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Ways to Overcome Fear of Needles

By Kay Ireland ; Updated June 13, 2017

If you suffer from a debilitating fear of needles, called belonephobia, you're not alone. In a study performed by School of Medicine, Griffith University in Logan, Queensland, Australia and published in a 2009 issue of "Australian Family Physician," 22 percent of participants identified that they had a fear of needles and injections. Of course, the pain, side effects and traumatic experiences are enough to make anyone wary when getting a shot. Instead of being fearful, concentrate on coping methods that help you to overcome your fear of needles and get the job done.

Control

If the sight of a medical technician brandishing a needle in preparation of an injection can make you feel panicky and on the verge of a loss of control, if possible, ask the health care technician if you can take control of part of the situation. For instance, you could count before the injection so you know exactly when it will be injected, or change to another room that you feel more comfortable in. Most health care providers will be happy to oblige so that you feel less afraid.

Relaxation Techniques

When you tense up your body in preparation for a needle, you can actually make the shot hurt more than it should as you tighten your muscles and make them harder to puncture. Try relaxation techniques that allow you to keep your body slack. Try focusing on something in the room, or taking deep breaths, suggests KidsHealth.org, a division of the Nemours Foundation.

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Distraction

When you think about your fear of needles, you only exacerbate the problem, especially during the injection. Try engaging the nurse or health care provider in conversation to distract yourself from the procedure that is occurring. Look away from your arm, listen to some music or tell a joke. Your health care provider will understand your fear of needles and will converse with you naturally to ease your nerves. Ask him questions and listen intently to the answers and the injection will be over quickly.

Education

Knowing why you are dealing with needles and injections can make it normalized so you aren't so afraid. The Red Cross recommends that if you donate blood, you learn more about your blood type and how your donated blood will be used. That way, you understand that the needle is necessary and even heroic. You can apply the same thought process to receiving medicines; research why you're receive it and how it will benefit you to have the injection to make the process less mysterious.

Rewards

Set a small reward for yourself immediately following the injection, recommends the Go Ask Alice! Health Promotion Program at Columbia University. Promising yourself a new CD, an ice cream cone or a new pair of shoes for getting through your needle ordeal can be just enough inventive to get through it as quickly and as calmly as possible.

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