“You’ll Never Know Unless You Go”: Talking Sense Into A Reluctant Patient
One of the most common tropes in TV drama is the strong, silent type who, despite being in obvious discomfort, doesn’t look for help. You know the characters. If someone can even get them to admit they’re hurt or unwell, they’ll still refuse to see a doctor. “I’d sooner take my chances here than talk to one of those so-called doctors,” they’ll say.
The character may be exaggerated, and people might not use those exact words. But there are plenty of people who do behave like that. No matter how impaired they may be, they will insist they don’t need medical help. And there may be many reasons why this is the case.
Reason #1: They’re Actually Scared
When someone feels fear and doesn’t want to admit it, it can manifest itself in different ways including aggression. Raising the idea of seeking medical help will get the withering reaction described above. Most likely, what they are feeling deep down is: “What if I go to the doctor, and they tell me something I don’t want to hear?”
Wilfully avoiding anyone who might tell you you’re seriously ill might be a way of not having to confront it. But all this does is delay knowing one way or the other. As such, it will delay treatment if needed (http://www.worldcancerday.org/early-detection), and relief if it is not.
Reason #2: They Don’t Want To Worry You
People who are ill have the seeming ability to delude themselves (and only themselves) that they can hide it well. The “brave face” many of us put on when unwell may look one way in our minds. To the people seeing it, it’s a lot more like a thin grimace. And so when we say to them “Are you sure you don’t want to see a doctor?”, they’ll say “Of course not, I’m fine.”
Someone saying they are fine when they clearly aren’t may be trying not to worry you. It will have precisely the opposite effect.
Reason #3: They Have Money Worries
People fear falling ill because they know that a lengthy stay in a hospital could cost them a lot of money. They will balance how bad they feel against how much it may cost. If you don’t have good insurance, then you could find you’re not covered for the illness that puts you in there. Then there are prescription costs to be covered. Medication that may be necessary could be beyond their means.
A service such as NationwidePrescriptionConnection.com can make all the difference here. Putting a friend or family member in touch with an organization that can bring down their prescription costs may be tricky. It’s worth raising the issue once and then letting it die down. This will give them time to think about the situation from another angle.
Of course, someone saying they are fine isn’t always going to be elaborately bluffing you. Sometimes, they will be absolutely fine. Even so, letting them know they can be honest about anything that is worrying them may work out for the best in the long run. Anything that removes the need they feel to keep it quiet is always welcome.