Belonephobia (Trypanophobia): Terror of needles

One of the most common phobias is the fear of needles, to the point that some studies reveal the fact that  10% of the population suffers from it .

And, although no one denies that needles can cause pain, needle phobia (also called trypanophobia) is suffered by more and more people, causing high levels of anxiety, to the point of becoming a disabling factor.

People with hemophobia also fear needles, although their fear is more related to blood.

What is Belonephobia or Trypanophobia

Trypanophobia consists of an anxiety disorder characterized by experiencing an  excessive and irrational fear of needles and other objects that can cause injuries, such as knives, razors or pins.

It is a specific type of phobia that is frequently related to other phobic disorders such as trauma (phobia of wounds) and hemophobia (phobia of blood).

The result of the phobia that concerns us is not only the fear of receiving an injection or vaccine, but also the inability of the subject to use sharp utensils such as knives or pins, due to the fear of harming himself.

This type of phobia is  especially prevalent among children , a circumstance that does not prevent it from appearing among adults.

As for the child population, sometimes an alternative method is chosen for the introduction of a substance into the body, which avoids the use of needles, but on the other hand it can be a much more painful procedure.

Causes of this paralyzing anxiety disorder

In most cases, phobias are usually the product of learned fears. These fears are developed by a type of associative learning called  classical conditioning , which may have to do with a bad experience with needles.

Now, this phobia can also be caused by  observation , in the context of what is known as  vicarious conditioning .

An example is that of the subject who, upon seeing how another screams when they are going to administer an injection, ends up developing a strong fear of needles himself.

What are the characteristics of panic to needles and other sharp and pointed objects

We have already made reference to the fact that in belonephobia the most feared element is the needles, but also other utensils that can cause skin wounds.

Such is the irrational fear that these objects provoke in people with this disorder that it motivates  a total avoidance of contact with them  and their use. In this phobia, the fear of objects that could be the cause of injury appears in situations that are not at all threatening.

Along these lines, the fear of needles and other sharp objects appears not only when the person must draw blood or perform an activity whose nature compromises their physical integrity.

Thus, the fear of this phobia is also manifested in  passive situations , that is, when the feared object must be used for purposes other than performing operations on the skin and also in those circumstances in which the object remains totally immobile. and it’s not going to be used for anything.

From this perspective, it is shown that it is a totally irrational fear.

Symptoms of belonephobia

The symptoms of this phobia vary from simple sweat to tired eyes at the mere sight of needles and other sharp objects.

Certain people affected by this phobia towards needles suffer  panic reactions when they have to be given injections and others, as we have said, faint when they see these instruments.

Whatever the situation, the way a trypanophobic person reacts when confronted with needles or other sharp objects is the  lack of ability to control fear .

Notification to medical personnel is decisive if there is a severe phobia of needles, so that preventive measures can be taken in order to react to the reactions that the patient may suffer.

One of the most common problems associated with needle phobia is  fainting , as the consequence is that the individual ends up not only fearing the needle but fainting itself. Such people avoid the administration of any type of needle stick for fear of fainting or experiencing a reaction just by looking at the needle.

How to overcome trypanophobia

Although the problem of belonephobia is very common, its treatment also has a high success rate. There are different psychological therapies aimed at their overcoming, being the most used cognitive behavioral therapy.

This therapy is based on the use of various techniques and in the specific case of treating phobias, the most effective are  relaxation and exposure techniques .

The  systematic desensitization  is a technique that combines two previous gradually exposing the patient to the phobic stimulus, but rather have different coping strategies have been assimilated, as referred relaxation techniques.

Other very effective therapies are cognitive therapy based on Minfulness or acceptance and commitment therapy , belonging to third generation therapies.

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Alexa Clark specializes in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. She has experience in listening and welcoming in Individual Therapy and Couples Therapy. It meets demands such as generalized anxiety, professional, love and family conflicts, stress, depression, sexual dysfunction, grief, and adolescents from 15 years of age. Over the years, She felt the need to conduct the psychotherapy sessions with subtlety since She understands that the psychologist acts as a facilitator of self-understanding and self-acceptance, valuing each person's respect, uniqueness, and acceptance.

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