Oh, Dear: Encouraging Your Partner to See a Doctor
Do your pleas for a loved one to see a doctor fall on deaf ears?
Early diagnosis and ongoing care can prevent or make it easier to manage many health conditions. Unfortunately, denial and fear can make many people reluctant to see the doctor.
We want our loved ones to feel good and be healthy, but sometimes they confuse our expression of concern with nagging.
Try these tips to encourage a partner or other loved one to see a doctor:
When tempted to nag, don't.
Take a break, do something positive for yourself. You can come back to the issue when you can approach it in a more productive way.
Help eliminate obstacles.
Consider any roadblocks that may inhibit your loved one from choosing to seek health care. Is there anything you can clear out of the path to the doctor? Perhaps there are scheduling issues or transportation issues you can clear up. Perhaps there is concern about co-pays. You could perhaps forgo an optional luxury like eating out and dedicate the saved money to the expense.
Speak your truth with caring (not angry!) energy.
Let this person know the bottom line: “I love you and want good things for you.” That message will go far.
Battling for control will work against you.
Allying with their healthy side that wants to live well and live long will go farther than fighting against their unhealthy side.
Look at the situation from their perspective.
Understanding their pain will help you curb your emotions and reach an understanding.
Model healthy choices.
Don’t forget to take care of yourself. Visiting the doctor when you should will help others choose to be healthier and take care of themselves.
If your loved one has a chronic disease, become familiar with what the condition requires and what the realistic needs are.
Alice Cook, PhD
Areas of Interest: Forensic Psychology, Health/Wellness/Weight Management Psychotherapy
Learn more about Dr. Alice Cook