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Gymnophobia - fear of being naked. Does anyone understand????!!!!

(38 Posts)
panicQ Tue 05-Sep-17 17:46:38

I know this sounds really pathetic but I have an ECG on Friday and I am terrified of being naked on my top half. I know the nurse will be professional and I know they have seen it all before and I know it is totally irrational but I am panicking. This is a massive fear which I have had for a long time. It rears its ugly head at medical appointments where I have to remove my clothes.
Does anyone else have this too? How do you cope?
This is a genuine phobia so please don't put me down.

Primrose06 Tue 05-Sep-17 17:59:40

Hoping all goes well with ecg .
Firstly you need to speak to your dr and get help for thìs. Ok it will not do much good for Friday. Could you phone and explain to the hospital department and perhaps they will be able to partially cover you . I know what is involved so think you need to talk to a nurse and let them be aware and see what can be done to make things as comfortable as possible for you. Getting stressed out will not help your health either.
flowers

panicQ Tue 05-Sep-17 18:04:11

It is at the GP surgery. I have written a note to the nurse which had me shaking just writing it! I can't decide whether to hand it in or not. More fuss will make it harder to try to be calm enough for the ECG reading to be normal!
I wondered about handing it to her when I arrived. At least then it would explain why I am not speaking to her!

Jaytee38 Tue 05-Sep-17 18:14:09

There is no need to be naked from the waist up for this. I just had to pull up my top with bra still on for last one. The one before I wore a vest top that could be adjusted to get stickers on without bother.

panicQ Tue 05-Sep-17 18:16:33

The NHS guidelines say bras need to be removed for accurate readings. I did phone the surgery to ask and they said that I would definitely need to remove my bra and top.

WhoresDoeuvres Tue 05-Sep-17 18:18:36

I don't think anyone enjoys being naked in front of HCPs. Most find it stressful. The best therapy for phobias is exposure: facing the fear. If you avoid it, it gets worse over time.

DamnFineCherryPie Tue 05-Sep-17 18:27:57

I have had ecgs and never removed my bra. Bras do not interfere with the reading at all. Extreme anxiety will make you tachycardic so the ecg wouldn't be of much use really
That doesnt help you of course, I would tell the HCA doing the ecg you will keep your bra on, then work on your issues regarding nakedness with CBT or something.

CaptWentworth Tue 05-Sep-17 18:38:10

If they are saying you have to take your bra off then you will have to do so, but there no reason whatsoever why you have to take your top off. Just lift it up. I cannot think of any reason why they would object to this, and it would make you feel slightly more secure if you wear a long-sleeved top.

AgathaF Tue 05-Sep-17 18:41:34

Wear a loose vest top and leave it on when you take your bra off. It'll be perfectly possible for them to attach the pads with you wearing that. Also, tell them that you'd prefer to keep the vest top on. They can't and won't force you to remove it, and if they know you are nervous and self conscious they will work round that when possible.

mrsRosaPimento Tue 05-Sep-17 18:45:04

Practice meditation. Find a picture you find soothing. Stare at it, notice every detail, imagine your senses as if you were in the picture. Practice this at home, somewhere you feel safe. Use this when you go.
I have panic attacks occasionally, this is what I do.

ElspethFlashman Tue 05-Sep-17 18:48:36

Yeah you definitely don't need to be naked, I've done plenty! If someone is wearing a vest or pyjamas I don't bother asking them to remove it, I just work around it. It means I have to shove my hand down there but if you don't mind, I don't either!

Bras do get in the way though, no question.

panicQ Tue 05-Sep-17 18:50:10

Thanks. I have a video of the sea which I use to try to relax. I will watch it and try to remember it.
Not sure whether to explain or not

museumum Tue 05-Sep-17 18:53:03

Do explain - it might affect the reading. You don't want them to think your heart is racing for any other reason.

And yes, wear a vest.

Titsywoo Tue 05-Sep-17 18:54:24

Wear a crop top instead? It's only the underwires that cause problems.

Margomyhero Tue 05-Sep-17 19:02:21

I haven't had an ECG but I can understand why they feel that bras would be a hindrance.

As PP have said why not wear a vest top/crop top without any wiring or padding. I am sure they can work around that?

Hope it all goes okay.

Neverknowing Tue 05-Sep-17 19:03:56

I have always had to be naked from the waist up for ecgs (and I've had a lot within the last year) and your doctors have reiterated this.
Whenever I've had them though they tell you to take your top and bra off and then lay down on the bed and put some of that large tissue (they use to cover the bed) over you. They leave the room while you do this! They then work around the tissue, they never really see anything or move the tissue. Hope this puts you at ease smile it's also over in seconds!

panicQ Tue 05-Sep-17 19:09:50

Thanks you

Any ideas on conquering the phobia or stopping the panic between now and Friday?

panicQ Tue 05-Sep-17 19:18:58

All the research I have done on overcoming phobias talk about taking small steps (desensitisation). I can't think what small steps there are to take. I also have read that you should think about the worst thing that could happen. eg if you are afraid of heights you might fall. My worst thing is the thing itself, if that makes sense. The worst thing that can happen is that someone sees me naked or touches my naked body. (I can cope with my husband now)

WhoresDoeuvres Tue 05-Sep-17 19:33:08

I think you have to go a step further to work out why being naked is bad, if that makes sense?

Why would it be so bad for an HCP to see you naked for a test? It's something to explore a bit.

mrsRosaPimento Tue 05-Sep-17 20:54:13

In the long term try doing cbt. It will teach you helpful strategies to conquer your anxiety.
Please mention it to the person doing it. Have faith in yourself that you can do this.

ToadsforJustice Tue 05-Sep-17 21:25:20

You really don't have to take your top off. Wear a non-metallic bra - a sports bra would do.

The nurse/HCP cannot force you to remove your clothing. Take control of the consultation. I'm a nurse and I have never removed my bra for an ECG.

panicQ Wed 06-Sep-17 09:26:15

I have written the HCA who is doing the test a letter and just handed it in at the doctors when I went to collect prescriptions. Now I am not sure that I have done the right thing.

DamnFineCherryPie Wed 06-Sep-17 11:15:58

'Now I am not sure that I have done the right thing.'
You have. Not only have I had ecgs with my bra on, but as a HCP I've carried numerous ecgs out. Electrodes do not go on breast tissue, bras actually help as they keep breasts out of the way.
MRIs need bras removed due to the magnets and metal, there is absolutely nothing regarding an ECG that requires bras to be removed.

As I said earlier your phobia is something you need to address with therapy, because obviously there's many medical procedures that require underwear to be removed, ecgs are certainly not one of them.

panicQ Thu 07-Sep-17 13:06:02

Even with a t shirt or camisole on she will touch me as well as see me.

panicQ Thu 07-Sep-17 13:16:10

There are 3 reaction - fight, flight or freeze. I freeze so am unable to speak.

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