Needle Phobia TreatmentNeedle phobia treatment: An extreme fear of needles is also known as belonephobia. Common with all simple phobias is a distressing level of high anxiety or a panic attack when the sufferer thinks about, sees or comes into close contact with your object of fear. The situation in which a needle is used (e.g. an injection or blood test) can also cause extreme disgust. As a needle phobia sufferer, you know that your emotional responses are irrational, but you are unable to control the symptoms that overwhelm you.
Needle phobia treatment: Confronting avoidanceAvoidance is a common way of coping with a needle phobia and this strategy keeps you safe in the short term. Inevitably, your fear of needles (or the situation that accompanies it) will conflict with other goals like travelling, health changes or external demands from your work situation. This is usually the moment that you contemplate confronting your needle phobia. The period of avoidance can be extensive. Sometimes it can be years before you are ready to challenge your phobia. During this time, your phobia can transform from being a simple phobia into being a complex one. Self-help needle phobia treatment methods can be successful when applied with determination however. Furthermore, when medical professionals know that you have a needle phobia, they will usually do what they can to assist you. They want to ensure that their medical administrations (e.g. a blood test to diagnose your condition) do not “flood” your anxiety and make your situation worse in the long term. Hypnotherapy can be a useful needle phobia treatment method when the situation does not allow for your fears to be dealt with in “chunks”. It can incorporate other research-based methods with rapid results.
Needle phobia treatment: Needle phobia associated situationsIdentifying precisely what you fear is an important part of your needle phobia treatment. Sometimes the fear is related to the specific object i.e. the needle. In the majority of cases, it’s the situation in which the needle is being used and other fears that you bring to the situation that heightens your anxiety and makes the situation so difficult to manage. Other fears can include being disgusted with the sight of blood, coping with pain, a fear of contamination, trusting the medical staff, a fear of fainting and wider issues like coping with embarrassment of panicking in front of strangers. Here’s a comprehensive list of situations commonly associated with a fear of needles:
- A general fear of sharp objects (aichmophobia and enetophobia) including pins, scissors, pens, pencils etc.
- A fear of medical procedures (trypanophobia) including injections, vaccinations (jabs or shots), blood tests, use of local and general anaesthetic etc.
- A fear of dental procedures (dentophobia) including local anaesthetic for fillings.
- A fear of blood (haemophobia) particularly during a blood test.
- A fear of pain (algophobia or algiophobia) cause by the medical procedure.
- A fear of germs or contamination (misophobia) if the needle or the foreign materials entering your body are believed to be infected. This is common with OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).
- A fear of becoming ill (nosophobia) from the procedure or suffering illness from any side effects. This is common with hypochondriasis or health anxiety.
- A fear of death (thanotophobia) where is it believed that something will go catastrophically wrong.
- A fear of injury (traumatophobia) that might necessitate a medical procedure involving an injection.
- A fear of medical staff (iatrophobia) caused by a distrust of doctors.
- A fear of medical establishments (nosocomephobia) such as hospitals, infirmaries, doctor’s surgeries etc.
- A fear of fainting common with needle-blood-injury phobias and a drop in one’s blood pressure.
- A fear of confined spaces (claustrophobia) experienced during medical procedures and where you may have been previously restrained.
- A social phobia (fear of embarrassment); you can feel embarrassed because you are unable to cope with the medical procedure.
- Agoraphobia (fear of open spaces or being unable to escape a situation) when you need an extended medical procedure in a hospital as an in-patient.
- Panic disorder (fear of fear) in which you have numerous fears and phobias, and experiences random panic attacks.
- Coping with disgust. This emotion can be ignored in phobias but often contributes to the distress (nausea) suffered in many phobias like needle-blood-injury phobias. You can then fear feeling disgusted and faint.