Trypanophobia (The Fear Of Sharp Objects)

Psychology Facts / Thursday, December 31st, 2020

Trypanophobia is the fear of sharp objects, specifically needles. Although this type of phobia is similar to Aichmophobia, this condition fears medical needles. When you have a fear of sharp objects, you are also adamant about being scared of going to a dentist and other medical procedures that involve needles. Fear of undergoing any medical procedures that consist of using needles will be a challenging fear to overcome. And going to a dentist will be difficult as you will have a fear of the dental drill.


What is Trypanophobia?

Trypanophobia or needle phobia is an extreme fear of medical procedures that involve injections or needles. Although it is similar to belonephobia, aichmophobia or enetophobia, which also deals with fears of sharp objects, trypanophobia includes the medical facet of the fear. Fear of needles can hinder people from seeking medical care, such as going to the dentist and other medical procedures that involve the use of needles. And this will be hard for the medical workers whose work involves using needles to treat people with this fear.

bulletFor the medical workers, having enough knowledge on how to deal with patients with needle phobia, will be an easy task. Especially children who are afraid of needles, as they are not used to have their skin being pricked. Convincing children will be a difficult task for the medical worker if he or she has no enough knowledge about this fear. And so, knowing or asking the guardians or parents if their child has needle phobia would be an advantage. But by time, when they reach adulthood, they can have high tolerated when seeing or be injected by the needles.

However, some people cannot overcome this fear of sharp objects until adulthood. And this may be troublesome, as they may not seek medical care that involves using needles. Also, there are cases that people with trypanophobia can advance to a too intense phobia.


Causes of Trypanophobia to develop on people

Although, the doctors have no specific clauses of why people have acquired trypanophobia, and some don’t. There are still certain factors that they point out why people have developed a needle phobia. Here are these factors:

  • A negative or unpleasant life experience that an individual had gone through might cause this fear of sharp objects. A trauma brought by a particular situation or object may also cause the development of fear of needles for example pain during a dental procedure.
  • One certain factor that may cause a person’s fear of needles is the changes in a person’s brain chemistry.
  • Another factor that the doctors had pointed out was the sensitive, inhibitive or temperament of the person. This factor may have caused the fear of sharp objects of an individual.
  • The development of trypanophobia to a person may cause by genetics or learned behaviour. The person may genetically be inherited or behaviorally acquired this fear of sharp objects from a family member or a relative.
  • One factor that may cause the development of this fear of sharp objects is the childhood phobias that have emerged by the age of ten.
  • Learning about the negative information of the needles may cause the development of this fear of sharp objects. Also, if the person has experienced it and gives a bad result, it is one factor that can cause trypanophobia.


Symptoms of Trypanophobia

fear of sharp objects

A person’s quality of life can be seriously affected by the symptoms of trypanophobia. As these symptoms can be extremely intense that they can be devastating. The symptoms of trypanophobia occur when the person sees needles or have to undergo a medical procedure that involves needles. Here are the symptoms that you can take not, to determine if the person has needle phobia.

  • faints when being pricked by a needle
  • dizziness, sometimes became severe, when being pricked by a needle
  • anxiety attacks triggered by seeing a needle
  • panic attacks
  • insomnia or having difficulty to sleep caused by the fear of needles
  • racing heart rate
  • high blood pressure due to sensitivity to pain
  • running away or avoiding medical care
  • feeling physically or emotionally violent


Treatment for persons who have Trypanophobia

A treatment’s goal is to address and treat the causes of trypanophobia of the person. The treatment may vary depending on the person being treated. Psychotherapy is mostly recommended to people who have trypanophobia, and these are as follows:

  • Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy focuses on changing the physical and mental response of the person to his fear of needles. conquering fearThe therapist will expose the person to needles and explore the triggering thoughts it entails.

  • Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

The Cognitive Behavioral Therapy focuses on exploring the fear of needles of the person and how can he cope up or overcome this phobia. The therapist will help the person learn different ways to deal with his fear and how it affects him.

  • Medication

Medication can only apply to a stressed individual who is unresponsive to psychotherapy. Antianxiety and sedative medications are given to the individual who suffers from this fear. It will make your mind and body relax enough to reduce the symptoms. Sedation dentistry is used to calm anxious patients and it works really well. The fear of needles may not be diminished, but it will make the person live with it.

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