This phobia is quite common. Hospitals are a symbol of illness, infirmity, and even death. Of course, hospitals can also symbolize the most beautiful aspects of humankind. The miracle of birth, as well as the nurturing and caring that takes place in hospitals, can be very inspiring. When an aversion toward hospitals becomes persistent and extreme, it is called Nosocomephobia.
Why Do People Fear Hospitals?
It’s not hard to understand why someone could come to fear hospitals. Many people experience anxiety and even grief while within hospital walls. Whether we are awaiting test results or news of a loved one’s fate, there can be deep emotions and fears that are brought to the surface when we are at a hospital. Emergency rooms can also be frightening places, where injured and ill people are forced to wait for long periods as they seek out care from nurses and doctors.
The Fear Of Death Drive Many Other Phobias
Nosocomephobia stems from the fear of mortality. Noone wants to die. When we are forced to undergo procedures in order to stay healthy, it unleashes a torrent of self-doubt and even terror. Diseases such as cancer are diagnosed every day at hospitals all over the world. While these diagnoses are not necessarily a death sentence, they are the start of a painful and arduous journey for both the body and the spirit. This phobia can be a reflection of the body’s desire to survive.
Some people fear hospitals due to another phobia, the fear of germs. People with Germphobia are afraid of contracting a virus or other contagion while on hospital grounds. There have been many instances where diseases have spread within hospitals.
The Ebola virus is a highly contagious virus that was first discovered in Africa. When the virus began to spread, those who were afflicted often went to the hospital looking for assistance. With this vicious virus, the victim will “crash and bleed out”. When they do, they often cover other hospital personnel with sputum and blood that transmits the disease. In this way, the Ebola disease became a terrifying epidemic in Africa, and spread to other parts of the world. This is just one example of why hospitals can be dangerous places.
The fear of needles and other common implements used in hospitals can also trigger Nosocomephobia. Some people fear the radiation from x-rays and they also feel trepidation about other common procedures performed in hospitals. They may become agitated at the mere thought of going to the hospital because they cannot face the idea of being subjected to needles and x-rays.
Going Under The Knife Can Be Scary
The fear of getting an operation is another key reason why people fear hospitals. They do not want to go “under the knife” because it is traumatic and frightening. When someone is forced to endure surgery and go under general anesthetic, they may develop this phobia as a result. For those who fear a loss of control, being “put to sleep” with drugs and operated on can be nightmarish.
Can Bad Memories Trigger Fear Of Hospitals?
Some people relate their fear of hospitals to early childhood memories. Any early trauma they remember from childhood can resurface when they are in the hospital. Even common procedures such as tonsillectomies can cause this post-traumatic stress disorder to appear. If a child had a negative experience in the hospital, they may grow up and develop Nosocomephobia.
If you feel anxious and fearful when you must go to a hospital, you may be experiencing the symptoms of a panic attack. You may experience lightheadedness, heart palpitations, and a sense of doom. Some people report nausea and dizziness when they are forced to visit a hospital.
Speaking to a sympathetic therapist will help you regain a sense of calm and it will get at the root of your phobia. A course of anti-depressants may be prescribed in order to lessen symptoms.