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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5809
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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I was abused as a child by a doctor (also a relative). Now

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I was abused as a child by a doctor (also a relative). Now going to the doctor terrifies me. Especially the urologist, but it's necessary due to a disability I have. My question is, how do I get around my fear of being touched? Touch of any kind, anywhere, is traumatic for me.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

Hi, I'd like to help you with your question.


It is very understandable that you would feel fearful of seeing a doctor after the abuse you suffered through. You are having a very natural reaction to what happened to you.


You learned from your abuse that when the doctor that abused you touched you, it was to hurt you. Your mind associated the doctor/relative with danger so now when you try to see a doctor for physical issues, your mind tries to protect you by telling you that you are in danger when you see a doctor. It is called a learned reaction and it is very common. Because of your abuse, it would almost be unusual if you did not feel afraid when seeing a doctor.


There are two things you can do right now to help yourself. One is to see a therapist. A therapist can help you by doing a full evaluation and determining what your diagnosis would be, most likely PTSD or an anxiety related diagnosis. If you are diagnosed with an anxiety disorder, the good news is that they are highly curable. Within a few sessions most people start to notice improvement.


Also, desensitizing you to visiting the doctor's should be part of your treatment. In slow steps, the therapist can help you re learn to see a doctor as non threatening and help you reduce or eliminate the fear you feel seeing a doctor. You can learn to see only the doctor who abused you as dangerous and not associate this fear with other doctors.


Is it possible to take someone with you when seeing the doctor? If that helps your anxiety, consider taking a trusted friend or family member with you until you get treatment and start to feel better.


To find a therapist, you can either check with your pastor if you attend church or you can search on line at


You can also help yourself. There are numerous resources for you to work with at home and learn techniques you can use right away. Here are some resources I recommend to get you started:


Coping with Anxiety: 10 Simple Ways to Relieve Anxiety, Fear & Worry by Edmund J. Bourne and Lorna Garano


REPAIR Your Life: A Program for Recovery from Incest & Childhood Sexual Abuse by Marjorie McKinnon and Marcie Taylor


The PTSD Workbook: Simple, Effective Techniques for Overcoming Traumatic Stress Symptoms by Mary Beth Williams and Soili Poijula


You can find these books on or your local library may have them for you.


I hope this has helped you,

TherapistMarryAnn and other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  TherapistMarryAnn replied 6 years ago.

I haven't heard back from you. Did you have any further questions or want clarification?