Are you making excuses for not seeing the doctor? It could be time to start taking your health more seriously and book a visit – before it’s too late.
Avoiding the doctors when you have a health concern could be allowing your health problem to get worse. Something that might be easily curable now could require much more extensive treatment later on or may even reach a stage where it is incurable.
Men tend to be more guilty of delaying a trip to the doctors, but a growing number of women are also putting off visits. Here are just some of the most common excuses for not seeing a doctor – and why each of them is a terrible excuse.
‘I don’t have the time’
A lot of us lead busy lives nowadays, which can make it difficult to fit in a visit to our local doctors’ clinics. It’s possible that opening times may also conflict with work or childcare, making it harder to work around these commitments.
That said, most employers are likely to be more than willing to allow you to take time off to see a doctor. Similarly, when it comes to other responsibilities such as children, there’s no reason why you can’t look into childcare.
Of course, you may not even need to do this. There are a growing number of 24 hour clinics and hotlines that can allow you to get treatment and medical advice around the clock. There are also call-out services that could allow you to schedule a doctor to come to your home or workplace to fit around your lifestyle (this is more expensive, but it is still an option).
With all this in mind, there’s no reason why you can’t find the time to see a doctor. Even if taking time off work could have negative consequences, it still shouldn’t take priority over your health.
‘I can’t afford it’
Healthcare costs are constantly rising. For those that are uninsured, treatment can be a big expense and can put a lot of people off. However, there are now more options than ever when paying for treatment.
Health insurance is often the best way to pay for healthcare, but there are also zero interest medical loan options. This allows you to spread out the cost of treatment and afford it more easily.
You may even be legally eligible for other forms of relief and compensation. You may be able to seek legal compensation for injuries caused by other people such as an Uber car accident injury. There could also be charity aid available if you have a potentially serious condition and are on a low income.
On top of this, you may have the option to negotiate costs or even shop around for treatment. Some healthcare services provide installment plans allowing you to spread out the cost of treatment as if taking out a loan or using insurance. Others may even be able to offer a discount. There may even be the option of traveling to seek out certain treatment – for big procedures such as surgery, some people can find that it’s cheaper to fly to other countries and get the treatment done that it is to get it done locally.
There are health advocates and advisors that may be able to help you get the cheapest treatment for your financial needs. These services are well worth using if the cost is the major issue.
‘It’s too embarrassing’
Some health concerns can be embarrassing to talk about – especially with a stranger. However, it could be necessary for diagnosing your problem.
Most doctors will have likely dealt with far worse. As professionals, they’re not going to laugh about it and they won’t tell anybody about your problem. This is important to remember.
Many clinics will also allow you the option to talk to a doctor of the same sex if you request it. This could make certain issues less embarrassing to talk about.
‘I’m too scared’
Some people also put off going to the doctor because they’re scared. This fear could be down to many things – it could be a fear of needles, a fear of being around other ill people or even a fear of finding out the truth.
Overcoming this fear may require seeing a therapist if it is severe. You may also be able to explore other options to get around your fear (if the fear is being around other sick people, you may be able to arrange a doctor to meet at your home, whilst there may be oral medicine alternatives that you can discuss with a doctor if you’re afraid of needles).
‘I don’t trust doctors’
Another common reason people don’t see a doctor is that they don’t trust them. Perhaps you’ve had a bad experience with previous doctors who may have been rude or negligent. Or perhaps you’ve been hearing stories from others.
It’s true that there are some bad doctors out there. But not all of them are bad. If this was the case, no-one would ever get treated. The solution could simply be to try another doctor or another clinic entirely. Some people feel more assured when visiting a doctor or clinic that has a high reputation. There could also be doctors who specialize in certain areas such as digestive health or skin health.
‘It’s nothing serious. I’ll get over it’
It’s possible to naturally recover from some conditions. But more often than not, this isn’t the case. For example, pneumonia can be a very serious condition that can even result in death. In this case, you shouldn’t avoid going to the doctor you should be asking yourself when should you go to the emergency room for pneumonia not if you should be going.
Getting a regular check-up is always useful just to be sure – especially if you’ve had a health concern for a while. There can even be times when it’s worth getting a check-up when you haven’t got any health concerns just to ensure there aren’t any hidden problems (for instance, many clinics offer free and low-cost cancer screenings that could allow you to catch the disease early).