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Are you paralyzed by fear? Do you fear all the possible adverse reactions of a medical product but also fear all the potential complications if you don’t accept it? You are not alone! Especially as parents, it is an incredibly difficult decision to accept, delay, or decline a medical product recommended by your healthcare provider. Here’s an exercise to do if you find yourself consumed with fear and anxiety:
- Write down all of your fears either in your phone’s note app or on a piece of paper. If you are a parent, do this together with your child’s other parent. Try to complete this exercise collaboratively. Write down all your concerns regarding this decision.
- Are you afraid of what will happen if you decline a product?
- Are you worried about a potential adverse reaction?
- Are you afraid that your child will be withheld education or employment if you do not accept a certain product?
- Is your fear rooted in fear of a product or fear of a person?
- Are you mostly worried that your healthcare provider will be mad at you?
- Does potential conflict worry you the most?
- Whatever your fears are, write them down! Take your time doing this. Make sure you create an exhaustive list of all fears.
- After writing down all your fears, organize them by their roots. For each fear, ask yourself if that specific fear is rooted in fear of a disease, fear of a product’s potential adverse reaction, fear of how society or a person will respond if they find out your decision, fear of lost opportunities, etc. Dwell in the words of each fear you wrote down to identify where it is rooted. You’ll start to see common themes that you can categorize.
- Once your fears are in categories, prioritize them. Which ones consume your thoughts more? Which ones make you most anxious? Number them from one to however many fears you have.
- Now, convert your list of fears into your research to-do list. Tackle the first fear by researching all you can about that topic. For example, if you are most afraid of a disease, then research:
- The history of the disease
- How it spreads
- What the common symptoms are and
- Recommended treatments if you are exposed to the disease.
- How does western medicine treat it?
- How does complementary or alternative medicine treat it?
- How accessible are those options?
- Write it all down or keep a running list of resources about this disease. Education leads to Empowerment.
- Try to read from all different sources (not just the top three recommended websites on your google search). Don’t worry, I have some recommended resources coming up.
- After you feel you’ve converted your first fear into a well-researched topic, move onto the next and the next until you complete the list. You may find that as you research, new fears will emerge and old fears subside. Continue to update your list as needed.
Do not rush this process. This is how you can properly be informed about any product you accept, delay, or decline. Be educated + Be empowered!