If you’re afraid of needles, there’s no need to be ashamed of it. In fact, psychologists have included the fear of needles in the list of official phobias, referring to it as trypanophobia.
However, it’s important that you overcome your needle phobia. If you don’t, it might grow to a point that you’ll avoid seeking medical treatment, for example, platelet-rich plasma (PRP) injections in East Stroudsburg, PA. And when that happens your health might deteriorate.
Fortunately, there are ways to manage your fear of needles. If you want to conquer your trypanophobia, here are some suggestions you might want to check out.
Numbing creams are usually used on children because of their low threshold for pain. Ointments with lidocaine can significantly numb their arm, long enough for a doctor or nurse to administer medicine via a needle. It’s quite effective since a lot of parents claim that their kids are able to go through having a needle in their arm without feeling any pain.
So, if you feel uneasy whenever you’re going to a clinic to have your blood drawn or have medicine inserted into your veins, then you can choose to numb your arm with these creams.
Fear of needles may even be more troublesome if you have to administer the shot yourself. If you’re afraid of needles but you need to inject yourself with insulin, you should use a pen injector to administer the medicine to your body.
A pen injector is a great alternative to syringes because the needle is not as long and not even that visible. If you can’t see the needle in your pen injector, it won’t strike the fear in your heart as a syringe would do.
Unfortunately, not all medications can be administered this way. Also, if a doctor needs to take your blood, pen injectors are useless in this situation. So, you still need to conquer your fear of needles.
Cognitive behavioral therapy
One of the most effective ways to conquer your fear is through therapy. Some doctors would prescribe systematic desensitization therapy, wherein a therapist will help you with breathing and other relaxation techniques. These will help minimize your anxiety whenever you’re about to get injected. You’ll learn to use breathing as a way to slow down your heart rate and therefore make yourself feel calmer.
Breathing is under relaxation techniques, but the latter has other methods that could help you deal with your fear. You can use visualization, for one. What you’ll do here is you visualize your environment as a serene place while you’re getting an injection. This way, you won’t associate needles with images of trauma and intense pain anymore and therefore, you won’t fear it as much as before.
One effective method to conquering your fear of pain is gaining some perspective. What you should do is try to remember an event or situation wherein you experienced intense pain. Did you encounter an accident before wherein you broke your bones? Do you remember when you gave birth to your first child?
Now, after thinking of those incidents, ask yourself, “Did you die from those painful events?” Of course, your answer would be “no.” So, the next time you get an injection, you should think to yourself that you went through pain before and survived, so you should be just fine with a little prick.