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Mind & Mood
Tips to cope with medical test anxiety
Here are some ways to push past the fear and take control of your health.
- By Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter
It’s normal to be apprehensive about having a medical test, particularly one that can cause discomfort or pose some other risk. Even a simple blood test involves a moment of discomfort. Some people faint at the sight of the approaching needle; this intense fear of needles is called trypanophobia, and it leads some people to avoid blood tests, medication infusions, or vaccinations.
Some people worry about getting other medical tests, such as x-rays and CT scans, because they involve exposure to radiation. And being moved into the cramped confines of an MRI machine can spark panic for someone with claustrophobia (fear of being inside an enclosed space).
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About the Author
Heidi Godman, Executive Editor, Harvard Health Letter
As a service to our readers, Harvard Health Publishing provides access to our library of archived content. Please note the date of last review or update on all articles.
No content on this site, regardless of date, should ever be used as a substitute for direct medical advice from your doctor or other qualified clinician.
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