Needles and other sharp objects crop up all over the place. Some people have a fear of needles if they’re about to be jabbed by one of these implements. Others take their phobia a stage further and can’t even watch someone being injected by a needle on a television show – they look away from the screen until the awful deed has been done. Regardless of the scale of your trypanophobia, it is possible to overcome your phobia and return to normal.
As with a lot of phobias, you can use processes such as cognitive behavior therapy to help to reduce your fear of needles. You’ll have a number of sessions with the therapist and the procedure will be to talk through your phobia – a bit like talking to your shrink – until the fear subsides. It has been shown to get good results and if your fear is extreme then it’s well worth exploring.
For the remainder of the approximately one in ten people (including both Snoop Dogg and Alice Cooper) who experience fear of needles to some degree or other, there are other options that work to varying degrees.
Dentists are one place where we regularly confront needles. It is worth talking through your fear with your dentist – they are perfectly used to this – and exploring alternatives to injections if you need to have your gums numbed before a filling or tooth extraction. This gives you time to work on your phobia at your own pace whilst also keeping your teeth in pristine condition.
The reason you’re worried is almost certainly rational – it’s not a normal thing for humans to be jabbed with a sharp object – but the benefits that can be gained from injections should outweigh the fear. They can protect you from harm by innoculating you against various diseases as well as protect you from pain as seen in our dentist situation.
Hypnosis has a high success rate of dealing with your fear. It works deep down in your subconscious mind to change the way you think about needles.
The fear is deep rooted and no amount of conscious rationalization will make it disappear. After all, if that was the case, you’d already have overcome your fear and wouldn’t be reading this article.
So, back to hypnosis. It goes deep into your subconscious mind – the part of you that controls most of your bodily functions on autopilot. Then it will put in a series of hypnotic suggestions that will gradually spawn themselves and replace your old “worried about needles” reaction with a new reaction that allows you to be injected without turning into a quivering wreck or attempting to race out of the room rather than be subjected to a needle point.
The hypnotic process can be carried out by a local specialist or by listening to an MP3 file on your iPod. Both options have a high success rate, the latter choice being cheaper and more discrete since no-one other than you will know what you’re listening to.