TEMPO.CO, Jakarta – Not everyone likes injections. But if you have a fear or phobia against syringe, it is a condition that needs to be addressed. Doctors at Harvard remind trypanophobia or fear of needles that can affect health and needs to be addressed.
Trypanophobia can damage the health of the mind and body. Most people are afraid of getting injections when we are young but can handle them as adults. Some people may continue to have a fear of needles and need help overcoming it.
If the taste afraid of syringes not resolved in time, people will experience health problems in the future. Based on statistics, Robert H. Shmerling, senior editor of the Harvard Health School publication said the average healthy person can receive at least 165 lifetime injections, including those for vaccinations and routine tests.
Add dozens or even hundreds more if you need to be hospitalized. With the rampant COVID-19 outbreak and the need for vaccinations, trypanophobia can make vaccination a big problem. This very common condition is characterized by irrational, extreme fear, or aversion to blood or needles.
It is thought that the fear of needles drives many people to skip vaccinations. In fact, it is even more so that many people who are very afraid of needles can avoid doctors and medical treatment.
Trypanophobia is a word created by combining the Greek term trypan, which means to pierce, with phobia, which means fear. The cause can be due to a traumatic experience of a childhood or hereditary medical illness. Researchers have discovered a gene associated with fainting after needling, and found that trypanophobia sometimes runs in families.
What are the symptoms of this phobia?
-Fear or anxiety only at contemplation of the needling experience.
– Panic attacks, nausea, or sweating when the injection is scheduled.
Palpitations before, during, or after injections.
Fainting due to a reflex in which pain or seeing blood triggers a drop in blood pressure.
-Insomnia in the day or week before the injection.
Why is tryphanophobia so influential?
-Quality of life, you are having a hard time all week for fear of doctor appointments.
-Health, a person tends to skip the tests and treatments suggested to avoid needles, meaning missed diagnoses, poorly monitored medical conditions.
-Long life, skipping routine medical care can lead to suffering and avoidable death. A disease is detected late and can no longer be cured. People need to overcome the fear of needles. What’s more important is that the person suffering from tryphanophobia can get over it now. Otherwise, the COVID-19 vaccination can have serious or even dangerous consequences.
How to deal with trypanophobia?
-Take a companion if allowed. Children are always accompanied by an adult guardian. But for adults who are afraid of needles, holding the hand of a friend or family member or hearing the person’s voice can have a calming effect.
-Use a distraction. Watch interesting videos, focus on listening to a song you like, or look away.
Think about good things about vaccinations. After the COVID-19 vaccination, you can hug your family or plan a long overdue vacation.
-Tell the nurse or doctor about your fears. Tell the person giving your injection or blood draw struggling with this and ask them to use each of the tried and tested tricks to help get through it.
Can you be given painkillers? Ask the nurse if you might be given something similar to novocaine or a frozen spray for numb skin before the needle is pricked.
-Do not see. Look away. Seeing will make you cringe. You’ll flex your muscles in reaction and make things worse.
-Calm down, relax. Try deep breathing or other relaxation techniques that can be practiced before the needle prickling.
-Do not relax the muscles where the injection will be given. Some injections such as vaccines against tetanus or COVID-19 are given into the muscle. Relaxing the muscles will be a less painful experience.
-Sitting for a while or lying down before the injection, especially if you have a tendency or a past history of fainting or dizziness.
-Get the help of a counselor who will try to listen and give tips on how to solve it, or refer you to a mental health specialist if necessary.