How do you make them go??

Nurses General Nursing


How do you make someone go to the doctor if they do not believe they are sick?? My friend has had dirt like diarrhea for the past 3 days with no other symptoms. No cramping, vomiting ect. She does not believe that anything is wrong since she feels well. I explained to her the dangers of internal bleeding, ulcers and GI cancers, but she doesnt see the need in "wasting" money when she feels perfectly fine?? Any suggestions? Could she be right and nothing really wrong with her?!?


3,037 Posts

Specializes in Medical.

You can't make anyone who's competent seek medical attention. All you can do, as you have already, is encourage them. I'd be careful harping on about the potential risks too strongly, if I were you - it won't help and may make her more resistant, either because she's already afraid it's something serious or because she doesn't like being pushed.

Specializes in ER; HBOT- lots others.

sometimes you cant do a darn thing until something happens to them and they realize you were right! srry! i would drop it- lay off and let her come to you if she needs to


TheCommuter, BSN, RN

102 Articles; 27,612 Posts

Specializes in Case mgmt., rehab, (CRRN), LTC & psych.

Like the old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink."

No matter how informed you keep your friend, there's nothing you can do to make her seek further medical attention.


68 Posts

It just takes a lot to get some people to the hospital. Shoot, I was a firefighter/EMT for years, now am a nurse, and just last winter I drove two hours home from Tahoe with broken ribs and a bruised kidney.

To each their own.

Specializes in Adult Oncology.

You could try pointing out to her how expensive it might be if she doesn't intervene until it becomes an emergency. ER $> OP clinic visit $. But agree with all others as well. If she wants to ignore what her body is trying to tell her, so be it.

Wise Woman RN

289 Posts

I wonder why she told you about her issues... I would ask her that... and I would offer to go with her and hold her hand... she may be too frightened about what may be happening and put a brave front on... but I wouldn't nag or fuss... I tend to just listen to my friends and tell them I'm there if they need me, but the decision is ultimately theirs... whatever decision is made, I stand with them, no pressure, but lots of support...

Hope everything turns out ok...


198 Posts

it could be she doesnt need to go to the dr. is she going through a lot of stress lately? i suffer from stress induced IBS, the old term spastic colon more precisely describes the problem. you get stressed, parastolsis speeds up... tada diarrea! not everything requires a visit to the dr and some people are more apt to ride things out and see what happens.

llg, PhD, RN

13,469 Posts

Specializes in Nursing Professional Development.

My father was a family practitoner. He always said that only 10% of the patients who came to his offce each day really needed a doctor. The other 90% would get better in a few days all by themselves if they just used some common-sense and over-the-counter products. His primary job was to identify the that 10% and treat them -- and to reassure that other 90% that they were OK.

Now ... Please don't misinterpret my comments. Certainly there are some symptoms that should never be shrugged off. But some diarrhea for a few days might be nothing. If I were in your friend's situation, I wouldn't be going to the doctor yet, either. I'd be giving it a few more days unless there was some special reason to be concerned (e.g. evidence of bleedng, discomfort, etc.)


89 Posts

It could be she is quite scared and frightened deep down. All you can do is use gentle encouragement.

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