Many people do not like going to the doctor’s office or a hospital. However, what many people do not know is that people can actually develop a legitimate phobia of them. Latrophobia is defined as the morbid and irrational fear of doctors or hospitals. Again, this does not refer to those who simply do not like these places, but rather those who are deathly afraid of them.
Furthermore, people with Latrophobia fear doctors and hospitals, but also anything associated with them. They fear medical treatment, and sometimes even medication in extreme cases. This phobia also does not refer to those who are opposed to these places or treatments for religious or other beliefs.
Symptoms of Latrophobia
Symptoms of Latrophobia, although varied by the individual, generally include a fear of visiting the doctor’s office or hospital, avoidance these places, refusal to keep up with medical treatments or checkups, avoidance of potentially injury-causing situations, avoidance of germs or dirty environments, and more.
Furthermore, due to their phobia of doctors and hospitals, people with Latrophobia may also begin to fear other things, such as germs. This is so because getting sick or injured could mean having to go to the place that they are most afraid of.
Lastly, people with these fears may experience a panic attack once entering a doctor’s office or hospital. Panic attacks are heightened states of terror or anxiety whose symptoms include, but are not limited to, rapid heart beat, chest pain, breathing difficulties, weakness, fainting, dizziness, feeling a loss of control, excessive sweating, chills, and tingling or numbness in the hands or fingers.
Causes of Latrophobia
Causes, like symptoms, will be different from one person to the next. Most often, and especially in the case of Latrophobia, phobias are caused by trauma, which usually occurs during childhood. Children are extremely vulnerable to fear and lasting impressions. This is also the reason why this phobia is so much more prevalent in children versus adults. A person could also be led to fear doctors or hospitals if they had to go there when they were extremely sick or injured. Seeing a loved one in a hospital, especially if they passed away there, is also another common cause of the fear of hospitals.
Other fears, such as the fear of needles, could also cause a phobia of doctors or hospitals, since these things are associated with doctors and hospitals. This is also another very common cause. Although, religious or other personal beliefs could lead people to fear doctors and/or hospitals since medical treatment sometimes goes against these beliefs.
Treatment of Latrophobia
Therapy, although it does not work for every case, is usually a good way to go to treat phobias. Different types of therapy can serve to understand the cause of the phobia, as well as help get rid of it. For example, Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps do both; look into the cause and change the way a person reacts to visiting doctors or hospitals.
Medication can be used to treat anxiety about these situations, although this can be tricky if the person is already afraid of any type of medical treatment. However, many hospitals nowadays offer anti-anxiety medication to overnight patients to help ease their nerves.