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Needle-phobia! The condition is real and approximately 10% of the population have a fear of those sharp, shiny objects. The risk associated with the phobia is that those who suffer from it tend to avoid important medical care, whether it be attending a doctor's appointment, presenting to routine blood tests or taking prescribed injectable medication putting those people at greater risk of illness or putting them in a potentially fatal situation.
Needle-phobia comes in many forms, the most common being triggered by a previous traumatic event such as experiencing or watching a relative undergo an extremely painful experience. Sometimes the phobia arises not out of fear for the needle itself or the pain associated with it but by the fear of being constrained whilst having the procedure and sometimes the fear is derived from a general fear of sharp pointed objects.
‘Getting over’ a fear such needle-phobia is not easy but there are ways that could help you to overcome it. Here are some suggestions:
Lying down whilst undergoing the procedure can help if you tend to suffer from feeling faint or dizzy. Once you feel better ensure that you slowly move into the sitting or standing position. Putting your body in a vertical position means that your blood flow has to fight gravity to get the brain and rising slowly prevents the blood from immediately dropping and leaving the brain wondering what has happened.
Using a numbing cream may help to alleviate the sting from the injection as well as reduce anxiety when it comes to having an injection again in the future.
Anxiety medication significantly reduces the anxiety response and may be taken before any procedure involving needles. It is best to check with your doctor to find out what medication is best for you.