This week the UK has been told that vaccinations for COVID 19 have been approved by the regulator. Many people will be pleased but if you have a fear of injections or anything related to getting the jab you might be terrified.
This blog provides information for people who want the COVID 19 vaccination but feel too scared to have the injection. Solutions are here.
There are many, many different fears and phobias but a fear of injections, needles, hospitals, doctors or anything related to going and getting your COVID jab many have been made worse during the pandemic.
A fear of medical procedures is called Trypanophobia.
What causes the fear of injections?
Fears are are the body’s response to a real or perceived threat.
We don’t always know where the fear comes from, but it could be a learned behaviour (classical conditioning) or emotion connected to a situation that has been linked to the problem Often the fear has arisen during childhood or at a young age when it’s more difficult to understand what is going on at the time.
One view is that the fear develops because of the symbolic meaning that we give stressful situations.
Some fears and phobias have several triggers.
People with fears and phobias are often good at imagining things and have a good focus of attention
What is the difference between a fear and a phobia?
We all react to fears because they could be a threat to our survival, health and wellbeing. It’s natural to be fearful of some things. But when the fear is overwhelming, continuous, and intrudes into our everyday lives the fear could have developed into a phobia.
A phobia is an irrational fear.
Fears and phobias can be simple or complex.
How does a fear of injections present?
Fears related to injections could be simply because you feel scared when you think about or see a needle and syringe. For some people they could be more complex as you fear the needle, the environment and the people giving you the treatments. You may also fear the outcome.
Fears can relate to objects, people, words, and pictures related to having the injection.
You could show emotions and behaviours on a continuum. The range would be from feeling uncomfortable, a general dislike and avoidance, to physical conditions such as being sick or fainting.
Fears and phobias make people anxious and can result in panic attacks.
What treatments are available for a fear of injections?
Fears of injections don’t need treatment unless it is stopping you from getting the injection that you want and is causing you lots of worry and anxiety.
There are several ways you can get help, but there isn’t one method that suits all people. It also depends on the symptoms you are having.
Things that can help:
- Counselling including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) to address negative thoughts and beliefs
- Behavioural techniques including desensitization through exposure and flooding
- Medications including beta-blockers, sedatives and antidepressants
- Deep breathing to reduce anxiety.
- The applied tension technique if feeling faint. This involves tensing muscles, holding for a few seconds then releasing the muscles.
- Some complementary therapies
Does hypnotherapy help fears and phobias?
Hypnosis is a self-help treatment. The hypnotherapist guides you to make the changes.
Hypnotherapy helps you relax and reduce the anxiety.
Most hypnotherapists will help people with fears and phobias so there is lots of anecdotal evidence and client reviews that hypnosis can help.
There are research studies looking at hypnosis for fears and phobias. Many studies are case studies or have a small number of participants so the evidence doesn’t include so many randomised control trials. However, a review of the literature by McGuinness 1984 showed that hypnosis was effective at helping fears and phobias.
Hypnosis can be a standalone helping process or it can be used with other therapies.
Some therapists also use talking therapies such as counselling or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy with hypnosis.
How can a hypnotherapist help someone with a fear of injections?
Before deciding to have hypnotherapy you might decide also to have a chat with your doctor, especially if you are taking any medication as occasionally some medications might make you feel anxious.
All hypnotherapy treatments start with getting to know each other and an assessment. (Not all people will be suitable for hypnotherapy). Information will be provided and there will be an agreement on how you will work together and the number of sessions.
During the session, the hypnotherapist will guide you into a state of hypnosis but talking to you in a certain way. All you need to do is listen as you will feel relaxed. Positive suggestions are given to help you reframe the fear. Some hypnotherapists may use regression techniques to help you find the cause of the problem.
Some hypnotherapists also provide hypnosis audio downloads to relax and listen to at home.
Finally if you want that COVID injection but feel that you can’t because you have a fear of injections Linda from Awaken the Change could help. Contact Linda for a free initial consultation and find out more.