How to Cope With a Fear of Needles
Fear of needles or needle phobia is the estimated cause of millions of deaths worldwide!
It is estimated that millions of people have died through not addressing serious physical illness, due to their needle phobia, or fear of needles.
Some people continue to delay or actively choose not to seek medical help because of this fear.
Here are some tips to help with needle phobias, or fear of needles.
1. Make your fear known.
Instead of keeping your fear of needles secret and letting it snowball into a full blown anxiety attack, make sure you talk to the medical professional who will be using the needle.
Tell them about your fear of needles and any concerns you might have.
Sharing concerns often help people calm down. The medical professional should be able to reassure you, and talk to you about your options and any special precautions they can take to make the process less painful and anxiety provoking.
2. Ask for an anaesthetic.
Anaesthesia is a pain killer. If you are afraid of the pain of an injection a local anaesthetic may be applied onto the skin. This will dull the pain of the needle. Although needles only cause a small amount of pain, a person with a needle phobia may experience a heightened amount of pain during its use, due to their intense mental focus. In these cases a topical (applied to the skin) anaesthetic can help immensely. Your medical professional should have a suitable topical anaesthetic available to assist you.
3. Assume a suitable position.
Some patients may be prone to faint and lose consciousness. This is a serious concern for many people, as people with a needle phobia are also prone to fear of fainting. In these cases addressing both the fear of needles and the possibility of fainting is important. Lying down and/or elevating the legs can help and therefore ease some of the symptoms of needle phobia.
4. Relax and breathe.
Focus on your breathing and allow yourself to relax whilst thinking about something pleasant. Try counting 10 breaths in and out. Probably the procedure will be over before you get to 10, and you won’t have noticed it.
5. Distract yourself during the procedure.
- Don’t look!
- Do not watch the medical professional during the procedure.
- Bring a friend with you.
- Think about something else.Take yourself away to your Inner Sanctuary. You might take an audio player with you and listen to my free download.
- Give yourself a treat! If you have followed these steps you probably have not noticed the needle or the injection at all, so you have done really well. Most people find injections a bit uncomfortable so why not give yourself a treat afterwards? That way you may be more likely to associate the experience with something positive.
6. Consult a professional.
Although needle phobia can be a bit more complicated than other phobias it is treatable and can be cured.
If your fear of needles means there are certain medical procedures you can not face, like blood tests for instance (which can be vital for diagnosing serious physical illness), then you are putting your health, and possibly your life at risk.
I work with clients to help them be free of their phobias, or where appropriate reduce levels of fear to minimal and acceptable levels.
I also teach my clients different techniques which will allow them to relax deeply and fully; particularly if there is something longer than a quick jab involved – a visit to the dentist, for instance, which may have its own associated fears.
It can be very empowering to realise that you no longer have to experience panic or high levels of fear, and that you can in fact make the experience a more pleasant one. It is possible to condition yourself in advance to a particular relaxing piece of music, or sounds you associate with a pleasant, calm and safe environment. The sound of waves gently lapping against the shore, for example, is a big favourite.
I am particularly fond of teaching clients how to create an Inner Sanctuary; somewhere they can retreat to, in their mind, as a way of relaxing into trance and ‘zoning out’ and ignoring what is going on around them.
For heavens sake don’t continue to suffer from this unnecessary fear of needles, contact me or another healthcare professional as soon as possible…