Wednesday, June 19, 2024

What Is Fear Of Needles Phobia Called

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Additional Tips For Parents With Children Who Are Fearful Of Needles:

Fear of Needles: Nursing Tips for Patients with Needle Phobia (IV Tips and Tricks)
  • Bring your childs favorite toy or stuffed animal to hold.
  • Bring an iPad or tablet with their favorite movie or TV show to distract them.
  • Play soft calming music.
  • Use comfort positioningsecure hugging holds that help your child feel safe and secure during a medical procedure.
  • You know your child best, so let the staff know if there are special circumstances where its best your child doesnt know what is about to happen.

How To Handle Needle Phobia

Do you get goose bumps every time you need to get vaccinated for the flu, and try to come up with all sorts of excuses to avoid going to the doctor? You might just have a condition called needle phobia.

Anually, 20-23% of the adult population is avoiding needle procedures and even postpone medical treatment due to being afraid of needles.;This puts a large number of people at big health risks, which usually means more blood work in order to compensate.

Most people with needle phobia are told that they should just get over it, so the condition actually has a bad name for not being treated seriously. In fact, it may be considered a serious medical malpractice as it is malpractice to tell a patient suffering from clinical depression to just cheer up.

Medical professionals dont always know how to spot or manage patients with needle phobia, so it is up to everyone to be informed on the techniques to avoid fainting, anxiety or other adverse reactions.

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How Is Aichmophobia Treated

Aichmophobia can usually be treated with psychological treatment such as exposure therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy. In some cases, the individual might need medications that temporarily relieve symptoms of fear and anxiety to cope with fear while they are participating in therapy.

Exposure therapy: Exposure therapy is a common form of psychological treatment used to treat specific phobias. People with phobias usually avoid situations that involve the thing they are afraid of. Because of this, they’re not able to learn that they can manage their fear when presented with their specific phobia or that their feared outcomes often do not happen. Therapists or psychologists use exposure therapy for people who have a phobia to slowly encourage them to enter situations that cause them anxiety and to try to stay in that situation so that they can learn to cope.

If you have aichmophobia and participate in exposure therapy, your therapist or psychologist may begin with talking about and showing you pictures of sharp objects. They may then gradually move on to having you be in a room with sharp objects. Next, they may have you hold a sharp object and then use a sharp object. The process of exposure therapy is slow and gradual. Your therapist or psychologist will tailor the pace of the therapy to your needs.

Why Do Some People Develop Needle Phobia

How to manage your fear of needles

The cause of needle phobia may never be discovered. However, 80% of those affected have a first-degree relative who suffers from the same condition. It may be this is a learned response.

Sometimes, needle phobia may develop following a long period of illness such as treatment for childhood cancer, or witnessing a close relative go through a protracted period of medical care.

There may be genetic differences in peoples perception of pain, meaning some experience far more pain than others being pricked by a needle. Interestingly, needle phobia is more common in monozygotic than in dizygotic twins.

Some have suggested the fear of needles is a primitive response which evolved to help people avoid injuries such as stab wounds, which would have been fatal.;

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Its Time For Professional Help

If you tried all the self-help techniques that youve come across, yet the little hairs on your arms still stand up and you still get dizzy at the mention of needles great job for trying. Seriously, dont be hard on yourself. You did your very best.

But now that none of the self-help tips worked, you have to accept the fact that its time to seek professional help. Dont go into a self-pitying mode and think youre so crazy that you need to see a shrink. Instead, be proud that youre acknowledging that youre human and humans need help at times.

So, what should you expect in your professional treatment? Your doctor might recommend cognitive behavioral therapy the most common method used to help those who struggle with negative thoughts or emotions, like people with anxiety and depression.

CBT puts a spotlight on your present problem and will help you deal with your monstrous fear in highly effective therapy sessions. CBT has always been known to successfully treat many disorders, from panic attacks, to eating disorders, to sleep problems, and, of course, phobias. Give it a try.

Dont beat yourself up for seeking professional help. Doctors are very supportive and will guide you along the road to healing.

Other Causes Of This Phobia

But the phobias they can also be learned by observation , in what is known as vicar conditioning. That is, the person can see how an individual screams when they are going to give him an injection and can develop a strong fear towards the needles.

Other authors affirm that human beings are biologically predisposed to suffer phobias, since fear is an adaptive emotion that has been key to our survival because provokes a fight or flight response . That is why fear has to do with the primitive areas of the brain and develop by primitive and non-cognitive associations. In other words, they are not modifiable by logical arguments.

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Fear Of Needles Phobia: Trypanophobia

The fear of needles is an extreme fear of medical procedures used in injections or hypodermic needles. Younger children can be especially susceptible to fearing needles because they are not used to being pricked by needles and they typically have less body fat. By adulthood, most people are much more accepting of receiving needles.

However, for some people, an extreme fear of needles persists beyond childhood into adulthood.

How To Overcome A Fear Of Needles

What is Trypanophobia? – My struggle with this irrational fear

Elizabeth Yuko

Sometimes it took three nurses to hold me down. This may sound extreme, but it was entirely necessary, as I had a tendency to cry, squirm my way out of my chair and run down the hallway of the pediatric phlebotomy department to escape.

It was the summer between second grade and third grade, and because of complications with the chickenpox virus, I ended up with idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, which meant I needed to get my blood drawn weekly. ITP is a blood disorder characterized by low platelet counts and bruising very easily and can look a lot like leukemia. In order to make sure my counts weren’t veering into dangerous territory, I had a standing weekly appointment for a blood test for an entire summer.

I’m not sure who dreaded these appointments more: me or the nurses tasked with collecting my blood samples. As soon as I’d sit in that hard plastic chair with one elongated armrest, I would transform from a sassy but mild-mannered 7-year-old into a creature from a horror film. I had always been scared of needles, but this time, it wasn’t just a vaccine I was getting in the school nurse’s office. I knew the results of this blood test could mean I was sick enough to have to stay in the hospital overnight.

And strangely, one day, it was. But before I get into what ended up finally working for me, here’s what I learned from speaking to two physicians about trypanophobia a fancy word for the extreme fear of needles.

What causes a fear of needles?


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A fear of needles is actually quite common, says Michael D. McGee, MD, a psychiatrist, and chief medical officer at The Haven at Pismo, a California addiction treatment center. Its been suggested that this fear has a genetic basis and that we all have a fear of sharp objects that pierce our flesh. Getting immunizations as babies and experiencing pain may also be a possible source of fear.

Needle Phobia: Can You Overcome A Fear Of Jabs

Annaleise Pizzimenti was 10 years old when she first realised she was afraid of needles.

She’d felt sick and fainted after a routine meningococcal vaccination. She didn’t really think of this reaction again, until the next time she encountered a needle at the dentist. Again she felt sick, but panic set in as well.


Her fear of needles grew to the point where she avoided medical treatment altogether and fell years behind with her vaccinations.

“I avoided the doctor, particularly if I knew that a blood test or something was involved. I definitely avoided the dentist, I would rarely go, because a lot of the time they’d tell me, ‘you have to have a filling’,” Ms Pizzimenti says.

“As soon as I heard the word ‘filling’ I associated that with getting a needle, and I wouldn’t even go to the appointments anymore. So my teeth were at risk as well.”

Ms Pizzimenti’s story isn’t as uncommon as you might think. While it’s hard to know exactly how many people have needle phobia, some experts say it affects up to 5 per cent of the population.

It’s estimated that one in 10 people have a specific phobia.

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Get Familiar With The Idea Of Needles

Sometimes, gradual exposure to an injection or needle can help a person to overcome their fear because the object has become more familiar to them and the familiarisation isnt paired with such a strong emotional or physical response.

This is essentially a form of exposure therapy and can be done in a controlled environment too, involving being gradually exposed to more intense stimuli over time.

What Can I Do If I Have Aichmophobia

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It can be uncomfortable, but it is important to talk to your healthcare provider if you are experiencing the signs and symptoms of aichmophobia. Therapy can help you overcome your aichmophobia.

If you have already been diagnosed with aichmophobia, there are some things you can do to manage your symptoms and feel well, including:

  • Get enough sleep and exercise.
  • If you are participating in psychological therapy to treat your aichmophobia, be sure to see your therapist regularly.
  • Practice mindfulness activities such as mediation.
  • Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing and yoga.
  • Reach out to family and friends for support.
  • Consider joining a support group for people who have aichmophobia or specific phobias in general.

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Does Distraction Work If I Have A Phobia Of Needles

Yes. Distraction does work. In Rollins review of evidence-based methods for reducing needle phobia, she and her co-author found that children who took advantage of distractions reported significantly less pain while getting shots. Distractions included everything from reading stories to watching videos, listening to music, playing with a toy to holding a comforting object.

For children who are mildly fearful of needles, Rollins advises parents to think in advance about what might help them and involve the child in picking a distraction technique.

Continuing to breathe is important.

I do always teach people with needle phobia simple paced breathing, in to a count of 5 and out to a count of 5, because breath holding during a fear response is really common. Paced breathing can help avoid that vasovagal response some people get, Rollins said.

How Can A Behavioral Health Expert Help Me Overcome My Phobia Of Needles

Rollins uses different types of therapy to help people overcome needle phobia, but most often relies on whats known as behavioral or exposure therapy.

There are different approaches to exposure therapy, but often the exposure is gradual. First, the patient outlines his or her specific fears about needles and ranks them from least to most scary. This is known as setting up a hierarchy of fears.

For some people getting the shot is the scariest thing. For others, the anticipation of getting it is worse, Rollins said.

We start with the least scary thing first then slowly progress our way to the most scary thing, said Rollins, All the while, the patient builds confidence that the fear can be confronted and managed.

The patient might start, for example, by simply looking at pictures of needles or think about going to the doctors office and end with a successful shot or blood draw visit.

The constant exposure decreases anxiety, builds confidence, and changes the way we think, Rollins said.

As were working on the exposure a patient gets, the experience of watching their anxiety start out as a 10 out of a 10 and slowly decrease to maybe a 7 out of 10 or less, is a huge leap from I cant stand this to Oh, I can tolerate this, Rollins said.

There are other therapy approaches that help patients learn relaxation techniques which are then paired with the exposure, Rollins said.

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What Is Trypanophobia Exactly

In layman’s terms, trypanophobia is a fear of needles as they relate to a medical procedures. It’s also classified as an anxiety disorder.

Fear of needles is a “specific phobia,” according to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 5th Edition of the American Psychiatric Association, a guidebook for mental health professionals. “A specific phobia starts as a reasonable, healthy, and evolutionarily advantageous alert that something dangerous may be going on,”Petros Levounis, MD, professor and chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Rutgers New Jersey Medical School and chief of service at University Hospital, tells Health. “However, this initially normal defense mechanism, which is intended to protect the individual from harm, can intensify and eventually cross over to a debilitating psychiatric disorder.”

Trypanophobia can be a problem for a range of medical procedures, including vaccinations, having blood drawn, needing IV fluids, and getting anesthesia.

There’s not a lot of literature on where trypanophobia comes from, but there are some theories that it may be related to a survival instinct that keeps you from wanting to have your body punctured by anything. Fear of the pain and fear of the unknown can also play a role, clinical psychologist John Mayer, PhD, author of Family Fit: Find Your Balance in Life, tells Health. “There is something unknown to you being put into your bodywe are not in control,” he points out, noting that can be terrifying for some.

What Questions Should I Ask My Doctor

Needle Pain and Phobia. How to avoid fear of needles and vaccines by Dr. Andrea Furlan MD PhD

Talking about your mental health can be uncomfortable and scary. Your mental health is just as important as your physical health, so its important to talk to your healthcare provider about your symptoms. The following questions may be helpful to ask your healthcare provider if you have aichmophobia:

  • What kind of treatment do you recommend?
  • Should I see a therapist, psychologist and/or psychiatrist?
  • Do you have any recommendations for psychologists, psychiatrists or therapists that I could see?
  • How long will treatment take?
  • Do you know of any support groups for aichmophobia or phobias in general?
  • Do you have any learning resources on aichmophobia I could use?

A note from Cleveland Clinic

If you have aichmophobia, know that you are not alone. Many people all over the world have a phobia. Although it can be difficult and scary, it is important to talk to your healthcare provider and seek treatment for your phobia. Aichmophobia can make you uncomfortable around everyday objects like scissors and kitchen knives that you might commonly find in work, home and school environments. It could also prevent you from getting important medical care like getting shots, critical treatments and necessary blood draws. Everyone deserves to have a high quality of life. The sooner you seek help, the sooner you will feel better.

Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 08/24/2021.


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How Fear Of Needles Starts

Let’s be honest. Nobody particularly enjoys getting shots.

But for some people, just thinking about needles can trigger a reaction that’s more serious than momentary discomfort. Full-blown needle phobia can induce extreme anxiety to the tune of dizziness, nausea, chest pain and a racing heart.

Worse, it can keep people from getting important vaccines or going to the doctor altogether.

Dr. Timothy Hendrix, medical director of AdventHealth Centra Care Urgent Care, says being afraid of a shot is normal.

“Most people who I’ve encountered don’t like needles,” he said. “Some have a fear that prevents them from getting immunized, which can affect their long-term health.”

Grace-Ann Sutherland, MSN, an AdventHealth nurse practitioner, said she’s seen that fear prevent patients from getting shots and lab tests.

“I’ve seen people pass out,” she says. “It’s a real fear.”

A new study out of Atlanta shows that in teens, fear of needles may correspond with the number of vaccine injections they received in a single doctor visit as young children . The more shots they got in one sitting, the more severe their fear became.

Receiving several shots at once can be especially difficult for children, says Sutherland, the nurse practitioner.

Her own son developed an intense fear of needles that persisted into adulthood after receiving four immunizations at one time as a boy.

Dr. Hendrix notes there may be a trade-off between spreading out vaccinations and missing an opportunity.

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