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Friday, August 14, 2020

Epistaxiophobia – Fear of Nose Bleeds

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Nose bleeds may occur as a result of an accident, a fight, or a sickness. This is simply the escape of blood through the nose. In most cases, nose bleeds is not a cause to worry; however, some individual has intense fear over this.

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The extreme fear of nose bleed is called Epistaxiophobia. Epistaxiophobia is a condition that even the thought of nose bleeds can cause the individual a full-blown panic attack. However, it can be treated.

What is Epistaxiophobia (Fear of nose bleeds)?

Epistaxiophobia is a type of specific phobia that is defined as an intense and irrational fear of seeing or experiencing nose bleeds or bleeding to death.

The term “Epistaxiophobia” was derived from the Greek words “Epi,” which means “over, above, or upon,” “Staxis” meaning “the escape of blood from blood vessels” and “Phobos” which means “fear.” Epistaxiophobia is a psychological condition that can happen to anyone.

This condition has accompanying unpleasant symptoms which can be life-limiting, but it is very treatable.

Causes of Epistaxiophobia (Fear of nose bleeds)

Generally, experts believe that phobias are a result of some predisposing factors which can contribute to the development of the condition.

These factors are as follows:

  • Heredity and genetics: It is believed that the genetic make-up of an individual is the cause of certain conditions such as; Sickle cell anemia. Experts believe that if other conditions can be inherited from an ancestor who must have had it. Then it is very much possible that phobias, including Epistaxiophobia, can be inherited too.
  • Presence of other phobias: The presence of other phobias could lead to the development of Epistaxiophobia. Epistaxiophobia has a strong linkage to Hemophobia, which is the fear of blood or transfusions.
  • Traumatic event: Trauma is classified as one of the most common causes of phobias. A traumatic event can leave an indelible mental mark on the individual, and it can go a long way in denting the individual’s life. Epistaxiophobia is likely to develop after a traumatic experience or sight of nose bleeds. The traumatic experience may also include getting unfortunate news that a loved one or any person bled to death or sickness, which had nose bleeding as a symptom.
  • Background upbringing: They say that the environmentof an individual has a significant influence on the well-being, beliefs, and attitudes of the person. A child who grows up in an environment where he sees people with nose bleeds may develop a phobia.

Experts suggest that the development of this condition may be a result of both genetic and other external factors.

Symptoms of Epistaxiophobia (Fear of nose bleeds)

Epistaxiophobia - Fear of Nose Bleeds

In phobias, symptoms experienced are different across individuals. This depends on the degree of fear that the person feels.

These symptoms can be life-limiting, hindering the individual’s typical day-to-day living. The person’s intrapersonal and interpersonal relationships are affected too. These symptoms manifest in two forms – The physical and the psychological form.

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This proves that this condition affects both the physical and psychological well-being of an individual.

Physical Symptoms (Fear of nose bleeds)

People with Epistaxiophobia frequently have panic attacks when triggered. The panic attacks that they experience can be so frightening that it puts the sufferer in a state of distress.

Although sufferers have to be triggered before they experience some symptoms accompanying this condition, these symptoms can suddenly show up without any warning.

Panic attacks can be so overwhelming to an individual that they cause physical reactions such as:

  • Excessive sweating
  • Trembling
  • Hot flashes
  • Difficulty breathing
  • A choking sensation
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Sharp chest pain
  • A sensation of butterflies in the stomach
  • Nausea
  • Headaches and dizziness
  • Feeling faint
  • Nerve numbness
  • Dry mouth
  • A need to go to the toilet
  • Ringing or buzzing in ears
  • Confusion
  • Hyperventilation
  • Increase in blood pressure

Psychological Symptoms of Epistaxiophobia (Fear of nose bleeds)

In a handful of very serious cases, an individual may experience panic attacks triggered by Epistaxiophobia.

Most times, when exposed to anything that can cause the individual to be triggered, the following are symptoms are experienced:

  • Fear of losing control
  • Fear of fainting
  • Feelings of dread
  • Fear of death and dying
  • Fear of harm or illness
  • Guilt, shame, self-blame
  • Withdrawing from others
  • Feeling sad or hopeless
  • Feeling disconnected
  • Confusion, difficulty concentrating
  • Anger, irritability, mood swings
  • Anxiety and fear

However, in some rare cases, people have what we call “Complex phobias,” which are like a chain of phobias intertwined together.

This could be life-limiting because it would make the individual not to have the ability to live a normal life and maintain a healthy social life.

Once the person is triggered, he or she is bound to have a chain of the symptoms mentioned above plus depression.

Treatment of Epistaxiophobia

Epistaxiophobia - Fear of Nose Bleeds

Like in many phobias, sufferers always feel the need to avoid encountering their source of fear.

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This would mean that they may not get triggered, but sometimes, this is difficult and may be impossible. Mind you that most times, you cannot escape your thoughts.

No phobia has a precise type of treatment that is guaranteed to cure, but therapy and medications have been adopted to help the individual recover. Majorly, it depends on the individual and how severe the condition is.

In treating Epistaxiophobia, Professional help is needed. A mental health worker may be consulted to help you overcome Epistaxiophobia.

Yoga/Meditation

Meditation helps in calming the mind.  It is known as a relaxation technique that allows the practitioner to escape negative thoughts and obtain inner peace. While you take deep breaths, your mind is being channeled to something more positive and productive.

Support groups

You may sign up for a support group, including a DBT group. Dialectic Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a six-month program consisting of classes which teach people a lot of coping strategies on how to have better control of themselves even in the face of their source of fear.

You may also get signed up for the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program, which is an eight-week program consisting of group sessions where mindful meditations are practiced.

Later on, a group discussion is held for everyone to talk about mental health. In this program, you get to meet individuals like you, and with the help of the group coach, you will pull through.

Therapy

Consulting a professional mental health worker can help you recover from Epistaxiophobia. When you keep up with your scheduled sessions with your therapist, who is equipped with the skills to help you overcome your fears.

Your therapists is likely to use th approach below to achieve the desired aims:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT): Experts suggest that our thoughts and perception have a substantial and constant influence on our behavior. The constant experiences of anxiety, mental stress, and distress influence your perception and distort it over reality. Cognitive Behaviour Therapy helps you identify those negative thought patterns and unhelpful distorted perceptions, which causes you to fear and then equip you with strategies to help overcome them.
  • Medication: The administration of medication help suppresses the effects of the epistaxiophobia. The following are the two types of medications used in the treatment of phobias, specifically epistaxiophobia.
  • Anti-anxiety Drugs: They are medicines known to lower anxiety by forming bonds with the receptor cells of the brain (which are responsible for these extreme symptoms). The medicine includes Valium.
  • Anti-depressant Drugs: These drugs are commonly used to treat depression, but they are deemed useful in the treatment of phobias. They are known to reduce anxiety. They include medicines such as Lexapro.

Note: These medicines are to be used when prescribed, and the instructions of the prescription should be followed strictly. These drugs may cause some side effects to the person using it.

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Because your doctor has better knowledge of this, these medications are prescribed to be used short-term only. This is because long-term use can result in substance use disorder, which is Addiction and Dependence. Do not self-medicate.

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Disclaimer: This article is purely informative & educational in nature and should not be construed as medical advice. Please use the content only in consultation with an appropriate certified medical or healthcare professional.

Emmanuella Ekokotu
Ekokotu Emmanuella is a sociologist and Anthropologist, writer, and fashion model who lives in Benin city, Edo state,Nigeria.

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