Approximately 25% of all children and one in ten adults have a fear of needles. For those who have this fear, and want to get vaccinated against COVID 19, this can prove to be an insurmountable challenge. Also known as Trypanophobia, a fear of needles can cause fainting, dizziness, anxiety, and high blood pressure. Most importantly it can cause people to avoid receiving the medical care they need and want. With vaccinations for COVID-19 underway, you may wonder how to get the vaccine if you have a fear of needles.
What Causes the Fear?
While the cause of needle phobia varies, some common reasons include a traumatic experience with needles, witnessing a parent become anxious while receiving an injection, or learning about negative experiences related to needles. A smaller percentage of people may be scared of needles due to a fear of restraint or sensitivity to pain. With that said, 80% of people who suffer with a fear of needles report having a very close family member with the same fear.
Traditional Methods of Treating Trypanophobia
The most common way of treating a fear of needles is with cognitive behavioral therapy. This typically involves talking about the challenge and identifying techniques to help the patient cope. One common technique is exposure therapy. This simply means introducing, or exposing the patient, to needles slowly and in small doses. A therapist might suggest first looking at a picture of a needle, then holding a needle, then watching a video of an injection, and eventually getting an injection. A last resort might be a sedative prior to an inoculation.
Unfortunately, cognitive behavioral therapy is not always successful, and is not a quick fix, even when it is. Hypnosis is a faster and more effective way of overcoming a fear of needles. A skilled hypnosis practitioner can change the way a client feels about needles. After guiding the client into a relaxed hypnotic state, a certified hypnotist can teach, or program the unconscious mind, to feel calm and secure around needles.
Most people learn to be afraid of needles while witnessing a loved one’s phobic response to needles. It is essential that this belief or perception be reframed. While in a relaxed hypnotic trance, the sensitizing event can be reframed. Because this reframe happens in hypnosis, the unconscious mind quickly accepts the new and healthy perception of needles.
Get the Vaccine for COVID-19
In order to achieve herd immunity, the CDC estimates that 70% of the population will need to get the vaccine. Since approximately 10% of adults suffer with Trypanophobia, addressing this fear is critical. Due to the protection it affords the people who receive the vaccine, as well as the population as a whole, it is time that the medical community embrace hypnosis as another option when CBT is ineffective. If the patient is a diabetic, requires a vaccination, or ongoing medical treatment hypnosis for a fear of needles can help. By programming the unconscious mind, people with Trypanophobia can experience relief.