Trypanophobia- Fear of injections

Fear of needles or injections is a very common fear that affects not only kids but adults as well. This fear might have arisen from the fear of discomfort or anticipation that they know that they will feel pain when poked with a needle thus he or she might avoid medical treatment or becomes extremely anxious when subjected to medical procedures.

This type of phobia is recognized in the 4th Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as a specific phobia and there are several types. Vasovagal trypanophobia manifests as fainting due to an inherited vasovagal response causing a drop in blood pressure. Second is associative trypanophobia where fear is brought about by the association of pain with the procedure. Third is resistive trypanophobia which is associated with being restricted or pinned down during the procedure. Lastly, hyperalgesic trypanophobia occurs in people who have heightened sensitivity to pain thus the pain of a needle prick is magnified in these persons causing them to fear the procedure.

People with this phobia feel anxious when they have to have injections, blood extractions, or any medical procedure involving a needle prick. Some would even avoid going to the doctor altogether and will resort to alternative therapies that are non-invasive.

Treatment includes behavioral therapy and desensitization to the fear of needles. In some cases, pain can be minimized by using anesthetic creams so that subsequent experiences with a needle can be viewed by the individual as less unpleasant.