Hi. It’s Jenny at AnxietyBoss.com. Our question today is from Doug in Clearwater, Florida. Hospitals scare me so much. I am worried that if one day I need to go to the hospital, I won’t because of this fear. What can I do?
Hospitals may seem like a scary place, but it’s a place of good intention. Some people forget this and they only associate it with illness and death. The best way to face this kind of phobia is to break it down little by little, that way you’re able to see where and what your fear is stemming from.
Does the emergency room bother you? The waiting room? Try to view your fear from as many perspectives as possible, so that you are examining every possible reason for it. Then start from the smallest fear or the one that scares you the least and introduce yourself to something similar. For example, if you’re uncomfortable with say the hospital’s waiting room, then go to the doctor with a friend or a family member the next time that they go and then sit in the waiting room waiting for them. This will slowly bring you to terms with your fear until you’re able to face it head on.
When you feel that you may be ready to face your phobia, this may be a good time to begin the desensitization process. Desensitization is a technique used where the person who’s suffering from their fear gradually faces it. Maybe walk or drive by the hospital once a day on your way to another activity. Then maybe spend one day per week sitting outside for an hour or so. Finally, when you’re comfortable, you can also step foot into the hospital and then maybe walk around a bit until you no longer feel as anxious.
This is a long process, but if you truly feel that this may be harmful to your health, then you should speak to your doctor so that you have some extra support and advice on the subject.