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Many of us try to seek medical help less often. Someone misses preventive examinations that help catch dangerous diseases at an early stage. Others do not go to the doctor, even when disturbing symptoms appear, for example, a tooth hurts or there is blood in a chair. There are many reasons for this behavior, and they are even explored to help people receive medical care in time. Together with the psychologist, Vera Krasnoperova and the Information Portal “By the Hand” created by the Swiss pharmaceutical company “Rosh” for people with cancer and their loved ones, we figure out what prevents us from taking care of health and how the techniques of cognitive-behavioral therapy can help.
Reason No. 1: "There is no time"
People often explain the decision to postpone a trip to a doctor or completely abandon medical care. For example, in 2018, according to Rosstat, 24%of Russians did not contact doctors, because there was no time for this. And when survey in the USA, up to 64% of respondents say that they do not have time to take care of their health. It seems that the lack of time is an objective reason, but is it really so? The psychologist Vera Krasnoperova believes that if he suddenly ask a person why he is not engaged in his health, then there is a great chance to get an unreasonable answer - “there is no time”. Although, perhaps, other reasons that a person has not yet analyzed lies behind the refusal of medical care.
What can stand behind the answer “There is no time to deal with your health”? “For example, the fact that in cognitive-behavioral therapy is called avoidance. Aviation always works the same way: we do not do and do not face what is difficult, potentially unpleasant, causes negative feelings, is associated with unpleasant thoughts, beliefs or past experience. And this helps in the short term. If I do not go to the doctor, I do not fall into a stressful situation, then at first I feel calmer. And this reinforces my behavior, I continue to avoid. And this is normal. Most people in a situation where some behavior brings a positive result automatically acts like this in the future. We choose what is calmer and safer, ”Vera Krasnoperov explains. In the long run, this behavior can lead to a variety of problems: the symptoms will increase, the disease will worsen or develop to the stage when the treatment is less effective.
To choose the behavior that benefits in the remote future, you need to act consciously. “We all have stages of readiness for changes, and this is important to consider,” the psychologist emphasizes. The first is to amuse when you do not consider your behavior a problem at all. Then, thinking-when he realized the problem, but still did not decide whether it was necessary to do something with this and how. Next follows planning (preparation for changes) and acts. And the fifth stage is maintaining or a possible rollback. And being in the first, second, third and even fifth stage, a person may not pay attention to health. “For most, health is in the list of important values. And therefore, the problem is usually not in the absence of motivation, but in the fact that motivation is not clarified. Therefore, you can start by determining what arguments for and against care about health, visits to doctors, ”says Vera Krasnoperov.
Reason No. 2: "It will not touch me"
Another popular reason not to contact doctors is the belief that this is not necessary.A large number of people believe that everything is in order with them, so there is no reason to visit the doctor.Or they think that health problems are not caused by something serious, and the symptoms themselves will pass over time.Many of us believe that they will not encounter dangerous diseases, for example, lung or other cancer.
“The feeling of“ this will not affect me, ”when it comes to serious diseases, most likely arises with us thanks to the same avoidance mechanism,” Vera Krasnoperov explains.- It is unlikely that we analyzed and seriously believe that we definitely won’t get sick.It is clear that there is such a probability. ”The psychologist believes that it is possible to change his attitude if we figure out what is our attitude to our health, preventive examinations, visits to the doctor, what exactly we are trying to avoid, with what fears we do not want to encounter.
“In addition, a person may not have enough knowledge where to go, why and in which case. This can be an independent reason: a person does not care about health, because he does not know how. And this can strengthen avoidance, ”the psychologist says. In this case, self -education and competent search for medical information can help. When a person is involved in making decisions and well informed, this helps him to be healthier - and not only. Knowledge of diseases and methods of prevention helps to cope with anxiety and a sense of helplessness - instead of frightening unknown, an understanding appears what is happening, where to look for help and how to act. This information is not superfluous, even if you yourself are not at risk. With its help, you can help loved ones take care of health and support them correctly if they are faced with a serious illness.
Reason No. 3: "I no longer count on the help of doctors"
The negative experience gained during treatment often pushes in the future to abandon visits to doctors.Basically, people express concerns about the quality of medical care, and also indicate the problems that arose during communication with the doctor.One does not like the manner of communication of a specialist who makes him feel stupid.Others are tired of criticism addressed to non -compliance with recommendations.Some believe that the doctor is too busy, does not take care of patients and prescribes too expensive treatment.
“The negative experience must first be recognized, to show sympathy for himself, to understand what emotions he causes,” Vera Krasnoperov is sure. - To say that this really happens, it does not seem to you, these are not your far -fetched fears. It happens that doctors behave roughly or their words sound like criticism, and prescribed treatment does not help. And then, probably, you should think about how this experience affects you now, is it the price that you are ready to pay for avoidance - for not taking care of your health. ” The psychologist says that in such a situation can also teach communication skills, defending borders and planning: what you will do, faced with a particular situation. For example, you can consider questions to the doctor in case the price of treatment seems inadequate. Or to analyze what can be considered criticism, what criteria her, how to determine, is only your impression or you really encountered the unprofessional behavior of a doctor. To plan actions how to calm himself if the doctor does not actually criticize, and how to get away from a specialist who behaves rudely.
Reason No. 4: "I'm scared"
Fear, shame and awkwardness often hold people from going to the doctor and a frank conversation about symptoms. Someone is afraid that the doctor will confirm fears and it turns out that a person is seriously ill. Others are embarrassed to talk about symptoms, but someone is embarrassed from the thought that the doctor will learn about bad habits. And in the era of pandemia, the situation is aggravated by fear of infection with coronavirus in line in the clinic or at the doctor’s appointment. And sometimes this turns into a disaster: people miss preventive examinations, tolerate to the last and, for example, learn that they have cancer, only in the later stages.
The psychologist Vera Krasnoperova says that one of the ways to cope with fear, shame and other emotions is not to fight them: “I understand, it sounds strange and conventionally, but it is usually more useful to admit that it is terrible, frankly talking about yourself awkward. And therefore it is important to support yourself as you support a loved one or your child. To tell yourself that this is a stressful situation and be afraid normally. That for a doctor is work, normally the doctor should not react negatively and criticize. You can also ask yourself what exactly causes fear or shame. For example, you are afraid to find out the diagnosis - then it is worth considering what will happen if your fear is not sound and the disease is confirmed. Analyze how reasonable your emotions are, what you can do, who can help you if necessary. After you accepted your emotions and experience, supported yourself and analyzed the thoughts and beliefs that are behind emotions, you can try to form a new experience in order to reinforce effective behavior. This means that if you are afraid to find out the diagnosis, it is still worth going to the doctor. It is not necessary to go through it yourself, it can be easier and safer to act with a psychologist. ”
Reason No. 5: "And the meaning?!"
Often, people dismiss the idea to get to the doctor, as they are sure that this will not bring benefits.The doctor will prescribe drugs that previously caused the development of undesirable reactions, will again say that you need to lose weight, or give other recommendations, which a person cannot fulfill.
“In this case, it is also worth thinking about whether doubts and beliefs are justified. If they are justified (the doctor can really give previous recommendations and not explain how to fulfill them), then is it worth it to convince yourself? If a specific doctor does not manage to make contact, it is more effective to look for another specialist and build partnerships with him, ”the psychologist Vera Krasnoperov advises. - Communication with a doctor is very important. Therefore, it is worth trying to convince yourself to get to another doctor. And during the appointment, paying attention to whether the doctor’s attitude to you is polite, and he himself is attentive, whether he gives you the opportunity to ask questions. It is important to establish contact with the doctor. And check your hypotheses: is it true that the trip to him was useless? ”
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