Hospitals are a part of most peoples’ lives; they are born in them, cured in them or die in them. Not having to visit a hospital is commonly thought of as a sign of luck, but for some, it can be the difference between peace and a panic attack. Someone who has nosocomephobia is overwhelmingly afraid of hospitals. A phobia is an overwhelming fear of a thing, place or situation that has physical side effects.
When confronted with a hospital, whether it be the real physical location or the idea of going to one, a nosocomephobe can experience symptoms including panic attack, shortness of breath, dizziness, trembling, sweating, accelerated heart rate, chest pain and nausea. Nosocomephobia can be caused by a variety of factors such as hospitalization, tragedy associated with a hospital or inherent fear among others.
Symptoms of Nosocomephobia
- If fear takes over and one finds themselves suffering from negative physical symptoms
- One recognizes that the fear is causing them to miss important life milestones (such as the birth of a family member at a hospital)
- If one is avoiding treatment at a hospital for a serious medical condition
- Phobia has persisted over a significant length of time and is affecting one’s health or happiness
Treatment of Nosocomephobia
There is no need to fret if one has self-diagnosed nosocomephobia as methods to overcome hospital phobia are out there. An effective and popular treatment is cognitive-behavioral therapy, more commonly known as exposure therapy. Using the exposure therapy method slowly exposes the person to thoughts of hospitals and then to real life hospitals. Slowly, people learn how to mentally deal with their fear of hospitals so that they will not continue to suffer the physical symptoms of the phobia or miss important life milestones. Medications can also be used to treat the worst of the physical symptoms such as panic attack and migraines; however medication should be used in conjunction with therapy.
Nosocomephobia can also be treated though self-help methods. Getting informed about the phobia is the first step in overcoming the fear. It is important to understand not only the thing feared, but also fear itself. Keeping up a positive train of thought can also keep nosocomephobia at bay. Lastly, breathing, yoga and targeted muscle relaxation can help one deal with the emotional and physical symptoms caused by hospital fear.
Hospitals exist for the populations’ well being. If a hospital or the idea of one makes one suffer through negative physical and emotional side effects, then it is time to seek professional help. Getting informed is the first step, next it is important to find a therapist or support group that knows how to lead you down the path of recovery.