Are you anxious about hospitalizations? There are ways to cope with anxiety in hospitals.
Hospitals are not relaxing places to be. Hospitals are full of strange fluid bags and beeping machines. Many people don’t like needles. Even if you are just visiting someone who is on the road to recovery from an illness, the hospital atmosphere can leave you feeling quite stressed.
Anxiety is common when you visit the hospital. This is especially true if you are preparing for surgery. You might be concerned about any health issues that your doctor may find if you are there for a quick check-up or outpatient procedure.
What are the symptoms of anxiety in a hospital?
It might not be easy to recognize hospital anxiety at the moment. Sometimes, you might become so caught up in hospital-related anxiety and worries that it isn’t easy to recognize the cause.
Be aware that anxiety can have a negative impact on your emotions and thoughts.
You might notice:
Irritability. Anxiety can make it difficult to be patient, even if you are a good person. You may feel like you are acting out with people around you because of the 20-minute wait in the waiting area.
Procrastination. They have just called you back to schedule an MRI scan. Although you aren’t particularly claustrophobic the tube seems very narrow. You might delay the inevitable by declaring that you need a bathroom break, and then taking your time washing your hands.
Communication problems Anxiety can cause confusion and make it difficult to remember what you are saying. When you have forgotten the word for esophagus, it might be difficult to explain acid reflux to your doctor.
You may be thinking in spiraling thoughts. Worries about your treatment can spiral into worsening thoughts. Worries like “What if my colonoscopy hurts?” could soon turn into “What happens if the camera is lost in my bowels for good?”
Children with anxiety symptoms
- Young children aren’t able to express their anxiety through words. They often express their emotions about hospital visits through actions such as:
- Crying (often loudly, or incessantly)
- Pushing or swatting doctors away
- Cling to someone else or to you alone
- You can hide behind the door or under an exam table.
- What causes anxiety in hospitals?
- Hospitals can cause anxiety for many reasons.
- Fear of judgement
It takes courage to expose your naked body (or most naked) and explain symptoms that are very personal or embarrassing.
Although your healthcare team will have seen every type of body, it is easy to feel self-conscious about some symptoms. It is possible to be afraid that they will criticize you if you tell them about an injury or explain why you have symptoms.
You may need to be separated from loved ones in an emergency situation. Even though you’re not alone in hospital, it can make you feel anxious and stressed. 2021 research shows that you might be even more anxious if you don’t have a support network. It’s possible to wonder if they are still there and when they will be able to visit you again.
Sometimes medical treatment will require you to give up control of your body. A doctor might need to put you under anesthesia before performing surgery.
Although you may not want to be conscious during surgery, it might still prove difficult to trust another person with your life when they don’t know what is happening.
The high cost of healthcare in the United States is well-known. 2020 research reports that medical costs have increased and so has anxiety about paying for those expenses.
Many Americans have waited in the doctor’s waiting room worrying about their finances and how they will pay for it.
Many people visit the hospital for serious injuries or illness. Even if your team is the most gentle, being sedated or hooked up to a ventilator can cause permanent trauma. According to research from 2013, over one in four people who leave the ICU end up developing post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). You might feel anxious if you have had a frightening experience in a hospital.
Remembering your mortality
Nobody lives forever. This is something you might already know, but it might be something you don’t like to think about.
You might have to accept that you’re not invincible if you get hurt or become very ill. These changes can cause you to worry about your health and whether they will last.