Needle phobia affects at least 10% of the population. It presents as a very real source of anxiety and fear whenever a medical procedure arises that requires either needles or injections. Despite being so prevalent, it is a fear that is often misunderstood by others. After all, how many of us actually enjoy receiving an injection or giving a sample of blood?
“…but my needle phobia and I are very old companions.”
It’s not unusual for new clients to express doubt that hypnotherapy can remove a phobia that feels as if it has been an almost constant companion. Whilst this view is perfectly understandable it is, thankfully, incorrect.
As a result of the way in which hypnotherapy works, creating change at a deep level by working with your subconscious, the length of time that you have experienced a particular phobia or fear does not impact upon the effectiveness of the hypnotherapeutic process.
The change in your mindset occurs irrespective of how long you have experienced your previous unhelpful and fearful way of responding.
You may have lived with your needle phobia for many years but the good news is that does not mean that it is here to stay.
Through hypnotherapy you will find the help that you need to let go of that old fear and leave it behind, in your past, where it belongs.
“Do I have a (normal) fear reaction or is it a phobia?”
It is a matter of degree
A phobia is an extreme level of fear that is triggered by a specific situation or object. Your reaction to a phobia is overwhelming and can make you feel that your reactions are “over the top” or “out of control”. Although you may understand this at a cognitive level it can feel impossible to change your way of thinking and behaving using sheer willpower alone.
Without support, your phobia can start to negatively dominate your life. This process can start with subtle adjustments to your everyday living as you begin to develop a way of behaving and being in the world that is focused on avoiding the source of your phobia. Over time this can result in a narrowing or reduction in your life experiences as more and more time and energy are devoted to avoiding the source of your phobia at all costs.
What are the common symptoms of needle phobia?
The symptoms arise from your body’s stress response to a situation that it (wrongly) perceives as dangerous, threatening or fearful. When this occurs your body releases cortisol and adrenaline, the stress hormones, to prepare you for the instinctive physical reactions of fight, flight or freeze.
Common symptoms of needle phobia include:
- Feeling dizzy and lightheaded, as if you are about to faint.
- Experiencing the sensation of an upset stomach and/or waves of nausea.
- Beginning to sweat more.
- Noticing that your heart may be beginning to beat more quickly.
- Feeling a shortness of breath.
- Starting to shake or tremble.
Why do I have needle phobia?
You may have grown up with a close family member who experienced this phobia. By being exposed to their fear you may have subconsciously learnt to adopt this phobia yourself.
Earlier Traumatic Experience
You may hold a traumatic memory associated with needles within your subconscious e.g. perhaps an unpleasant injection that you received as a child. As your subconscious mind always attempts to protect you, it can generate somatic and emotional reactions to protect you from experiencing this situation again.
You may not consciously know the origin of your fear. You do know, however, through your current lived experience, that when you are faced with a needle related situation your mind and body respond in a certain way, automatically defaulting to a specific set of behaviours and thoughts.
How can hypnotherapy help me?
Hypnotherapy will enable you to reset your emotional response to needle based medical procedures so that you are able to recognise the situation as non-threatening. The previous bond that linked your fearful overreactions will be broken. You will find that you are able to meet these situations with a greater sense of personal control and calm.
If you would like to learn more about how hypnotherapy can help you overcome your needle phobia, why not contact me today to book a free discovery call?