Got an ache or a strange bump that’s been bothering you, but haven’t gone to the doctors about it? You’re not alone. Many of us put off getting a check-up even when we suspect we have a health problem. This can lead to such health problems getting worse in many cases – what could have been an easily treatable ailment could turn into a serious condition that requires major treatment.
The reasons as to why many of us delay a visit to the doctor vary. Here are just some of the most common excuses that many of us tell ourselves when choosing not to see the doctor, despite health concerns.
‘I don’t have the time’
Your average local doctor surgery is only open weekdays between 9 and 5. This does make it difficult to schedule a doctor’s appointment if you work a regular 9 to 5 job and don’t want to take the time off. That said, there are other options.
There are services that allow you to call out services that allow you to see a non-emergency doctor without having to travel to a clinic. This could allow you to schedule a visit to your workplace. Net Doctor is just one of these services that could be worth trying.
There are also out of hours services for weekends, evenings and nights. There are numbers that you can call for this purpose to arrange appointments (you may even be able to get the problem diagnosed over the phone).
As for picking up prescriptions, you can also now get these delivered to an address of your choice. Sites like Simple Online Pharmacy allow you to register up straight away and get started. If you’ve been needing medicine such as a new inhaler or specialist painkillers and you’ve been putting it off, this could help you to finally get the medication you need without having to take time off work to pick it up.
Of course, taking time off work to go to the doctors needn’t be a big deal in the first place. Many employers are sympathetic when it comes to taking time off for this purpose. Even if you’ve got a big work project with a looming deadline, you should consider whether this really deserves to take priority over your health.
‘I can’t afford it’
Healthcare costs can be expensive – whilst certain parts of the world have free healthcare, many don’t. As a result, many people put off seeing the doctor because they feel they can’t afford it.
The best way to get around this is to take out health insurance from a company such as Bupa, which can usually take the sting out of expensive medical treatment by allowing you to pay small monthly fees instead large on-off expenses. By comparing insurers, you can find the best rates out there.
There are also 0% interest medical loans out there available from the likes of Spire Perform which could make getting healthcare more affordable. This could allow you to pay off the cost in small instalments.
If it’s simply a checkup you need, this isn’t likely to be expensive anyway and you may be able to save costs by doing it over the phone. You may also be able to negotiate with billing staff to get a better price under certain circumstances. Whilst many of us can run into financial trouble, being unable to afford healthcare should never be an option.
‘It’s too embarrassing’
Certain health problems can be embarrassing to talk about. You may also be embarrassed of showing a certain part of your body, which may need to be seen by a doctor when getting a diagnosis.
It’s important to remember that doctors are professionals and they’re not going to laugh at you or behave awkwardly. It’s possible that your case could be more common than you think and that they’ve came across it many times before. In other words, you shouldn’t feel the need to be embarrassed.
Be aware that you can also ask to see another doctor if you don’t like your current one – with certain health problems, some people may feel more comfortable seeing a doctor of the same gender.
‘I’m too scared’
Some people are scared of going to the doctors, possibly because they don’t want to receive bad news or because they’re worried about the type of treatment needed.
Not seeing a doctor because you don’t want to receive bad news is the most illogical excuse – your life may be happy right now and you may be afraid of having to put a downer on things, but you can’t just bury your head in the sand and hope it will go away. Even if you’re certain that you know what the problem is, there’s always a case that a professional opinion could reveal more – you can’t rely on the internet to diagnose your problems.
If you’re scared of having to get an injection or scared of a doctor having to prod you in a sensitive place, it could be possible that you have a phobia, in which case you may need to get some form of counselling treatment for this – especially if it’s holding you back from getting treatment you desperately need. There are sites such as PhobiaGone where you can look into such services.
‘I don’t trust doctors. They’re all useless’
A lack of trust in doctors could be due to bad past experiences. Whilst there are bad practitioners out there, it’s important to realise that not all doctors are useless – most are very good at their job. If every doctor was useless, no-one would ever get treated. If you don’t like the doctors at your local clinic, try another surgery in your area. You could even consider going private if you don’t trust regular doctors.
‘It’s nothing serious. I’ll get over it.’
If your health problem is unusual and causes any concern at all, it’s best not to ignore it and assume it will heal itself. People do occasionally make miraculous recoveries from strange ailments, but this is rare. You’re better off to always see a doctor just to be on the safe side. This ‘I’ll-get-over-it’ mentality could result in a problem getting worse and perhaps even too serious to treat – for example, many people ignore strange moles that are cancerous that could have been easily removed when caught early, but instead these people let the cancer spread. This is an extreme example, but it gives you an idea of how serious things can get if you don’t see the doctor.