MRI Imaging, Claustrophobia, and Stress Management
- Posted on: Sep 30 2017
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One of the concerns that patients may have about an upcoming MRI test is that they will feel severely anxious due to claustrophobia. This intense fear of confined or dark spaces is quite common, and may not be realized until a trigger situation occurs. An MRI may be just that trigger. The anxiety surrounding MRI testing may be exacerbated by individuals all-too-willing to feed fears with horror stories of needing to lie perfectly still in a small tube.
We are not here to add fuel to the fire. We intend to provide our clients with the information they need to enable them to undergo necessary screenings without a great deal of stress. Medical personnel understands the fears that a large percentage of patients have related to certain types of imaging, including MRI. Newer technologies are helping healthcare providers meet their need for diagnostics while also meeting patients’ needs for comfort. In addition to new medical technology, MRI screenings may be easier with a few straightforward strategies.
- Discussion about fears is worth feeling vulnerable. There is no shame in telling a doctor or technologist that you feel frightened. Sometimes, just knowing that a supportive, trained provider is within reach does wonder for stress-reduction.
- Plan for an MRI by practicing visualization. During an MRI screening, anxiety may be alleviated by imagining being in a relaxing place, or by remembering a pleasant memory. The more visualization is practiced, the better relaxation can be obtained during periods of stress.
- Positive self-talk is a strategy to relieve anxiety. This could be as simple as telling yourself that nothing bad is going to happen; that you are safe, and that screening will be over quickly.
- Breathing techniques also slow the adrenaline drip that originates with the sense of impending danger. The symptoms of panic, such as a fast heart rate, reduce over just a few minutes. Breathing is better and calm.
Your comfort is a priority to us. If you have claustrophobia, anxiety, or PTSD and you need an MRI or other imaging tests, please do not hesitate to contact us before your scheduled appointment. Call our Houston or Humble office for friendly service.
Posted in: MRI