When it comes to the fear of sick people it’s first important we’re not confusing it with a number of closely related specific fears and phobias. Namely:
A fear of sick people is a little different to the above. It’s about feeling overwhelmingly uncomfortable around sick people, not knowing what to say or how to act, becoming paranoid about catching the illness (even if it’s not contagious at all) and hence avoiding these situations completely.
Yes … it can be associated with either or both Emetophobia or Nosophobia but it’s a very different fear in its own right.
Being around sick people on some occasions in our lives is completely unavoidable. A loved one, a friend or family member may be ill and you are required to help or support. Paying a visit to someone close to you in hospital may be expected. When you think about it there’s lots of other scenarios too.
To most people this doesn’t represent a problem. They visit to show sympathy, to help and to support. To them it’s natural to want to help with the recovery process and to bring a little happiness when it’s needed – often in the form of flowers and gifts. In other words, they know what to do, what to say and how to act.
To others though this situation doesn’t bare thinking about. They feel intensely uncomfortable, they feel awkward, they don’t know what to do, say or how to act and they selfishly fear for their own health.
Obviously, they know it’s irrational and want to be understanding and supportive and often hate themselves for feeling this way. The fact of the matter is that they can’t change and so avoidance is the best policy and this has a knock on effect of a deterioration in relationships.
As to the cause of the fear of sick people – every case is different and cause wide ranging.
As mentioned earlier, it could be as a result of another specific fear such as vomiting, illness or even a fear of hospitals. There could be a historical negative association with doctors, hospitals or medical centres behind the fear. It could be the fear of getting sick yourself. Or it could be an uncomfortable feeling or one of disgust in respect of bodily processes going wrong.
Numerous other triggers, specific in each case, can also be behind the phobia.
Symptoms very much vary depending on the severity of each case. As the fear of sick people is a form of anxiety traditional anxiety symptoms can manifest themselves. This includes:
The list goes on …
Perhaps the most important symptom is the intense desire to avoid the situation at all costs. This means that loved ones who need a visit, who expect you to be there to support and who want to see you can’t understand why the reluctance or why you don’t appear as though you want to be there.
You weren’t born with particular fears or anxiety – instead you have developed them along your life journey so far. In very simple terms Hypnotherapy works by re-setting the mind to produce the rational response to a specific situation or environment that you had before the phobia was initially triggered off. Find Out More >
Neuro-linguistic programming or NLP combines neurology and linguistics and creates a sort of programming that helps people change their thinking habits, help them deal with anxiety, stress, depression and overcome particular fears. In short, this means taking a specific fear or phobia and disassociating and reframing the experience to prevent the irrational response. Find Out More >
In simple terms Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT as it’s more commonly referrred to, is a talking therapy which takes your specific issue, fear or specific phobia and focusses on your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and how they affect your behaviour and emotions in respect of this issue. It takes on the notion that your thoughts (cognition) creates emotions which, in turn, controls our reactions (behaviour). Find Out More >
If the mere thought of being around anyone who is sick or ill fills you with fear and terror then take a look at one of our recommended, self-help treatment programs that are all guaranteed, proven and effective.