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Trypanophobia Phobia or Fear of Needles or Injections

Fear of injections is a persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear and each year this surprisingly common phobia causes countless people needless distress. Many people who are already in this distressing condition, fear that therapies to cure such a condition, takes months or years and sometimes even requires the patient to be exposed repeatedly to their fear. We believe that not only is this theory totally wrong but it will lead to more fear in the minds of the people and often make their condition worse. And it is totally true that fear of the needle or fear of injections can be eliminated with the right methods Known by a number of names – Trypanophobia, Fear of Injections, and Fear of Needles being the most common – the problem has a great impact on the life of the people who need injections to lead a better quality of life or even to survive in a few other cases. The fear of a needle often significantly impacts the quality of life. It can cause panic attacks on seeing a needle and keep people away from their loved ones and business associates. Symptoms typically include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, and overall feelings of fear and dread.

Although everyone experiences injections fear in their own way but to deal with it is a matter of life and death for some. If you are living with the fear of the needle then what is the real cost to your health, your career or school/college and to your family life? Avoiding this issue indefinitely would mean that you are resigning yourself to living in fear, missing out on the priceless life experiences whether big or small, and also compromising by living a life that is just a shadow of what it will be when the problem is gone.

Regardless of the scale of your trypanophobia, it is possible to overcome your phobia and return to normal. As with a lot of phobias, you can use processes such as cognitive behavior therapy to help to reduce your fear of needles. You’ll have a number of sessions with the therapist and the procedure will be to talk through your phobia – a bit like talking to your shrink – until the fear subsides. It has been shown to get good results and if your fear is extreme then it’s well worth exploring.

For the remainder of the approximately one in ten people (including both Snoop Dogg and Alice Cooper) who experience fear of needles to some degree or other, there are other options that work to varying degrees. Dentists are one place where we regularly confront needles. It is worth talking through your fear with your dentist – they are perfectly used to this – and exploring alternatives to injections if you need to have your gums numbed before a filling or tooth extraction. This gives you time to work on your phobia at your own pace whilst also keeping your teeth in pristine condition.

The reason you’re worried is almost certainly rational – it’s not a normal thing for humans to be jabbed with a sharp object – but the benefits that can be gained from injections should outweigh the fear. They can protect you from harm by inoculating you against various diseases as well as protect you from pain.

Types of Trypanophobia

Since trypanophobia is broadly classified as a fear of injections, there are actually four forms of this fear of injections.

1. Vaso-Vagal Trypanophobia

A majority of the trypanophobes are classified under vaso-vagal. These are the people who have a fear of feeling, seeing or even thinking about needle-like objects. There are several changes that can occur because this fear of injections. Normally, the physical effects that they experience their blood pressure decrease or fainting. Physiological changes include panic attacks, sweating, nausea, ringing in their ears, feeling faint or turning pale at the moment that they are injected.

The dangerous thing about this is the fact that it can actually kill a person. This is because it can greatly and directly affect your heart rate and blood pressure which can cause severe shock leading to death.

2. Associative Trypanophobia

This type of fear of injections is the next most common trypanophobia. The needle phobes affected by this type is around 30%, while Vaso-Vagal trypanophobes are averaging about 50%. This is cause by a traumatic experience with a needle, directly or indirectly involving the trypanophobe. It could have occurred during a medical procedure that was extremely painful, or by witnessing someone who went through a painful event dealing with injections. Associative trypanophobia is more of a psychological illness than physiological. The person classified under this type of fear of injections is more likely to feel anxiety and panic attacks. There are instances where they can be preoccupied with upcoming procedures dealing with getting injected, even leading to insomnia.

3. Resistive and Hyperalgesic Trypanophobia

These last two types of fear of injections take up the rest of the 30% of needle phobes, with resistive trypanophobia at 20% and hyperalgesic at 10%.

Resistive trypanophobia involves fear of injections but also being restrained or controlled. This normally comes from poor handling of needle procedures or repressive upbringing with forced restraint. Someone who has been deemed “hysterical” might experience this if they have to be handled in a forceful manner by being given a sedative via syringe.

Hyperalgesic is the fear of injections that does not really involve faring the actual needle. A person with this fear has probably inherited hyperalgesia which is extreme sensitivity to pain. The thought of getting an injection is extremely unbearable to them, let alone experiencing it.

4. Through Hypnosis

Overcoming fear like this is one accomplishment and with the option of hypnosis, one should be able to get over the fear of injections. The process of hypnosis is by changing the way one is thinking and relaxation means to provide the necessary solution.