Wednesday, 24 January 2018 06:08

Don't Die of Embarrassment Featured

Don't Die of Embarrassment

As doctors we have all seen patients who have avoided seeking medical help out of a fear of embarrassment. Rashes in the groin, sexual problems, problems with urination, bowel issues, lumps in unusual places, fears of sexually transmitted diseases, emotional concerns, abuse at the hands of others and many more fall into this category.  


People fear judgement by the doctor and it can be difficult to raise these issues with another person you hardly know. Men and adolescents are the most likely to avoid raising embarrassing topics.

The greatest tragedy with this is that people suffer needlessly for the period they wait to finally see us. In the worst-case scenario, patients can present late with significant disease such as bowel cancer as they feared seeing the doctor to discuss the blood in their stools. Sometimes people battle on with depression out of fear of appearing weak or vulnerable to another person. 

People may also fear raising their concerns thinking they will be wasting the doctor’s time and that their concern will be thought trivial and so fear the embarrassment of appearing stupid.

Fear of embarrassment should play no part in raising health concerns with your doctor. Almost certainly what you consider a difficult subject to raise will be something the doctor has dealt with many times before and sometimes multiple times a week.

A non-judgemental approach and complete confidentiality are an essential component of any doctor’s care. So when entering your doctors consulting room, leave aside your inhibitions and raise whatever concern is bothering you without fear of embarrassment.