A woman sits on an examination table with the word "What to do when visiting the doctor gives you anxiety,"

No matter how old you are, visiting the doctor is probably not high on your list of “fun” activities. In fact, many grown adults experience a large amount of anxiety or fear surrounding a visit to the doc. As a local Bee Cave primary care physician, we hate to see people in our community avoid a visit due to fear. We understand that it isn’t always easy to take that step and book an appointment, but we are here to help. We want to make your next visit as enjoyable as possible with as little stress as we can.

If you are worried about an upcoming visit to see a family physician, we invite you to check out these tips on how you can handle this anxiety. Be sure to let us know at any point when you visit us if you feel worried or uncomfortable. We will always do our best to make your visit to our clinic a good experience.

Try To Get To The Root Of Your Fears

First, take some time considering what it is about visiting a doctor that gives you anxiety. Are you worried that you will be given bad news? Did you have a previous experience that was unpleasant? Do you find clinics uninviting?

By diving down to the root of the issue, you can more easily find a way to cope with the fear. For many, our fears are seemingly unfounded. That is OK as well. Sometimes, we just feel anxiety when we have to do something outside of our normal comfort zone.

The bottom line is, try to walk yourself through your fears. Often, when we take the time to really consider what it is that is making us anxious, we realize it isn’t as big of a deal as we first thought. Rather than trying to stuff your fears away, examine them and allow yourself to feel the emotion fully.

Put Together A Written List Of Questions Or Concerns

Not only can addressing the root of your fears help, but often, also preparing for your visit and giving yourself a concrete task can help you feel more in control of the situation. One great exercise prior to visiting the doctor is to sit down with a pen and paper and make out a list of any concerns or questions you might have. This can be something as simple as “is this skin discoloration normal?” to a more complex issue, such as “I have trouble sleeping at night and it is affecting my work. What can I do to improve my sleep?” There is no question that is off limits when you visit your doctor. Remember, don’t feel embarrassed by any sort of medical issue or question. Doctors are trained professionals and they have heard and seen it all. Their goal is to equip you with resources and tools to ensure you are living your best life.

By creating a concrete list of questions, you can rid yourself of some of the worries that are associated with sitting uncomfortably in a doctor’s office. Armed with your list, you can have direction during your visit and you will be sure to not forget any important questions you might have.

Avoid Reading Too Much On The Internet

Prior to visiting your doctor, try to lay off reading too much about your symptoms online. The internet is a mixed bag. It provides us both with helpful resources and tools, but it also can create needless worry in our lives. There are so many diseases and ailments with overlapping symptoms that trying to self-diagnose online can cause you to worry without cause. Just because there is a type of cancer that also causes some of the same symptoms that you have, doesn’t mean you have that cancer.

Wait to talk to your doctor about any ailments you currently face. This can help you feel less anxious about the diagnosis you will receive. Trust that your doctor has the knowledge needed to provide you with helpful insights.

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Take Time For Self-Care Before And After A Visit

When anxiety rears its ugly head, take some time out to care for your well-being. Rather than cramming a doctor’s visit into a busy day, try to get the whole day off from work or other responsibilities. Spend the time leading up to the appointment doing something relaxing that leaves you in a good headspace. Perhaps you want to go to a yoga class, then take a long bubble bath before your visit. Whatever it is that allows you to feel calmer, invest time in that.

Carve out time after your visit to decompress as well. Maybe you want to take yourself out for a nice meal as a reward for following through with your visit. Make sure that you celebrate overcoming your anxiety.

Communicate Any Fears

Finally, don’t be shy. Your doctor is there to help you with everything health-related, including anxiety! In fact, if anxiety is something you battle on a serious level every day, that is worth having a conversation with your physician about. Your primary care doctor is there to ensure you are feeling your best. If you are feeling worried or your anxiety is overcoming you during a visit, communicate that. Your doctor will understand more than you might realize.

If you are looking for a primary care physician in Bee Cave that you can trust, we invite you to book an appointment with our team. We understand that visiting the doctor can often bring about anxious thoughts. We will go out of our way to ensure your visit is as pleasant as possible.