Nosocomephobia is not your everyday, run-of-the-mill fear of doctors and medical environments, and is surprisingly, a lot more common than you might think. For people with this phobia, hospitals are an absolute terror and they do everything within their power to avoid going to one, even if they’re suffering from a life-threatening condition. Some are afraid of the actual building, and some are afraid of the idea it is associated with. Whatever the case, hospitals are a source of discomfort for these people. However, in this day and age avoiding a hospital is not smart. Of course, it is not up to nosocomophobes what they are afraid of, which is exactly why it is important to get help if you feel you may be affected by this phobia.


  • Avoidance of hospitals.
  • Physical symptoms when visiting a hospital (sweating, nausea, elevated heart rate)
  • Panic attacks at the sight of a hospital.
  • Obsessive worrying over medical visits.


  • In cases where the actual building or setting causes anxiety, choosing another hospital may help. This is also why many hospitals adopt lighter, more soothing colours and lights for their designs.
  • Exposure therapy, used mostly to treat anxiety disorders. The patient is exposed to their stressor little by little to desensitize them to it. In this case, the patient may be encouraged to visit the hospital for small periods many times until they are comfortable with it.
  • Cognitive behavourial therapy is a most common method of treating phobias, in which a therapist talks with the patient in order to nudge them towards a thought process that will eventually make them healthier. The roots of the fear are investigated, and based on that, a solution is formulated.
  • Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction is another method that can be used. It is an intensive meditation therapy program lasting 8 weeks. It is aimed at reducing anxiety and promoting peace of mind.

When to see a professional?

If the thought of going to a hospital even when you’re extremely sick generates such anxiety that you avoid it altogether, it is certainly a problem. If such an issue continues for more than six months, perhaps consulting a therapist would be a good idea.