Don’t let your needle phobia stop you from getting the COVID vaccination
Early in the new year the Government will start the COVID vaccination programme. The vaccine will be offered to the general population in mid-2021. It will be delivered by injection. If you have a phobia of needles or injections, you may already be feeling anxious about the prospect of receiving your vaccination, or the consequences of not getting the vaccination, because of your fear.
What is a phobia
A phobia is an intense and extreme fear of a specific object or situation. A needle phobia is defined as the fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles. Studies estimate that up to 10 per cent of the population has a needle phobia.
A small degree of dislike of needles is perfectly normal – most people would avoid them if they possibly could. But this fear is heightened in people with needle phobia, to the point where they avoid all situations involving the use of needles or the possibility of an injection, such as inoculations, blood tests, and other types of medical care. The consequences of avoiding vaccine or treatment shots can be life-threatening.
When your brain interprets a needle as a threat
Our brain’s number one priority is our survival. When our brain interprets a real or imagined needle or syringe as a threat it activates the Threat Response.
For some people, just seeing a picture of a syringe or needle can be interpreted as a threat, hence why the image opposite is of a different kind of needle – Cleopatra’s Needle in London.
Common symptoms of needle phobia
Once the Threat Response is activated your body immediately begins to adapt to help you deal with the threat. We experience this adaption as various physical sensations such as:
- dizziness and light-headedness
- a dry mouth
- a racing heart
- chest pain
The actual combination of these symptoms differs from person to person.
Some people may also experience:
- panic attacks
- fainting (to prevent the risk of excessive blood loss, your blood pressure falls – causing faintness)
- physical collapse.
In addition, to physical symptoms there is an emotional response – the person feels some degree of fear. This fear can range in intensity from mild apprehension to outright terror.
There are a range of probable causes for the formation of a needle phobia including:
- as a child a person may have modelled, through observation, a parent or caregiver’s fear of needles and injections. As children we learn very quickly and often subconsciously.
- one or more traumatic experiences with needle procedures in childhood, for example, a painful, frightening procedure at the hospital or at the dentist.
- some people develop their fear having suffered an unpleasant physical reaction to an injection. They may have become faint when getting an injection, or even passed out completely (this is the vasovagal reflex reaction). Some people can experience a severe vasovagal reflex just talking about needle procedures.
How do you remove the fear?
The good news is that you do not need to know the cause of your phobia to free yourself from it. Your fear of needles/injections is a pattern stored in your subconscious and the key to removing a phobia is to change that pattern.
To do this you can ‘rewire’ your brain so that it no longer interprets needles and injections as a threat. There are several ways to achieve this rewiring. A common cognitive behavioural therapy method is through desensitisation which involves gradual and repeated exposure to needles, perhaps starting with writing the word ‘needle’ and working your way up to have a needle point touch your arm.
However, there are more rapid and less emotionally arousing methods to clear phobias. These methods utilise visualisation, mental rehearsal, and the power of your mind to change through targeted suggestions.
It’s these rapid, effective methods that I practice as an Anxiety Solutions Coach. My ‘go to’ phobia clearing technique is called the REWIND Technique and it can be used to help people overcome any type of phobia not just needles/injections.
You will be amazed at how calm and relaxed you are
Once your phobia is cleared you will find that you are can think about needles/injections without the intense fear and anxiety you used to experience. And when you go for an injection, you will be amazed at how calm and relaxed you are. You can find yourself behaving as most people do, thinking of it as a minor unpleasantness, something you want over and done with to get the benefits available.
How long does it take to clear a phobia?
On average, three sessions are all that’s required, although a lot of people are able to clear a phobia in one session.
Ready to act to free yourself from your needle phobia?
If you suffer from needle/injection phobia and would like some help overcoming your phobia, call/text now on 021 056 8389 or simply use this link HERE. to schedule a free ZOOM discovery consultation. You really can be free of all that fear now so why not contact me today – I really can help!
After such a challenging year, I hope you have the best possible Christmas with a well-deserved chance to relax and recharge your batteries…
I’m on a mission to help as many people as possible enjoy lives free of unnecessary stress and anxiety. If you’d like my help, or you know someone who would benefit, call/text me today on 021 056 8389 or email firstname.lastname@example.org