Hemophobia, blood phobia, fear of blood, whatever you call it, can be a major problem in the lives of sufferers. Broadly called blood-injury-injection phobia is a relatively common phobia and we are going to talk a little bit about the treatment options.
A phobia, unlike a fear, is an unconscious response to a feared stimulus which causes dysfunction for the person. To differentiate, the fear is often so intense that the sufferer will go to great lengths to avoid seeing, hearing or even thinking about the issue.
As you can imagine, a fear of blood can be a major impediment in a person’s life. There are many times or situations when you may be exposed to blood and having a phobic response every time often gets out of hand for the sufferer.
People with hemophobia and fear of needles will often avoid medical appointments out of fear of what they may be exposed to. They will avoid routine vaccination and blood testing, putting them at higher risk of long term health complications.
How does treatment for blood phobia work?
EXPOSURE THERAPY! It sounds so scary, right? Well that isn’t the intention at all. Blood phobia (and other phobias) are treated through the exposure to the feared stimulus in a controlled environment. In order for treatment to work it is important that the treatment does not get to a point where the sufferer is being traumatised by the treatment or that they feel significantly uncomfortable.
To work through treatment safely, the sufferer is taught coping skills, learns about their phobia and what triggers it and only when they are comfortable with this do they start to actually work on exposing themselves to the stimulus in a very slow and guided manner.
Treatment of blood phobia can be difficult to engage with, as the sufferer often thinks ‘I will do that one day’ but that day never comes and they are constantly exposed to situations that trigger their phobia. As a result I have developed a Blood Phobia Treatment course which I will be launching very soon on this website. If you would like to be informed when this course becomes available, please join the mailing list below.