Some people are hypochondriacs and will visit the doctor at any given chance. However, there are others that constantly put off a trip to the doctors – even if they know that a health problem is getting worse.
Many of us that are guilty of the latter tend to make excuses such as not having the time or being too embarrassed. Quite often these excuses can end up putting out health at risk by allowing small problems to evolve into more serious problems. Here are just some of the popular excuses that a lot of us make for not seeing the doctor – and why you need to stop making them.
‘I haven’t got the time’
A lot of us have busy lives that may involve looking after kids and working a full time job. Finding the time to see a doctor around these responsibilities can be difficult. Most surgeries are only open on weekdays between 8 and 6, which can limit our time further. On top of this, due to the amount of closures and merges, many local surgeries are also seeing more of a strain which can mean that slots are booked up fast and appointments are therefore harder to get.
Fortunately, there are ways to get around this for those that are determined. There are out of hours NHS services such as 111 that allow you to talk to a doctor if you have health concern that’s not worthy of an ambulance. Using such services you may be able to get given a slot to suit your time schedule.
As for those that need to pick up prescriptions, new services have allowed patients to now pick up prescriptions online. This can save you having to take time out of your day to go to a doctors and then go to a pharmacy for medication.
Then of course, there’s also the option to go private for those that can afford it. Private clinics allow you to book an appointment at any time. There are even some private healthcare services that can send out a doctor to see you whether you’re at home with kids or at work. This could be a huge convenience.
‘I’m too embarrassed/scared’
For others, a trip to the doctors can fill them with fear. This can be due to all manner of phobias and anxieties.
Embarrassment of symptoms is a reason that puts off many of us from seeing a doctor. Whilst it’s certainly true that certain conditions aren’t nice to talk about with a stranger, it’s important to remember that these strangers are medical professionals. They’ll see the serious side and will no doubt have encountered worse in textbooks and from other patients. In many cases, you can request to see a doctor of the same gender if this makes you feel more comfortable.
There are then patients that have genuine phobias. A lot of us have a fear of needles or a fear of being around people that are sick – this can prevent us from visiting a doctor. In such cases, getting over such a phobia may require a counsellor. Alternatively, you may be able to find ways around your phobia such as asking about alternatives to injections or arranging a private doctor to come out and see you.
Some people also avoid going to the doctors because they’re scared of finding out the truth. This can often be the case with people that fear they may have a serious condition and not knowing can make things easier. However, you could be allowing the problem to get worse by doing this – as serious as it may be, it could be perfectly curable if you get it seen to now. Keep delaying a visit to the doctors, and you could let the condition become incurable.
‘I don’t trust doctors’
There are then those of us that have a hard time trusting doctors. This could be due to bad personal experiences or it could be due to horror stories we’ve heard.
This can be a very harmful attitude to adopt – whilst there are bad doctors out there, the majority of doctors are good. If this wasn’t the case, we’d be living shorter lives and there would be no stories of people getting cured.
It’s possible that you may not trust a specific doctor. In such cases, you can usually ask your local surgery to not see a specific doctor.
If the entire surgery that you don’t trust, you could then consider trying another clinic in your area. Some clinics are poorly run and there could be a much better one in your area that restores your trust.
Meanwhile, if you’re disillusioned with the entire public health system, there’s always the option of paying to go private. This can guarantee a greater quality of care, shorter waiting times and more choice as to treatments. You can take out private health insurance to pay for your treatment – this could help to make treatment more affordable by paying a small monthly fee instead of large one-off sums. Make sure to also shop around for clinics as there may be one with doctors that are specialised to your condition.
‘I’m fine. I’ll get over it’
Some health concerns aren’t worth going to the doctors about. For example, an innocent cough is something you can probably ignore until it passes. However, if that cough persists for months or seems to get progressively worse, you need to admit to yourself that it’s more than the common cold and worth seeing a doctor for.
Check-ups can sometimes be worth booking just to ensure that you haven’t got any underlying health problems that may be invisible for now. The likes of cervical screening may even be offered to you and shouldn’t be turned down just because you don’t think you have a problem – it’s better to be safe than sorry.
This is a collaborative post.