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7 Tips to Overcome Fear of Being Injected With a Big Needle

I enjoy writing about experiences from my own life so that my tips may help others.

Do You Have a Big Needle Fear?

Fear of needles is one of the most common phobias people deal with on a daily basis, and although it may seem harmless, it can make even the simplest medical procedures incredibly stressful and difficult.

The fear itself is called fear of needles or trypanophobia. Here are some signs you may have a fear of needles

  1. If someone says they’re going to give you an injection, do your palms sweat?
  2. Do you avoid going to doctors?
  3. Does just thinking about getting a shot make your heart race and your hands shake?

If so, then it’s likely that you have a fear of needles.

In fact, according to several studies, as many as 40% of people feel anxious when they think about injections. For some people with extreme needle phobia (trypanophobia), even seeing a big needle can trigger severe anxiety symptoms. In fact, one study found that 33% of people with trypanophobia reported feeling nauseous or lightheaded upon sight of a needle—even if they weren’t in pain at all!

Finding ways to overcome your fear of needles will make you feel more calm, and in control.

Finding ways to overcome your fear of needles will make you feel more calm, and in control.

7 Tips to Overcome Your Fear

If you’re afraid of big needles, you probably already know that facing up to this fear head-on isn’t easy, but by following these seven steps, you can overcome your anxiety and be able to face more procedures in the future with confidence:

1) Use Relaxation Techniques

A mixture of deep breathing, muscle relaxation and visualization techniques are proven to help with needle fear. Whether you’re a medical professional or getting your child vaccinated, it’s important to go into vaccination appointments as relaxed as possible. These tips will help you achieve that goal.

2) Talk To A Doctor

There are several different techniques that can help you get over your fear, or at least control it enough so that you can make an informed decision when faced with a needle. But first, see if there is any way for you to take a peak under what is about to happen: ask your doctor if he/she would allow you to watch them administer a vaccination, so you have an idea of what’s going on. Explain to him that the sight of a big needle frightens you. It may help to see the needle being injected into somebody else rather than yourself, so that you can deal with the visual aspect of it first.

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3) Get Professional Shots

Some people are so afraid of being injected by a big needle that they avoid getting shots altogether. If you’re among them, or would just prefer not to see a doctor when one is required, make an appointment with a local phlebotomist (people who specialize in drawing blood). They can draw blood from your arm or hand—eliminating the fear of seeing a real doctor. Plus, you’ll be able to schedule regular appointments with them and find relief on a regular basis.

4) Bring Distractions

If you’re a fan of music, make sure you have your phone handy, loaded with your favorite songs. Even if you don't, bringing something that requires just a bit of brain activity can help keep your mind off what’s about to happen. For example, if you need an IV, bring along a magazine or book to read as it gets hooked up. By distracting yourself from the main event, your brain can instead focus on something calming and relaxing rather than the thought of the needle itself.

5) Practice Before The Shot

The best way to overcome your fear of needles is to become as familiar with them as possible. This means going in for shots that require smaller needles, like vaccinations or blood draws, before you have an MRI, which requires a much larger dose of anesthetic and a big needle. With time, your body will learn that there’s nothing harmful about needles and you’ll feel more comfortable each time one is presented.

6) Try Acupuncture

Acupuncture is an effective way to reduce stress. It also increases blood flow and helps release endorphins, feel good hormones that help you relax. Try acupuncture if you have a fear of needles. Begin by explaining to your acupuncturist that you have concerns about trying the procedure and they will most likely explain the process to you in a calm and informative way. By understanding the benefits of acupuncture you may become more willing to give it a try; it should boost your overall health and wellness and improve your approach to receiving needles.

7) Reward Yourself

Each time you are able to overcome your fear of getting a big needle by receiving a vaccination or other immunization, reward yourself. Take yourself out for lunch, see a movie, or do something that makes you feel good. Use positive self-talk and remind yourself that being vaccinated is important for your health, which is why you were able to get through it.

How to Deal with Needle Phobia

There is a huge range of needle phobia treatments available today. A lot of it has to do with finding what works best for you, but no matter what solution you pursue, it’s important that you first talk with your physician about what treatment is best for you. This way, he or she can provide guidance and support as you work toward overcoming your fear of big needles.

Sources

Overcoming a Fear of Needles - HelpGuide

Trypanophobia (Fear of Needles) - Cleveland Clinic

This content is for informational purposes only and does not substitute for formal and individualized diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed medical professional. Do not stop or alter your current course of treatment. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2022 Louise

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