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By Theresa Semple  

Few things can strike fear into the heart of most of society such as the fear of seeing a medical provider. This fear can be extremely dangerous if it prevents you from getting routine checkups and testing.

Fear can have both emotional and physical effects on a person. Emotionally, fear can cause feelings of anxiety, nervousness, and a sense of powerlessness. It can lead to stress, worry, and even panic attacks. Fear can also impact a person’s behavior, causing them to avoid certain situations like a visit to a provider.

Physically, fear triggers the body’s natural “fight or flight” response, releasing stress hormones like adrenaline and cortisol. This can lead to physical symptoms such as increased heart rate, sweating, trembling, and muscle tension. Prolonged exposure to fear and chronic stress can have a negative impact on overall health, weakening the immune system and increasing the risk of physical health problems.

Top Reasons to Not Be Afraid

Now that you know what fear can do to your body, imagine adding all of that pressure and not seeing a medical provider. Here are some of the top reasons to not be afraid of seeing your provider:

  1. Your medical provider is there to help you maintain and improve your health. Some people believe that providers are there to push medication recommended by pharmaceutical companies to serve their own needs. That concern is understandable, but it is not worth getting yourself sick over. Your provider is there to help ensure you remain healthy. You are the decision maker for your body and if you do not want to go the medication route, the providers cannot force you. However, they can help come up with alternative methods for you to address some conditions. Gone are the days of “take this and call me in the morning,” we are in an environment where there are more options for you. Explore them with a professional. Searching for answers online by yourself may not help you and could potentially be harmful.
  1. Regular check-ups can catch potential health issues early, making them easier to treat. I have actually heard someone say that if you do not go to the doctor, you will never get cancer/heart disease/diabetes. What they meant was that if you are not officially diagnosed, do you actually have the disease? The answer is yes, you will still have the disease, it is just undiagnosed and therefore untreated. Something simple that may be treated by lifestyle changes or medication can turn into something serious with willful blindness.
  2. Being proactive about your health can lead to a longer and better quality of life. Going to your provider can be helpful in identifying potential illnesses before they become serious problems. A couple of examples of these are – pre-diabetes, the beginning of hypertension, a change in thyroid functionality, cysts, and heart disease. These are all things that may be addressed if caught early enough and some without medication.
  3. Open communication with your provider may help you address any fears or uncertainties you may have. Your provider can offer valuable advice on preventive care and healthy lifestyle choices. Opening up about our physical or mental health concerns requires courage and honesty, qualities that can be challenging to embody when we feel exposed and vulnerable. It is essential to remember that healthcare providers are bound by codes of confidentiality and ethics, and your well-being is their priority. As an example: A patient was concerned that she was having excessive sinus infections. She finally had a conversation with her doctor and asked if the infections could be aggravated with stress. She discussed how she was having a challenging time at work, and how it was affecting her sleep, and diet. The doctor explained how all of this was contributing to weakening her immune system and they discussed methods for her to reduce the stress on her body. Had she not spoken up, she would have continued the cycle of sinus infections indefinitely.5. Building a trusting relationship with your provider can make healthcare decisions easier and more effective. Find a provider that you feel comfortable with, one that you can trust to have honest dialogs with. Some providers allow extra time for each patient to allow for conversations around concerns. Find one that makes you feel comfortable and allows you to be heard during your visit.6. Remember, your provider has seen and treated a wide range of health issues before. Providers are trained to identify and treat thousands of illnesses. Today’s technology assists them in doing so with increasing accuracy. Of course, there are rare illnesses that not every provider will have experience with. Their training will help them identify it, identify treatments for it and assist them in locating providers that have experience in those illnesses.
  1. Taking care of your health is a crucial step in taking care of yourself. A “Me Day” can mean many things to many people – massages, facial treatments, channel surfing on the couch, hanging out with friends, and catching a game are some examples. However, when was the last time you took time to take care of your physical/emotional/mental well-being? If it has been a while, it might be time to schedule a “Me Day” with your doctor.

 

It is Normal to be Afraid, But You Can Overcome It

It is ok to feel intimidated by the medical environment itself. Hospitals, clinics, and doctor’s offices can be overwhelming places, bustling with activity, unfamiliar equipment, and medical jargon. However, keeping in mind that these environments exist to promote healing and wellness can help alleviate some of those fears.

Remember that your provider is there to listen, guide, and empower you to make informed decisions about your health. They are not there to judge or criticize you for your lifestyle choices. By acknowledging and addressing your fears, building a trusting relationship with your provider, educating yourself, fostering a positive mindset, and seeking support, you can overcome anxiety and apprehension and take proactive steps towards a healthier and happier life. Remember that your health is precious and deserving of care and attention. Seeking medical help is a courageous and empowering choice.

To learn about affordable group life insurance options for your small or medium business, visit Semple Solutions now at https://semplesolutionsllc.com/group-life-insurance or call us at (732) 238-6734. Our professionals are here to answer your questions and help you find the best benefits for your employees and your business budget.

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