Fear of Needles Hypnosis Cure
Fear of needles is the extreme and irrational fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles. It is occasionally referred to as aichmophobia, belonephobia, or enetophobia, names that are technically incorrect because they simply denote a “fear of pins/needles” and do not refer to the medical aspect of fear of needles. Fear of needles is a term that is rarely used among medical professionals. In the United States National Library of Medicine database of medical journal articles, the term "trypanophobia" cannot be found, although the database contains several journal articles referencing needle phobia. The name that is in common usage is simply needle phobia.
Overview and incidence
The condition was officially recognized in 1994 in the DSM-IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, 4th edition) as a specific phobia of blood/injection/injury type. Phobic level responses to injections cause sufferers to avoid inoculations, blood tests, and in the more severe cases, all medical care.
It is estimated that at least 10% of American adults are trypanophobic, and it is likely that the actual number is larger, as the most severe cases are never documented due to the tendency of the sufferer to simply avoid all medical treatment.
Although fear of needles is defined simply as an extreme fear of medically related shots/injections, it appears in several varieties.
Although most specific phobias stem from the individuals themselves, the most common type of fear of needles, affecting 50% of trypanophobes, is an inherited vasovagal reflex reaction. Approximately 80% of trypanophobes report that a relative within the first degree exhibits the same disorder. People who suffer from vasovagal fear of needles fear the sight, thought, or feeling of needles or needle-like objects. The primary symptom of vasovagal fear of needles is vasovagal syncope, or fainting due to a decrease of blood pressure.
Many people who suffer from fainting during needle procedures report no conscious fear of the needle procedure itself, but a great fear of the vasovagal syncope reaction. A study in the medical journal Circulation concluded that in many patients with this condition (as well as patients with the broader range of blood/injury phobias), an initial episode of vasovagal syncope during a needle procedure may be the primary cause of needle phobia rather than any basic fear of needles. These findings reverse the more commonly-held beliefs about the cause and effect pattern of needle phobics with vasovagal syncope.
The physiological changes associated with this type of fear of needles also include feeling faint, sweating, nausea, pallor, tinnitus, panic attacks, and initially high blood pressure and heart rate followed by a plunge in both at the moment of injection.
Although most phobias are dangerous to some degree, fear of needles is one of the few that actually kills. In cases of severe fear of needles, the drop in blood pressure caused by the vasovagal shock reflex may cause death. In Dr. Hamilton's 1995 review article on needle phobia, he was able to document 23 deaths as a direct result of vasovagal shock during a needle procedure. The best treatment strategy for this type of fear of needles has historically been desensitization or the progressive exposure of the patient to gradually more frightening stimuli, allowing them to become desensitized to the stimulus that triggers the phobic response. In recent years, a technique known as "applied tension" has become increasingly accepted as an often effective means for maintaining blood pressure to avoid the unpleasant, and sometimes dangerous, aspects of the vasovagal reaction.
Associative fear of needles is the second most common type, affecting 30% of needle phobics. This type of fear of needles is the classic specific phobia in which a traumatic event such as an extremely painful medical procedure or witnessing a family member or friend undergo such, causes the patient to associate all procedures involving needles with the original negative experience.
This form of fear of needles causes symptoms that are primarily psychological in nature, such as extreme unexplained anxiety, insomnia, preoccupation with the coming procedure and panic attacks.
Treatments that are effective for this form of fear of needles include cognitive therapy, hypnosis, and/or the administration of anti-anxiety medications.
Resistive fear of needles occurs when the underlying fear involves not simply needles or injections but also being controlled or restrained. It typically stems from repressive upbringing or poor handling of prior needle procedures i.e. with forced physical or emotional restraint. This form of fear of needles affects around 20% of needle phobes. Symptoms of this form of fear of needles include combativeness, high heart rate coupled with extremely high blood pressure, violent resistance, avoidance and flight.
The suggested treatment for this form of fear of needles is psychotherapy, teaching the patient self-injection techniques or finding a trusted health care provider.
Hyperalgesic fear of needles is another form that does not have as much to do with fear of the actual needle. Patients with this form of fear of needles have an inherited hypersensitivity to pain, or hyperalgesia. To them, the pain of an injection is unbearably great and many cannot understand how anyone can tolerate such procedures. This form of fear of needles affects around 10% of needle phobes. The symptoms of this form of fear of needles include extreme explained anxiety, and elevated blood pressure and heart rate at the immediate point of needle penetration or seconds before. The recommended forms of treatment for this type of fear of needles include some form of anesthesia, either topical or general.
I regularly work with people that have a fear of needles. All medically diagnosed problems require a doctors referral.