At least 20% of the adult population has a fear of injections to some degree. But the good news is there are ways to overcome it.
Trypanophobia is an intense fear of medical procedures that involve injections and needles. Symptoms include anxiety, dizziness, fainting, and a racing heart.
Maybe a loved one was scared of injections or have negative childhood memories. Some people also have a vasovagal reflex with needles, which causes a drop in blood pressure.
Read on to learn how to overcome a fear of injections!
1. Tell Healthcare Providers
Tell any healthcare provider who gives you injections that you have a fear of needles. There is no shame in it, and they can help. For example, they may have you sit back comfortably, apply numbing cream, or distract you.
They can also talk you through the injection process. They may also offer solutions, such as an ultrasound guided injection. These injections are performed more accurately and are less painful.
2. Learn Relaxation Techniques
If you experience panic, you can try breathing techniques to relax. Controlling your breathing calms your nervous system. Sit comfortably and place a hand on your stomach to check you are breathing deeply.
There are different techniques to try, but one is the 4 7 8 technique. You breathe in for four seconds, hold for seven, and then out for eight. Repeat several times.
Visualization techniques can also relax you, such as picturing yourself at the beach. Some people benefit from distractions to relax, such as listening to music.
3. Use Applied Tension
If you faint when you get an injection, naturally, you will be nervous about having one again. And so, the cycle continues. Applied tension helps you increase blood pressure back to normal levels.
Sit comfortably. Then, tense your arms, legs, and upper body for 10 to 15 seconds. Or until you feel warmth in your face.
Release tension. After 30 seconds, as your body returns to a normal state, repeat the sequence. You can do it for five rounds and practice several times before your needle appointment.
Once you have practiced techniques, you can start exposing yourself to the situations!
You can create a fear ladder, where you rate all the situations with needles related to your fear. Rate your distress, so the scariest situations, such as having the injection, are rated 10/10. Maybe thinking about having an injection is at the bottom of the ladder, so 4/10, and viewing photos of needles is 6/10.
You can take some exposure therapy steps yourself, such as the fear ladder. However, professional assistance with help, especially if your fear of shots is intense.
Exposure therapy uses techniques such as systematic desensitization. Over time it helps you tolerate needles. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) helps you recognize triggers and change thoughts about needles.
Overcome a Fear of Injections
Fear of injections is challenging and can get in the way of having crucial medical care. However, the good news is you can take action! Follow these steps to help overcome trypanophobia.
Professional support will also suggest management methods, such as medications. Overcoming the fear of needles is possible; you can do it.
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