Phobia of Needles

Phobia of Needles

Do you have a fear of needles, and does it compel you to avoid injections and syringes? This Buzzle article provides information about this phobia, including the indicative signs and symptoms.
PsycholoGenie Staff
Have you got agitated or nervous at the sight of an injection, or the mere mention of a syringe? If yes, then you are not the only one going crazy about such a simple matter. There are over 10% people around the world who suffer from such a fear of needles.

The general fear of sharply pointed objects is termed belonephobia, enetophobia or aichmophobia. The medical term trypanophobia, is rarely used, and refers to an extreme and irrational fear of all the medical procedures that involve use of syringes, injections, and even hypodermic needles.

Causes

This fear generally develops during childhood, and gets aggravated in the later stages of life. An unpleasant experience involving the pushing of a syringe into the skin, may lead to a fear. Some people fear that they may feel immense pain on being injected with a syringe. Many people or children do not learn to bear pain, and therefore will try to avoid the medical environment.

Symptoms

The signs and symptoms include anxiety attacks on hearing or thinking about injections and needles. One may even suffer from an increased heart rate, trembling, feeling of sickness, dry mouth, sweating, fainting spells, or rapid breathing.

Getting Over It

There are several ways to overcome the fear of injections and needles. Inform the doctor or nurse, beforehand, about your phobia. The doctor may use a topical antiseptic cream called Electric Mixture of Local Anesthetics (EMLA). It contains lidocaine and prilocaine, and should be applied one hour before taking an injection. It is available only as a prescription cream in US and Canada. It helps in reducing the sensation of a needle going through the skin, and works for people whose fear is triggered by this sensation. However, this method may not be effective for people with an acute sensitivity to pain.

Another treatment option is the use of antianxiety medication like diazepam, before giving an injection. It may be used in combination with nitrous oxide (laughing gas). The easiest treatment for needle phobia is the application of ice onto the skin part where the needle is to be inserted.

The key treatment lies in overcoming your fears, and believing that nothing wrong is going to happen. Self-belief, and removal of the mental block is necessary for complete cure. Self hypnosis sessions to overcome the fear of needles, may also be recommended.

You need to be aware that the fear is just in your mind, and needles will not harm you. You may fall into grave situations if you refuse to take vaccinations, or lifesaving injections.

Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.