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Afraid of doctors?


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I have a problem that has plagued me for several years now. I am afraid of and completely distrust doctors. Now, oddly, my son has required a great deal of medical intervention and I do seek the medical care he needs. I have found 2 great primary doctors for him whom I trust emphatically and they are in complete control of his care. But, when it comes to my own medical needs, I am terrified of seeking any kind of care. It began as a (well-placed, IMO) distrust of doctors because of poor medical advice I had been given but has since grown into an absolute fear. I rarely seek medical care, even when I know I should, because of this. When I do finally go to a doctor, I have extreme anxiety and panic attacks just preparing to go and by time I get there, I am usually shaking, wringing my hands, looking for an exit and I feel like I am incoherent to the staff- often using nervous laughter inappropriately to cover the fact that I don't want to be engaged. I almost never schedule follow up appointments as a result.

I currently have 2 ongoing medical issues that I am pretty sure need medical attention but I have not been able to get past this fear and make the appointment.

I am not exactly sure what forms the basis of my fear. I do not think I have any kind of life threatening illness so its not like I am afraid of bad news or horrible diagnosis. I am pretty sure whatever is going on is easily treatable but it means being vulnerable to the doctor. Maybe thats the issue- vulnerability? Lack of control? Judgment? I don't know! But, whatever the cause, it is there.

Does anyone else have a similar fear and, if so, how do you get past it? How do I set aside my fear and do what I know I need to do?

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