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Home » Mind/Body » Trypanophobia (Fear of Needles): Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Trypanophobia (Fear of Needles): Causes, Symptoms & Treatments

Trypanophobia is an extreme fear of any medical procedure which involves either needles or injections, and this particular disorder affects approximately ten percent of Americans.

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However, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, that is, the manual used by clinicians in the diagnosis of mental health disorders, only recognized it as a phobia in 1994 4th edition.

Sometimes, this condition is called belonephobia, aichmophobia or enetophobia, with these terms, often used to denote the fear of needles, pins or sharp objects. Usually, the general public refers to this condition as “needle phobia,” however, it only is specific to medical needles.

Symptoms of Trypanophobia

Dreading seeking medical attention, especially injections, is a clear indication that you have trypanophobia.

Furthermore, another sign showing you have this disorder is any time you are expected to undertake a medical procedure, you experience a higher heart rate hour and, in some case, even days preceding the procedure and high blood pressure.

Usually, when undergoing the medical procedure, you may experience a dramatic drop in your blood pressure, and in extreme instances, you may even faint.

Dangers of Trypanophobia

Trypanophobia typically is accompanied by physical symptoms as well as the real risk of possibly changing your behavior. Additionally, individuals with this disorder avoid visiting the dentist, getting medical attention plus following the prescribed treatments due to the fear of getting an injection.

Whereas this condition is the fear of needles, it might consequently evolve into an overall fear of both dental and medical healthcare providers. Likewise, in some extreme cases, some persons even refuse altogether to get routine check-ups.

Causes of Trypanophobia

The exact cause of this fear of needles is still unknown by scientists. Furthermore, research shows that about 80 percent of the affected individuals have a close relative who also suffers from this disorder.

Nevertheless, there is a likelihood that that trypanophobia might actually not be inherited biologically but instead learned.

There also are other evolutionary psychologists who argue that the fear of needles might actually be entrenched in ancient human survival tactics. The reason for this argument is that during these days before the invention of modern antibiotics, having a puncture wound was possibly fatal. Thus, the fear of having the skin punctured then might potentially be an evolutionary adaptation.

Treatment of Trypanophobia

Cognitive-behavioral therapy is an effective method which has been implemented in the treatment of trypanophobia. Usually, it is done through methods like systematic desensitization, which is a modification of exposure therapy, and this consequently enables you to learn how to stomach needles bit by bit.

Moreover, other medical professionals have been successful in using hypnotherapy on their patients.

Irrespective of the technique used, the primary objective of all these interventions is to expose you to needles gradually and in a controlled as well as a safe situation. Usually, it starts with you being shown a syringe that does not have a needle, after that a syringe having a needle and ultimately letting you handle the needle.

Needle-Free Medicines

There always are new ways of delivering medications being developed at any one time. Therefore, if you have trypanophobia, you still can get the necessary treatment to help remedy this disorder without needing you to be exposed to needles completely.

For example, jet injections typically force medicines below the skin under intense pressure, and in comparison, to needle injections, they are less agonizing.

Likewise, it minimizes the chances of accidental sticks by the healthcare experts plus are very handy because you can use it to self-medicate. This innovation of jet injectors in the future will most likely be prevalent in healthcare.

Moreover, research is being done on potentially needle-free methods of carrying out needed medical tests as well as to test people with diabetes. Nonetheless, other medicines require to be delivered intravenously, thereby meaning the use of needles in such instances is unavoidable.

Treatment for Trypanophobia

Treatment of trypanophobia is vital because this disorder might consequently lead to you failing to seek medical attention even when needed. Thus, if you have a loved one who has a fear of needles, you must take his or her trepidations very seriously.

However, overcoming this severe disorder is attainable by strictly sticking to an appropriate treatment.

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This article is for informational/educational purposes only. Healthtian does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment, read more.

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