Sunday, March 23, 2014

Needle Phobia

Fear of needles is a “specific phobia.” The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-IV) lists a specific phobia as “marked and persistent fear that is excessive or unreasonable, cued by the presence or anticipation of a specific object or situation (e.g. flying, heights, animals, receiving an injection, seeing blood)”.

There are several different phobias which fear of needles can fall under:  
Belonephobia: fear of needles 
Aichmophobia: fear of pointed objects 
Trypanophobia: fear of injections 

No matter what the name, however, needle phobia can cause problems when people avoid receiving medical care because of their fear. Today, the diagnostic process as well as preventive medicine regularly includes both injections and blood testing, both that require needles. One common symptom of needle phobia is vasovagal reflex (fainting and possible loss of consciousness), tachycardia (rapid heart rate or heart palpitations) or hypertension (high blood pressure), even at the thought of having an injection or blood testing. 

How do I know if I have an injection or needle phobia?
  • If you have a marked, persistent, and excessive fear of needles. 
  • If exposure to needles almost invariably provokes in you an immediate anxiety response. 
  • If you recognise this fear is unreasonable. 
  • If needle-sticks are either avoided, or endured by you with intense anxiety or distress. 
  • The avoidance, anxiety or distress significantly interferes with your normal routine, occupational or academic functioning, social activities or relationships, or if there is severe distress about having the phobia.
Getting Treatment for Needle Phobia
Taking that first step toward treatment is not easy, but you can do it. You never have to go faster than you’re ready or do anything that you don’t want to do. Take on your phobia at your own pace through personal therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, clinical hypnotherapy, and other types of psychotherapeutic treatment, and slowly build up to being free from your needle phobia. Getting the help you need to conquer your fear of needles starts with a phone call to us (Psychologist Mr.Koo) now.


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