Trypanophobia is defined as an irrational or extreme fear of needles.
A phobia can be caused by a particular experience or situation where you are faced with your fear. Due to this initial reaction – the second time you face your fear, you may experience the same irrational feelings of terror – if this forms a pattern it is a phobia.
The key to getting over or overcoming a phobia is to face it, otherwise it may get worse over time. People usually deal with phobias by avoiding them but this can prevent you from doing certain activities which you may want to do and from living your life in general.
One of the best treatments for phobias is exposure therapy, which you can easily do yourself through self-help.
Self-Help for Trypanophobia (Fear of Needles)
Facing your fear of needles is key to conquering it.
You can help yourself through exposure therapy – but make sure to begin with something you can cope with/handle – exposure therapy may not work if you start with something too scary.
Follow my step-by-step approach for trypanophobia below:
- Step 1: Try to relax and calm yourself down. If you stress yourself out or make yourself anxious by constantly thinking and worrying about the needle before you go to get the injection, then it will be harder to get through it. If you try to keep yourself calm beforehand, by avoiding thinking about it and not making a big deal of it – this may help you to stay calm throughout it.
- Step 2: Ways that you can try to keep yourself calm and relaxed are through mindfulness techniques – you could practice meditation or yoga or listen to relaxing music. You could also try to distract yourself beforehand so you aren’t constantly thinking about it – you can do this by keeping yourself busy.
- Step 3: If you are prone to fainting when it comes to needles – remember to distract yourself during the procedure – think about something else or daydream. It helps if you don’t look at the needle, but remember to still EXCPECT IT in the back of your mind – so that you don’t jump when the nurse injects you.
- Step 4: If you are unable to think about something else, then focus on your breathing – it is easy to do and will help to distract you, and keep your mind off the needle.
If these steps don’t work for you, or if they are not specific enough for you, make your own step-by-step approach – if you need any help, please feel free to leave a comment below.