Blood Phobia (hemophobia) And Fear of Needles (trypanophobia)

By: Suzanne Feinstein, PhD

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Blood-injection-injury phobia is a common condition amongst children and adults. If you struggle with blood and needle phobia, you may have what is known as a dysregulated autonomic nervous system. The vagus nerve, which is responsible for keeping your body’s blood pressure and heart rate at homeostasis, acts out of sync when the body encounters certain triggers. Pain, needles, blood and anything associated with medical procedures can cause a spike in anxiety, heart rate and blood pressure and a subsequent sudden drop in blood pressure. This leads to a sensation of vertigo and possibly fainting. This condition, known as vasovagal syncope, can cause extreme discomfort and can lead to full-blown panic in the face of anything that threatens to activate these bodily sensations.

The anticipatory anxiety may cause you to avoid necessary medical procedures, dental work, and vaccinations. This, in turn, can increase health risks, interfere with securing jobs that mandate physicals and vaccines, and can create immense shame.

In order for you to combat this phobia, we use a combination of exposure therapy, breathing exercises,

and applied tension (AT) techniques to help you manage the syncope and anxiety in tandem. You will learn how to regulate your nervous system and systematically desensitize to your triggers. Since the top priority of this CBT treatment is to prevent fainting, it is different than treatment for other specific phobias. Instead of using relaxation techniques which reduces blood pressure, the combination of techniques allows you to stop the panic reaction while increasing blood pressure in order to prevent a vasovagal syncope.

If you have a blood-injection-injury phobia, it is important to pursue this front-line treatment. Ultimately, the goal is to reduce your intense emotional and physical reactions to medically-related procedures.

There is no more need to avoid doctor visits, vaccines or injections. Call 645-345-3010 or email to finally approach this sensitive problem and seek out the care you need.

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