Trypanophobia refers to the extreme fear of injections or hypodermic needles that many people experience. It is normal to feel some amount of discomfort when it comes to medical procedures involving injections. A trypanophobic however has such an extreme and irrational fear of injections that he/she either avoids any medical treatment or exhibits anxious or avoidance behavior.
It’s one of the more common phobias. Latest estimates suggest it could affect up to 10% of us. Even though it’s so common it wasn’t officially recognised as a phobia in the American Psychiatric Association Diagnostics and Statistical Manual of Mental Health Disorders, 4th Edition (DSM-IV) in 1994 .
The actual definition is: an “extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or needles”. It also goes by the common name of needle phobia.
Children are most affected by this condition. That’s simply explained by the fact they’re not yet used to the sensation of being pricked by a needle. Normally the fear subsides but there are those for whom it doesn’t and the fear of needles intensifies into adulthood.
No one need struggle with Trypanophobia or the fear of injections, there are fantastic treatment programs that really do work and there’s one we particularly recommend:
Trypanophobia – Fear of Injections: Introduction
Although trypanophobia is simply defined as fear of injections, it can appear in several forms.
Vasovagal: People suffering this form of the phobia do not only fear the sight of needles, but also the thought and feeling of needles. This most common needle phobia type is vasovagal reflex action that has been inherited.
Associative: This is the second most commonly seen form among trypanophobics. A person develops the fear of injections either because of a traumatic event that he/she experienced or being witness to the suffering of a friend or family member during a medical procedure.
Resistive: This form of fear for needles occurs when the underlying apprehension is not related to needles alone but also because of repressive upbringing.
Hyperalgesic: People suffering from this form of trypanophobia typically have hypersensitivity to pain that is inherited.
Sometimes, a person suffering from this phobia may experience the symptoms of a vasovagal syncope and fainting when witnessing an injection procedure.
Symptoms of Trypanophobia
Some of the symptoms that a typanophobic exhibits when exposed to injections or needles may include:
- Panic attacks.
- A feeling of dread.
- Increased heartbeat.
- Shortness of breath.
- Extreme avoidance.
The reaction may be automatic or uncontrollable.
Treatment Options for Trypanophobia
Some of the treatment options that have been found to be effective in certain cases of trypanophobia are as flows:
Ethyl chloride spray or other freezing agents can be easily administered, but they provide superficial pain control only.
Jet Injectors make use of a jet of high pressure gas to introduce substances into the sufferer’s body, eliminating the need for administering injections. Moreover, their application is very limited.
Lontophoresis is the process in which an anesthetic driven through the skin with the help of electric current. The anesthesia effect may be good, but it is not available in the market and some consider it to be very inconvenient to use.
EMLA, a topical cream that provides the anesthetic effect when applied, is a eutectic mixture of prilocaine and lidocaine. EMLA has the ability to penetrate more deeply when compared with other ordinary topical anesthetics. It works well for many individuals.
Ametop has been found to be more effective for eliminating pain that may be experienced during venepuncture. It takes about 20 to 30 minutes for the patch to achieve its full anesthetic effect.
Nitrous Oxide (Laughing Gas) provides sedation and reduces anxiety in addition to offering mild analgesic effects.
Inhalation general anesthesia will not only eliminate all pain, but also the memory of the needle procedure. It is often considered as the ultimate solution because it is risky, expensive and hospital stay may be required.
Benzodiazepine medications such as lorazepam or diazepam may be prescribed to help alleviate the symptoms of anxiety in trypanophobics.
Therapy is the best option for curing the actual fear of injections. There are several options:
CBT: Some therapists make use of the cognitive behavioral therapy. In this treatment, the person suffering from the fear of injections is made to confront the source of fear in a systematic as well as gradual progression. When the trypanophobic faces the fear head on, he/she gets accustomed to it and over time realizes that his/her fears were not real.
NLP: Neuro-Linguistic Programming basically combines neurology and linguistics. It results in a kind of programming which aids a change to thinking habits in order to help overcome a fear of injections.
Hypnotherapy: Many therapists favour hypnosis treatment to re-train the automatic response of the subconcious in order to respond rationally to the thought of an injection.
Cure The Fear of Injections
If the mere thought or sight of a needle fills you with panic and dread, if the phobia is so intense that it’s affecting your life and health to the point you will not see a doctor no matter how unwell you feel then it’s time to act! Help is at hand, and it may be easier than you think!
We suggest you check out the Overcome Fear Of Injections self-hypnosis treatment program. It’s a very simple to follow, instant audio download. Put together and narated by experts it can be followed at a time and place convenient to you and repeated as ofetn as required.
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