crop nurse with syringe ready to vaccinate patients

Fear of Needles and Tips to Overcome It

If you have a fear of needles, you might be anxious about getting vaccinated. There’s nothing to be ashamed of as it is a common phobia and affects at least one in 10 people. Eventually, you’ll have to face your fear and these simple exercises and practices can help you overcome trypanophobia.

What is Trypanophobia?

Healthline describes trypanophobia as “an extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles.” Children are more likely to have a fear of needles because this is a new sensation for them. Conversely, this phobia among adults usually stems from a bad experience earlier in life or a low tolerance for pain.

Fear of Needles and Tips to Overcome It
Photo by Amornthep Srina on

Signs You Have Trypanophobia

These are the common symptoms among those with a fear of needles.

  • Fainting or feeling faint at the mere thought of an injection
  • Heart rate and blood pressure increase, followed by a sudden drop
  • Anxiety or panic attacks
  • Avoidance of medical care

Tips to Overcome Trypanophobia

Take Medication

Dr. Trung Tristan Truong of Memorial Care suggests taking anti-anxiety medications to cope with the fear. If it’s the physical pain that scares them, apply numbing cream or gels on the area to be injected beforehand.

Do Breathing Exercises

Find a comfortable spot to sit in and practice this breathing exercise. With your back upright and your shoulders and jaw relaxed, take deep and long inhales and exhales. Focus on nothing but your breath as you let the air in through your nose and out through your mouth.

Find a Distraction

Sitting in a room as you wait for your turn may make you feel panicky. Read a book, listen to music, or watch a movie to distract you from thinking about needles. It also helps to think about the last time you got injected and how you were able to handle the procedure.

Talk to your Healthcare Worker

Remember that you are not the only one with this fear. Healthcare workers are professionals who deal with situations like these on the regular, so talk to them before taking your shot. Let them know about your worries.

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Photo by CDC on Unsplash

Facing your fear is easier said than done, but these tips will help you get through the process with less stress and anxiety. It’s important to get vaccinated to prevent catching any viruses and reduces the risk of spreading the disease to others.

READ: How soon can you get vaccinated? This PH-made “queue calculator” tells you

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