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Don’t Run Away from the Shots! How to Tame Your Fear of Needles?

Posted by Ann V. On 2016 Dec 31st

Don’t Run Away from the Shots! How to Tame Your Fear of Needles?

The fear of shots is so intense that 20 percent of Americans don’t go for treatments just because to avoid needles on their skin. Learn here about such interesting things about needle phobia and how you can overcome it.

Do you scare of getting shots?

Well, you are not alone as 50 million Americans are not comfortable with the shots. Even a grown up adult can faint at the sight of sharp needle, let alone the kids. However, the fact is that vaccination is not that painful as it was perceived. It just causes a sharp sensation for a few seconds.

People who afraid of shots are likely to experience racy heartbeats, shallow breathing and nerve jangling reactions that common in other intense fears. Even worse, some people are likely to faint—a sign that is somewhat associated with the fears of heights and spiders.

20 percent of Americans are so terrorized that they don’t go for treatments or diagnosis just because to avoid the “needle”.

The worse phase of the needle phobia came to the light when Dr. James Hamilton, a pioneer in the treatment and research of needle phobia, stated that at least 23 deaths have been caused by a needle puncture that led to a cardiac episode.

Here are Some Medical Terms for the Fear of Needles:

  • Aichmophobia: a fear of sharp or pointed objects
  • Algophobia: a fear of pain
  • Belonephobia: a fear of sharp pointed objects, especially needles
  • Enetophobia:a fear of pins
  • Trypanophobia:a fear of injections
  • Vaccinophobia:a fear of vaccines and vaccinations

Among them, Trypanophobia or fear of injections is the most common fear.

What Causes the Fear of Needles?

The fear of needles usually stems from the traumatic experiences in childhood. For example, if a kid sees an older guy crying while getting a shot, it will discourage him from getting a shot. Sometime, they are not able to “move on” from the slight pain of vaccination they experience in their childhood. Their piers or relatives may be adding to their fears by sharing their negative experiences of getting shots or telling false things.

These things are likely to stay with them for the years to come, terrifying them when it comes to getting shots.

Many people believe that the skin pricked by a sharp object is likely to cause injury, infection or even death. This is why they afraid of needles.

Why Shots are Important?

Shots are important for your health for many reasons. First and foremost, it prevents your health from life threating health conditions like shingles, viruses, HPV, influenza, and pneumococcal disease. In fact, it can be a difference between life and death as nearly 50,000 US adults die from vaccine-preventable diseases in the US.

Tips to Deal with the Fear of Shots

As we have told you before that the pain of getting injected is like that someone has pinched your skin. The pain usually lasts for a few seconds. It is fear which turns that “slight pinch” into a trauma. If the pain factor still bothers you, here are some effective tips you can use to deal with the fear of shots.

Use Topical Numbing Cream:

A numbing cream is a topical anesthetic which desensitizes the skin by blocking the pain receptors in your skin. In this way, it ensures you a painless vaccination and boosts your confidence to face the needle. Like any ordinary skin cream, it is applied to the skin by rubbing or spreading. Here are some common ways to use a numbing cream for shot

  • Wash the skin area with soap and water. Pat dry with clean towel.
  • Apply a thick layer of numbing cream over the area.
  • Cover the skin with plastic wrap for nearly 40-45 minutes
  • Wipe off the cream with wet cloth before the injection shot.

Try to Understand Why You Fear:

Instead of running away from fear, get some courage to face it. All you need to ponder over these things:

  • Will shots really tear apart my skin?
  • Will it cause intolerable pain?
  • Can I talk to doctor?

Besides, you can research about injections, history and their purpose. Learn why injections are important for one’s health. Remind yourself that the diseases without injection shot would be many times dangerous than a simple injection. If you are donating blood, think that you are helping people and the pain worth it.

Practice Applied Tension:

The applied tension is a technique for raising the blood pressure. The increased blood pressure will help you prevent fainting and also aid in recovery from fainting.

Here are the simple steps to do it:

  • Sit relaxed and comfortably.
  • Start tensing the muscles of your arms, legs and upper body. Maintain that tension for 20 seconds until you feel a warm sensation in the head or your face starts to feel flush. Then, take a relaxation break of 20 to 30 seconds.
  • Practice it for five times.

Bring Someone with You for a Moral Support:

Ask your near and dear one to accompany you as you go for the shots. It not only boosts your confidence, but also keeps you in high spirit. They can hold your hand tightly when you are about to receive injection.

Share Your Fear with Doctors:

Talk to your doctor about your fear associated with shots. Your physician will take extra care while giving you shots. Besides, he or she provides you consultation and the ways to be relaxed.

Distract yourself:

Distraction is the tested technique to keep your mind off the process.

  • Start talking with doctor or someone else present there.
  • Focus on something else in the room.
  • Start playing game on your phone, listen to some soft music or you can read a book.
  • Try to cough.

Relax Yourself:

Release your stress by practicing deep breaths. Make sure to breathe in through the nose and release it out through your mouth. When the shot is about to be given, take deep breath and count down from ten to one. The process would be over till you reach to one.

With the help of these techniques, you can “tame” the fear of shots.