How to get over trypanophobia, or an intense fear of needles, before your COVID-19 vaccination




a woman wearing a blue shirt: Paula McMahon prepares a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, as the mass public vaccination program gets underway, at the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2020. The United Kingdom is beginning its vaccination campaign to inoculate people against the COVID-19 virus. Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via AP


© Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via AP
Paula McMahon prepares a shot of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine, as the mass public vaccination program gets underway, at the NHS Louisa Jordan Hospital in Glasgow, Scotland, Tuesday Dec. 8, 2020. The United Kingdom is beginning its vaccination campaign to inoculate people against the COVID-19 virus. Jeff J Mitchell/Pool via AP

  • 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. 
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

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.  

About half of those who fear needles have trypanophobia, an intense fear that can result in nausea, dizziness, panic attacks, and fainting.

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

Read More: Answers to your 24 most pressing questions about the coronavirus vaccine, from side effects and costs to when you’ll be able to get one

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. 

Read the original article on Insider



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