Jatrophobia: causes and symptoms. How to overcome your fear of doctors?

Almost every person has wondered what the phobia of fear of doctors is called. From birth, a child has to interact with doctors, not necessarily if he is sick. Often, even a routine visit to a specialist to confirm your health condition can cause great fear. Jatrophobia can be called one of the most common phobias among people.

Fear when visiting the doctor's office

Causes of phobia: fear of doctors

Fears do not appear just like that, without a reason; any fear arises from some factor, a situation that is negatively deposited in a person’s memory. This can be any medical procedure, each of which is associated with pain and discomfort. Many patients, at the mere word of surgery or the need for surgical intervention, begin to panic and find excuses to go to the hospital. They develop fear for their own lives and mistrust of the attending physician.

According to sociological surveys, 60% of the population of our country do not trust people who took the Hippocratic oath, and 15% go to private clinics, where the quality of service is slightly better than in ordinary public clinics. And the state of hospitals, clinics and other medical institutions leaves much to be desired. And if you add the boorish attitude, incorrect diagnoses, unqualified assistance, and sometimes complete indifference of the staff, it becomes clear that even a person with a healthy psyche will not have the desire to seek any help.

Suspiciousness and self-doubt, an inferiority complex plays an important role in the fact that some adults do not go to the dentist for years. As a result of this, they end up with a sad state of their oral cavity.

Women, and especially young girls, due to their inexperience and lack of knowledge, do not undergo an ordinary routine medical examination by a gynecologist. They are sure that if nothing bothers you, then visiting a female doctor is not advisable. This is a huge stupidity, since many dangerous diseases are asymptomatic and you will still need to go to the hospital later. It’s just that the disease will no longer be in its initial stages.



Literally two centuries ago, people had every reason to be afraid of doctors, if only because they previously did not know what anesthesia was. The person was prepared for the operation with the help of alcohol, and in rare cases, he was stunned.

That is, they hit him on the head so that he would lose consciousness. Accordingly, most of the patients died on the operating table from painful shock. Even with completely simple manipulations today.

But we should not forget that modern technologies make it possible to work miracles, pulling completely hopeless patients out of the other world.

Read how far science has come. Perhaps the information you receive will help you calm down a little. A person’s imagination is limitless, and he can come up with a lot of things and then get scared.

Although in fact the reality is completely different, not so dangerous and incomprehensible. Therefore, always in such cases, when feelings go off scale, try to include rationality and logic.

Stress management

Practice yoga, meditation and breathing techniques. Stress wears out our body, deprives us of resources, strength and desire to live. Why does it turn out that jatrophobes fall into a vicious circle?

He is afraid of doctors and experiences a lot of stress due to this fact, which provokes the development of somatic diseases and makes it necessary to contact them.

So learn to relax and take care of your nerves. Then you will forget about your bad mood and insomnia.


Almost every person on the planet has a story about being misdiagnosed, missing something, or overlooking something. They acted inhumanely, stole money, showed no compassion. Right?

The human factor comes into play, and there is no escape from it. But not getting treatment at all is not an option. Try to work on your ability to trust.

Ask your friends, acquaintances, and colleagues who they turn to and which clinics they are registered with. Collect information about specialists, their strengths and weaknesses.

If possible, go for a consultation to communicate and understand that they are not so scary, these doctors.

The main thing is to choose a friendly, humane doctor based on feedback, who will talk to you and tell you in detail about the methods of working with a specific diagnosis.

Then the level of anxiety will decrease a little if you manage to build a more or less trusting relationship with him. Explain that you are very afraid of people in white coats and therefore need tolerance and understanding.

What happens to a person with iatrophobia?

A process starts in the body when the brain gives a signal for the release of adrenaline. The body cannot cope with its amount. This causes a sharp deterioration in health (tachycardia, high blood pressure, diarrhea and trembling of the limbs, dry mouth, shortness of breath, complete lack of understanding of the current situation, inappropriate behavior).

Phobia of fear of doctors requires treatment, but the patient needs to go directly to the person he is already afraid of! It turns out to be a complete vicious circle! But this is not a hopeless situation.

The danger of iatrophobia

Fear of doctors is one of those disorders that can greatly affect a person’s physical health . Failure to promptly seek medical help may cause exacerbation or progression of the existing disease. Self-medication and taking medications without a doctor’s prescription can cause poisoning or side effects.

Iatrophobia is dangerous during pregnancy. A future mother's refusal to see a doctor can lead to negative consequences for both the woman and the fetus.

How to overcome this phobia

Any case of fear of doctors is individual and requires specific treatment. It is possible to get rid of jatrophobia only by finding the cause. If you analyze your inner sensations, thoughts, feelings, then this can be done by the person himself. But if, when remembering the doctor, panic and hysteria begin, it is very difficult to calm down, then the help of a psychologist is needed. To avoid visiting the hospital, it is better to go to a private clinic or call a doctor at home.

If you decide to seek help from any medical institution, then take with you a person with whom you will feel at ease and calm. He will support and understand in difficult times for you.

How not to confuse the phobia of fear of doctors with ordinary fear

A striking example and portrait of a jatrophobe - he is very actively interested in treatment with folk remedies and methods of alternative medicine. All this is explained by the fact that he believes more in some grandmother’s healer, who can cure him using a photograph or simply by preparing some special decoction. This is simple self-deception.

There are cases in the practice of doctors when jatrophobia was passed on from generation to generation.

The reason why children are afraid of doctors

Or as it is also called by professionals, iatrophobia lies largely in the behavior of the parents, since the child copies this fear from adults.

He remembers their every word and expression. When they talk about how they hurt in the hospital, how dangerous and scary it is.

It is also worth taking into account the individual characteristics of the baby; some children do not like tactile communication; any touch from strangers is at least unpleasant for them. Perhaps the child has a low pain threshold and no matter what is done in any medical institution during various procedures, it causes pain for him. With such children, even after one unsuccessful visit to the clinic, it is difficult to persuade them to just go there.

In most cases, the adults with whom the child lives are to blame for jatrophobia in children. If a mother and her child behave insecurely and too emotionally when visiting the hospital, then the child feels the same way. This is where his panic and hysteria arise.

Preventive measures

It is necessary to increase stress resistance and learn to control emotions. The weaker the general mental state, the higher the likelihood that a fear of doctors (phobia) will develop.

What to do to prevent your child from developing a fear of doctors:

  • parents should not show their fears and anxieties (in 95% of cases, children adopt their parents’ reactions);
  • You cannot intimidate a child;
  • encourage your child with gifts and surprises.

Try to always end your visit to the doctor with positive emotions, then positive associations will form. In the case of children, you can agree with the doctor and give him a gift, which the doctor will give to the child after the session.

Causes of phobia: fear of doctors

  • In adults, the reasons for this fear arise from the fact that they have encountered a medical error in the past. The situation gets worse when a relative or friend died because of it.
  • Particularly suspicious and impressionable people, having watched enough films about hospital workers who are not entirely competent in their work, read terrible cases on the Internet about incorrect diagnoses, involuntarily become jatrophobes.
  • When visiting a doctor, the patient is forced to entrust his health, and sometimes even his life, to some stranger. It turns out that the patient directly depends on the mood and knowledge of this stranger in a white coat! It happens that a doctor is an expert in his field, and he has been working for a long time, but there is no line outside his office. It’s just that some specialists can be professionals, but at the same time be callous, ill-mannered people.
  • An insecure person is embarrassed about his body. Therefore, it is difficult for him to go to the doctor and show his body, which he himself does not like, he is ashamed of it.
  • Fear of pain during treatment. Many procedures are naturally unpleasant, but the development of medicine has stepped forward significantly. To avoid pain, there are modern drugs that successfully combat this.
  • People with various addictions, be it alcohol, food, tobacco, drugs, are all ardent opponents of visiting hospitals. They often avoid doctors, assuming that they will tell them about their unhealthy lifestyle and force them to undergo treatment.
  • Some people are simply afraid that the doctor will find some kind of disease and this is what prevents them from going to the hospital.
  • Difficult financial situation of a person. In such cases, this is a good reason for refusing to go to the hospital.


When thinking about visiting a hospital, a jatrophobe's palms sweat, his arms shake and his legs give way. May have chest pain, as if about to have a heart attack.

My head is spinning and I can’t really concentrate on something or understand what’s happening. Panic grips to such an extent that there is not enough air and the stomach turns, the mouth becomes dry, shortness of breath and even vomiting appears.

A person in such a state can fall to his knees in front of doctors and beg them for mercy. Or, on the contrary, react aggressively to any attempt to come closer.

But most often he tries to escape, screaming and crying loudly. If you try to stop it, it will begin to bite, escaping like a wild animal caught in a trap.

In some cases, he loses consciousness from horror, and then, coming to his senses, does not speak clearly, confuses words, and forgets them.

Blood pressure also rises, the pulse quickens and the skin turns red or pale. With prolonged exposure to stress, insomnia appears, and he may have nightmares at night.

Naturally, with the participation of people in white coats who are trying to “cure” him. All this negatively affects his overall health, which leads to depression, which often ends in an attempt to commit suicide.

Sometimes it happens, when a terrible diagnosis is made, that jatrophobe prefers, instead of traditional treatment, to go, say, into the forest and lead a hermit’s lifestyle.

He is ready to endure hardships and inconveniences in everyday life, just to avoid ending up in a clinic, next to merciless and cruel medical workers. As you understand, most of these stories end sadly.

In any case, even if by some miracle one manages to recover from a fatal disease, personality degradation occurs. When she loses the skills she previously possessed due to the fact that there was no need to use them.

Lack of communication affects socialization and self-perception, naturally, not for the better.

Symptoms of phobia: fear of doctors

The manifestation of such fear in children consists of hysteria and panic. In adults, symptoms are much more severe and severe. These are headache, nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, shortness of breath, a sharp increase in blood pressure, trembling limbs, rapid heartbeat, inadequate perception of what is happening, sleep disturbance, dry mouth, excessive sweating, blurred vision (darkening in the eyes).

People suffering from this fear postpone visiting the hospital until a critical moment. Therefore, this can end sadly, even fatally.

Psychological approach

Most often, I use a psychological approach to treat fears and phobias. Its use is justified because it allows you to achieve quick and sustainable results. The most common practices among psychologists are the following:

  • Psychotherapy - the root cause of fear is determined with the patient. After which, it is worked on at a deep level of the subconscious.
  • Psycho-correction - the essence is to simulate special situations, having coped with which, a person gets rid of fear.
  • Hypnosis - a specialist takes a person into a trance state in which he imposes the correct reaction to a stimulus.
  • Autogenic training - as a result of regular autogenic training, a person’s stress level decreases. Which accordingly makes his condition easier.

In medical psychology, complex methods and approaches are mainly used to overcome fears and phobias. Of all their diversity, the NO Fear course stands out. With its help, you can overcome fear in just 14 days. The effectiveness of the technique used has already been recognized by many practicing psychologists.

How to deal with phobia of fear of doctors

There are several options.

Sometimes a psychologist uses a method such as hypnosis treatment, group therapy, or psychoanalysis sessions.

If a person’s psyche is upset to a critical state, then drug treatment is carried out. The treating specialist prescribes sedatives (motherwort, valerian, phytosed, glycesed, sedistress, glycine).

In the complex, you can add treatment with folk remedies (decoction of mint, lemon balm, linden inflorescence, lavender, hops, chamomile).

Here are some recipes for soothing decoctions and tinctures:

  1. The tincture consists of equal parts of valerian root, fennel fruit, mint, lemon balm and caraway. Brew one tablespoon of the prepared raw material per glass of boiling water.
  2. This tea has a very fast effect: one part St. John's wort, horsetail, two parts black and green tea. Brew two tablespoons of this mixture in half a liter of water and leave. Add honey to taste.
  3. This tincture is also very calming: Two bay leaves, two cloves, a small piece of ginger and one teaspoon of cumin. Pour boiling water over and boil for ten minutes, and then infuse. All these soothing tinctures must be taken morning and evening, half a glass*
  4. Valerian roots, oats and lemon balm, peony rhizomes, motherwort, common hop cones - all this is mixed in equal parts and poured with vodka or alcohol. Infuse for half a month and then filter. Take one teaspoon before bedtime.

Important: never self-medicate. Consult your doctor even if you decide to drink soothing teas and tinctures, as they may have an adverse effect if taken uncontrolled. All of them have contraindications.

Prevention of jatrophobia in children

What kind of attitude a person will have towards medical workers in the future largely depends on the behavior of his parents. What will help reduce the risk of developing panic fear?

  1. It is good if the child is notified in advance of the need to visit a doctor. Full knowledge of why this is required will help relieve anxiety.
  2. It is worth giving the child the opportunity to talk about concerns and express all fears. It is necessary to answer all children's questions in detail, but avoid lying. If an unpleasant procedure is ahead, the child has the right to know it. Deception will create distrust in mother, father and doctor.
  3. The baby will feel calmer if he sees the confidence and firmness of the parent talking with the doctor.
  4. Intimidation by a doctor or injections as punishment should be excluded from the educational process.
  5. It will be easier for a child to relate to doctors if he gets acquainted with his activities in a playful way, examines toy medical instruments and learns about their purpose.

Advice for parents with a phobia of fear of doctors

Tell and explain to your child the significance and importance of visiting the hospital.

Talk to your child before visiting a pediatrician or other doctor; the dialogue should be open in order to clarify all the children's fears and anxieties. The child will tell the honest truth if he sees openness, love, respect and care on your part.

In many cases, parents themselves create comfort and tranquility in the hospital. For example, take your baby's favorite toy with you. Buy juice or candy, lollipops, vitamins, whatever your baby loves to eat. Let this be a little incentive for the child.

How to stop being afraid of injections? It is strictly forbidden for parents to scare their child with injections or a scary doctor who hurts. In no case should you threaten your child with phrases that they will leave him to live in the hospital if he does not obey. Maybe these methods will work, but only the first time. And as time passes, you may find out that such phrases remain in your memory for a long time. They can repeatedly affect the child’s behavior. After all, the child’s psyche is completely different from the adult psyche. Be careful with such expressions!


First of all, if you discover the first signs of a phobia, you should contact a psychologist or psychotherapist.

During therapy, you will be able to discover the reasons that cause such irrational experiences and endanger life and health. And defense mechanisms that do not help at all, but on the contrary, only complicate everything.

For example, denial allows you to reduce the level of anxiety, calm down, telling yourself that in fact there is no dangerous disease.

And then, when it is extremely necessary to urgently take some measures, a person is simply in illusions. Since the psyche decided to maintain its stability in such an unconstructive way.

The most common methods used to combat iatrophobia are hypnosis, cognitive behavioral therapy, and gestalt therapy.

It is also worth visiting a psychiatrist, despite your horror of doctors. Because he will be able to prescribe medications that will help cope with insomnia, relieve anxiety and lift your mood at least a little.

Because if depression and other concomitant diseases occur against the background of exhaustion of the body from stress, it will not be at all easy to recover.

In general, your life and its quality are in your hands. After all, how can you stop being afraid if you make no attempts at all to change your condition?

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