Having an appointment with any medical professional can be stressful. Any number of things, be it medical trauma, general anxiety, communication difficulties, and more can make these situations feel scary. However, being able to communicate and advocate for your own health can be rewarding. If you take some time to prepare, you can be in a much better place at the start of your next doctor's visit.
1. Have Someone With You
One huge help with medical anxiety is the help of other people. Whether it's someone that you bring with you or someone that you particularly trust at the doctor's office, familiarity and trust can go a long way toward making the appointment feel calm. Consider asking a relative or friend to accompany you to your appointment, and fill them in on the things that you feel worried about. They can help you before, after, and during the appointment by managing stress, listening to your worries, and bringing up things you might forget to say.
Consider some breathing techniques! Doctor's visits can be hard because there is so much anticipation of the short but stressful visit. Take some time in the waiting room to take some slow, deep breaths. Breathing in through your nose and breathing out through your mouth can help you to take a moment to help you center yourself and give you something to do while you wait.
You know your schedule best. Plan for a time that is best for you. It's worth it to schedule your appointments when you'll have time. If you are really anxious in the mornings, consider an afternoon appointment. Make sure you have some time to show up early, giving yourself time to relax instead of rushing into an appointment.
Tell your doctor that you are anxious. There's a lot that can be said for clear communication and doctor's visits are no exception. Often, medical professionals have ways they can help anxious patients and all it would take to get some help is to mention it. Communication can also help develop trust between you and your doctor, which is essential to creating comfort in the appointment.
5. Get Curious
Take some time to investigate why you are nervous. Are you worried about communicating your needs well? Are you worried that you'll have to deal with needles? Checking in with yourself to find the things you're worried about can help you find ways to take care of yourself. Consider doing this with someone who knows you well and can help guide you through your fears.
Remember, your health is worth feeling good about. You don't need things to be perfect, but a little bit of preparation can go a long way.
Contact a local doctor's office to learn more.