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Have intense fear of doctors and diagnostic tests. Is it Itrophobia?

My wife has a fear of doctors. Over last few years I have been able to get her to take basic medications and at least talk to few doctors we know personally.

However, whenever there is even a slight hint of any thing invasive(like blood test) she gets very hyper and behaves like a child, begging not to get it done. I have promised her that I shall not get any invasive tests done, but still she gets afraid at slightest issue in health.

For non invasive procedures like Xray/ultrasound also it takes couple of days and strictness from me to get her to take the tests.

I did some research and found that these are symptoms of Itrophobia.

Please advice on how to proceed with this and get her to a state where she does not psyche up on atleast day to day issues.
Asked On : Sun, 21 Apr 2013
Answers:  3 Views:  55
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Psychiatrist 's  Response
Thanks for choosing health care magic for posting your query.
From your description its is quite certain that she is having a phobia of doctors and hospitals. This could have generated by some past bad experience that would have had.
There are two types of treatment:
1) Pharmacotherapy: Paroxetine, escitalopram, sertraline and clonazepam are good drugs. but these should be combined with.
2) Behavioural therapy : systematic disensitization .
In combination they work good and will help your wife. Do fix an appointment with a psychiatrist.
Hope I am able to answer your concerns.
If you have any further query, I would be glad to help you.
In future if you wish to contact me directly, you can use this link:
Wish you good health,
Dr. Srikanth Reddy M.D.
Answered: Sun, 21 Apr 2013
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Psychiatrist Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi's  Response
Dec 2014
Welcome to HCM

Fear of doctors is really a distressing thing. Fear may have roots in some childhood experience of injection or any invasive process which further developed in phobia. Iatrophobia is common in a number of individuals. But the phobia may become troublesome in conditions when going to a doctor is must like for immunization, periodic blood tests etc. So to avoid such situation, I would advise you to consult a Psychiatrist. Request her to just visit a Psychiatrist and also tell her that no invasive procedure will be done on her. If she becomes ready to go to a Psychiatrist she can be easily treated. Medicines like Sertaline, Paroxetine, Fluoxetine etc are very nice medicines for phobic type of anxiety disorders. Apart from that Behavior therapy mainly Systemic Desensitization is also useful in such patients.

Dr. Seikhoo Bishnoi, MD
Answered: Mon, 22 Apr 2013
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2 Doctors agree with this answer

Psychiatrist Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar's  Response
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

Though I appreciate your efforts to find out what your wife's problem is, it is not advisable to make conclusions about diagnosis without having a proper assessment by a specialist. It is likely that she is suffering from a phobic-anxiety disorder, but a detailed psychological assessment is necessary to pin-point the diagnosis.

I would advise you to take her to a psychiatrist for a proper evaluation so that further treatment strategies for her problem can be planned. There are effective treatment options for phobic-anxiety disorders - in the form of medication and various good psychological therapies.
Wish you all the best.

Dr. Jonas Sundarakumar
Consultant Psychiatrist
Answered: Mon, 22 Apr 2013
I find this answer helpful
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