White Coat Syndrome


Anytime there's a doctor's appointment looming on the horizon, I get a little worked up. Someone once mentioned "white coat syndrome," which I thought was a load of crap until I saw the white coat enter the room and I felt my blood pressure start to spike.

Is there anyone else who experiences a little anxiety before going to the doctor? And I'm not talking just endocrinologist/diabetes-related appointments. I mean the dentist, the primary care physician, the gynocologist (I realize only half of you can comment on that), the eye doctor ... anyone!

Does "white coat syndrome" affect anyone else but my neurotic self? ;)

(And, unrelated, does anyone want a small gray cat that apparently thinks it's cool to chew on my face in the middle of the night? I'll mail her to your house if you want. Free of charge.)


I always end up feeling like the doc thinks I’m a hypochondriac, and that makes it hard to enter a discussion for me. Or that I’ll forget to askall the questions or bring up anything that was a concern because I’m nervous or be told that I’ve been doing x when I should have been doing y. So yes, I do have that anxiety. Eye doctors are the only ones that I don’t get nervous about, but then I don’t believe anything I do really increases my nearsightedness, and that lack of responsibilty makes all the difference.


Absolutely. The eye doctor is the worst, too. It’s like judgment day.

You’d think it would be easier because we’re there so often. I counted once, and in a year where I don’t get sick and nothing goes wrong, I’m supposed to go to the doctor 10 times. Ugh. That’s more often than I see my family.


I only have the white coat syndrome problem at the OBGYN before the exam. They always take my BP after the exam and its back to normal. Apparently, I dont like people messing with my “hoo ha” unless I know them better. I amcurious what its doing to my BG if its messing with my BP. Stess makes me spike like nobody’s business.

I will have to pass on the kitty. I have a pug at home that sneezes on my face each morning and thinks she is a cat. One weird animal is enough for me right now.


I hear you on that blood pressure bit. My doctors usually take it before the examination and it’s elevated, but once the visit is over, they usually retake it and it’s completely normal.

I think I need to drink less coffee. And potentially take up something that creates a zen-like aura that follows me around like a puppy.


I get it too - same as Laura said, I always feel like he thinks I’m making things up! I know docs deal with some people who don’t know what they’re doing, but do they have to treat ALL of us like that?

I’ve always avoided seeing doctors. My current doc is the nicest I’ve ever met. He listens, he’s good with my son, he asks lots of questions… but he STILL manages to make me feel uncomfortable. Especially now that he’s let on that he thinks I’m ‘over-testing’ my BG and spending too much time on my diabetes (I’m only testing & jabbing & learning about carbs! How completely weird of me lol). Could it be, perhaps, that I just want to look after myself?

The nurse is the worst - she doesn’t even like to give me blood test results. She prefers to give rough answers like “they were fine”, and avoids giving me actual numbers at all cost. I always have to ask her three times!

So with all this going on with every visit, it’s no wonder I get a little wound up. It’s even worse when I hand over the cash after feeling like it was a wasted visit.


I definately suffer from this. The doctor was about to put me on ACE inhibitors to lower my BP but I was not happy about that. I undertook a 24hour BP tracing and the results were very good so I have manged to avoid the BP lowering medication for now. LAst time I was at my GP my BP was up and my pulse was > 100 so basically I was tachicardic - just like the TV hospital programs where everyone in A&E is tachicardic!!! Thankfully the GP just said oh we know you have white coat syndrome. On the cats I already have 10 persians so I’ll pass on anymore cats!


I always feel like I could throw up from nerves no matte who in my family here is going to the doctor. I am a nervous wreck about everything and automatically expect the worst so that when the good news comes, it’s uber-good.
Passive agressive hypochondriac control freak spaz, much?

Oh, and the kitty? Thanks, but i already have one of those in torti! :wink:


Interesting use of the word “looming” to describe the appointment.
I get fretful and worked up for at least a week before the appt. I am afraid some other “body problem” will rear its ugly head.
And, it doesn’t help that my clinic recently switched to giving you the lab results the day of the appt. Granted, it is extremely helpful to be able to discuss them in person, but it was also nice to have that little “ten day cushion” to prepare yourself to see the numbers on paper.
Fortunately my clinic has a nice calming waiting room. The nurses are not very nice.
My bp goes up considerably when I’m in the exam room, but, I’ve been monitoring at home for the last few years so always bring my records for the doc to see. I usually also bring my machine so I can check for accuracy.