because you are preoccupied with irrational and disturbing thoughts.

I don’t think anyone can live with the fear of hospitals because there are so many times we need to visit a doctor to help us with various health related issues. Hence, getting your phobia of hospitals treated is very, very important otherwise it can be fatal.

Here’s all you need to know about the fear of hospitals…

What Does Phobia Of Hospitals Mean?

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The fear or phobia of hospitals is known as nosocomephobia. The phobia of hospitals is characterized by an intense fear of going to the hospitals. Phobia of hospitals causes irrational and uncontrollable fear of hospitals.

Fun Fact: Richard Nixon (U.S. President) claimed to have fear of hospitals. He denied going to the hospital even when he had to get treated for a blood clot.

Many people have a fear of hospitals or doctors, there is a similar thing where you fear doctors, known as the ‘white coat syndrome’, in which your blood pressure shoots up when you see a doctor.

There are various other phobias that can foster fear of hospitals like hemophobia (fear of blood), Latrophobia (fear of doctors), Mysophobia (fear of germs), Nosophobia (fear of developing a terminal disease), Thanatophobia (fear of death), etc.

Signs You Have Nosocomephobia (Fear Of Hospitals)

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The signs of the phobia of hospitals are very evident because people with the fear of hospitals show these signs quite out loud. Let’s quickly have a look at some signs someone has a phobia of hospitals…

  • Avoid hospitals at all cost
  • Experience a panic attack when they have to go to the hospital
  • Get anxious even on the thought of hospitals
  • Constant worry about the possibilities of going to the hospital
  • Regret and guilt of not meeting a loved one in the hospital

How Does The Phobia Of Hospitals Affect Your Mental Health?

Although having nosocomephobia is a mental health condition, it does have an effect on your emotional health as well.

Firstly, you experience anxiety all the time thinking about the possibility of having to go to the hospital.

Secondly, you suffer from a lot of guilt because you can’t go to meet people in the hospital (especially when someone’s on their deathbed).

Thirdly, you don’t get your physical health conditions treated which can have a negative impact on your mental and emotional health because an unhealthy body leads to an unhealthy mind.

What Causes The Fear Of Hospitals?

Well, according to experts, specific phobias like nosocomephobia do not really have a particular cause but there some factors that have influence such phobias;

  • Genetics: people with a family history of anxiety disorder or phobias are more likely to develop specific phobias
  • A traumatic experience from the past that happened in a hospital
  • You have another related phobias to a hospital like that of germs, blood, injections, etc
  • Problematic/horrific portrayal of hospitals by the media

Treatment For Phobia Of Hospitals

Fortunately, psychiatric science has made quite good progress and anxiety disorders like specific phobia can be treated by not just one but quite a few therapies and medicinal drugs like;

Ways To Cope With Hospital Anxiety On Your Own

Although I would suggest, you get some professional advice on your treatment, considering your fear of hospitals, you can begin with some management and coping techniques to reduce the intensity of your fear of hospitals.

Here’s what you can do;

  • Look for hospitals that do not have a typical hospital vibe (These days hospitals look more like hotels)
  • Plan your hospital visit in advance. Choose a suitable time and take someone with you for support.
  • When you visit a hospital, keep something with you that reduces stress and calms you down like a stress ball, or listen to music, etc.
  • Learn anxiety management techniques like meditation, mindfulness, breathing techniques, etc.
  • Caffeine is associated with increasing anxiety so you can cut down on that.
  • Talk to someone you trust about your fear or hospitals
  • Try seeking online therapy for your phobia of hospitals

That’s All Folks!

I hope you found this blog out of the phobia of hospitals interesting and informative. Do comment down below if you have the fear of hospitals and how you cope with it?

Thanks for reading.

Take care and stay safe.

About The Author

Kirti Bhati

I am an English literature (major) and psychology (minor) graduate from St. Bede’s College, Shimla. Postgraduate in Clinical psychology from IIS University, Jaipur.

She has published a Research paper on Music therapy in the military population and Workplace stress in a national seminar conducted by Fortis hospital (gurugram) and international seminar conducted by St. Bede’s College, Shimla, Respectively.

Authored a dissertation work on ‘effect of social media addiction on the mental and physical well-being in adolescents’

Currently working at calm sage as a writer.

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