Winter Illnesses and How to Handle the Stress of the Doctor’s Office

Winter illnesses bring with them trips to the doctor’s office. But for many people the anxiety that comes with a trip to the doctor is far worse then the actual illness. But there are ways to overcome the stress of a doctor’s office.

Understand Your Anxiety

Do you know the source of your anxiety? Is it the waits, the rooms full of sick people, is it worry over what the doctor might say? Perhaps the anxiety comes from the actual exam or fear of bad news. In order to overcome this stress, make a plan. Write out everything you need to speak to your physician about. Research stress management techniques and find one that works for you. This could be in the form of breathing exercises, visualization, bringing your favorite book along, or learning how to ground yourself.  

Reduce Your Stress Before Going

If doctor’s offices stress you out then you need to take steps before even walking out your front door to calm your nerves. You can start by reducing your caffeine, or other stimulants the morning of the visit. If you’re not already feeling well then ask a friend or family member you trust to go with you. Having someone’s support helps calm nerves, and depending on how ill you feel you probably shouldn’t be driving anyway. Listen to music on your way there, the kind that soothes. Drink warm peppermint tea, it calms nerves and stomachs. While it may take a therapist to help you determine the whys of your anxiety and the how to conquer it fully, you can significantly calm your nerves using the previous small techniques.

Worry of Misdiagnosis

It is true that winter illnesses can be misdiagnosed. When this happens, you may have cause to seek out a medical malpractice attorney. Having a plan of action in place may help relieve your stress going in. Everyone is fallible and makes mistakes, even doctors.  This isn’t a reason to avoid them. In fact, doctors more often help then damage. Rest assured that their intent is not malicious but rather of healing. By being honest and detailed regarding your symptoms you are setting up your doctor and yourself for a successful diagnosis. Don’t skimp the details. This isn’t the time to speak politely but rather share what is going on with your body. You wouldn’t be in the doctor’s office if something weren’t wrong. Trust your instincts.

You don’t have to suffer through your winter illnesses to avoid the doctor’s office due to stress. By understanding your anxiety and the root of your stress you will be better able to discover stress management techniques to utilize before and during your visit. Knowing that your doctor’s purpose is to heal and not harm but having a plan in place if misdiagnosis happens will help relieve the stress of the situation. Being prepared is always good. Being aware of your own struggles and asking for the help of others will help your physical and mental health. Don’t let stress or winter illnesses keep you down. Get the help you need.