- Getting injections can be an uncomfortable experience for many people, but some suffer from an acute phobia called trypanophobia.
- Trypanophobia can result in nausea, dizziness, and fainting.
- Here are some tips to treat the condition before getting your COVID-19 vaccine.
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Millions of Americans are preparing to get vaccinated for COVID-19. Some have one big fear on their minds: needles.
A fear of needles impacts about four million adults in the United States, according to Jamaica Hospital Medical Center.
The phobia usually develops by the time someone is 10 years old and can lead to people avoiding medical appointments altogether out of fear of getting blood drawn or injections.
However, there are some ways to manage this fear if you are preparing to get vaccinated
Breathing techniques and exposure therapy can help
Like many phobias, trypanophobia is treated through different types of therapies.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) can help by teaching you coping mechanisms to deal with the fear while getting your injection. Breathing techniques and worksheets to help evaluate your feelings are used in the hopes of changing what you think about needles.
Exposure therapy can also be used as a more direct approach, as it is a form of CBT that allows patients to work through their fears by directly engaging with them. In this technique, patients are slowly exposed to needles, working up from seeing them, to touching them, to eventually getting an injection or drawing blood.
Treating underlying anxiety
Sometimes, treating underlying conditions like anxiety with medication can help ease the intensity of a phobia. Consider talking to a psychiatrist about medications that can temporarily lessen your feelings of panic around needles.
According to the UK National Health Service, sedatives, anti-depressants, and beta-blockers are commonly prescribed for acute anxiety.