The 3 differences between blood phobia and needle phobia

Phobias are a set of psychopathologies associated with very high states of anxiety that are triggered by the appearance of a specific catalyst that does not represent a danger proportional to the intensity of the reaction felt by the person, such as an animal household, a vehicle or a weather event.

There are a wide variety of pig phobias virtually any experience can lead to proposing the type of stimuli capable of triggering phobic symptoms. And in fact, in most cases, many of these phobic disorders have very similar characteristics, which is why they overlap in some ways. However, there are two types of phobias that should not be confused: the phobia of blood, on the one hand, and the phobia of needles or injections, on the other hand. In this article you will find a summary of their differences.

What are phobias?

Phobias are psychological disorders characterized by the appearance of irrational and intense fear triggered by a relatively innocuous stimulus or related to something that carries no significant danger, such as talking to strangers, spiders, storms, clowns, etc.

This type of disorder is part of the anxiety disorders and is commonly accompanied by states of discomfort, anxiety, agitation and intense terror in the most acute cases, as well as other associated physical symptoms. When the symptoms of phobias appear, there is usually an intense need to avoid this type of stimulus or to run away, and it seems the feeling of losing control of your bodyas well as other anxiety-related phenomena: tremors, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, etc.

One of the main characteristics of phobias is that the fear felt is always subjective and perceived by the person concerned, and that the triggering of said fear almost never poses a real threat to their physical integrity. The person who suffers from the phobia may know that he is not in real danger from a rational point of view, but despite this, he feels in danger.

Some of the stimuli that can trigger the appearance of a phobia or an irrational fear in a person can be spiders, enclosed spaces, open spaces with people, flying in an airplane, etc.

Any type of phobia, however ridiculous it may seem to the outside observer, should not be underestimatedbecause it is a disorder with a great capacity to affect the quality of life of those who suffer from it.

On the other hand, among the most common phobias we can find blood phobia and needle phobia, two disorders that may seem very similar, but contain different characteristics that you should be aware of.

What are blood phobia and needle phobia?

Blood phobia or hematophobia is, like all phobias, part of anxiety disorders and consists of the appearance of generally high states of anxiety, distress, or discomfort in the presence of blood (yours or someone else’s) or the possibility of seeing blood in any situation.

It is one of the most frequent types of phobias that exist in the world and is more prevalent in people of all ages, usually appearing for the first time during childhood (7-8 years) and exerting an influence significant effect on the person’s life to the point of modifying their lifestyle and carrying out certain activities in order to avoid situations likely to produce injuries (or even cuts or perforations in the context of medical intervention).

On the other hand, needle phobia, or trypanophobia, is instead a type of phobia characterized by an irrational fear of needles and real or imagined injections and also before the idea of ​​being subjected in the present or in the future to any type of puncture in the body.

Differences Between Blood Phobia and Needle Phobia

Needle phobia and blood phobia share common characteristics, which is why they belong to the group of phobias called “blood injection damage”, as they are related to damage or severe pain in the body itself. same.

However, there are also key differences that distinguish the two phenomena, which must be taken into account.

Blood phobia usually has most of the symptoms of anxious avoidance who present the majority of the phobias that exist. Some of the catalysts or stimuli that trigger anxiety are related to the occurrence of wounds and cuts both in the body itself and in other people, as well as tests of all types carried out in the field. medical.

People who have a blood phobia generally avoid going to the doctor and exposing themselves to any type of medical examination or test involving needles, injections or punctures in their own body.

In addition to that, blood phobia also has its own characteristic symptoms, such as biphasic response, a physiological phenomenon so called because it occurs in two phases. The first is a sudden increase in blood pressure and respiratory rate; and the second is based on the drastic drop in both indicators.

This biphasic response usually results in fainting on the part of the person with blood phobia, due to the activation of two opposing mechanisms in the human body and the rapid change in blood pressure. And, on the other hand, the biphasic response is not so associated with needle phobia, in which it is usual for the blood pressure to remain at high levels throughout the attack from which the person suffers.

On the other hand, it is believed that the psychobiological mechanisms on which the two types of phobias are based may be different. Although needle phobia doesn’t seem much different from other specific phobias, it makes sense that blood phobia is based on an innate predisposition to avoid situations in which blood is spilled, given that for hundreds of thousands of years of our lineage’s evolution, these events usually have relevant implications for its own survival. From this point of view it is useful to be able to react quickly to a possible danger likely to produce injuries, then to lower blood pressure sharply to avoid as much blood loss as possible if damage has occurred in the body.

Another of the main differences between the two types of phobia is the trigger that generates the symptoms of fear and anxiety: while in the case of blood phobia it is always anticipation, vision or imagination. blood in any scenario, in needle phobia the catalyst is the needle as an object, without the appearance of blood being necessary or the expectation that the skin will be pierced by this object.

Treatment of phobias in psychotherapy

A psychotherapeutic intervention by a qualified professional is the best option to successfully treat phobias of all types and for the person to acquire a series of useful knowledge and strategies that they can put into practice on a daily basis to overcome their phobia. Fortunately, psychotherapy is very effective in helping people overcome their phobias within weeks.

Treatment for phobias is usually cognitive-behavioral, one of the most effective to date for treating this type of irrational fear. In such cases, part of the techniques consists in helping the person to face what frightens him, but without completely giving in to panic and the urge to flee, resisting a certain discomfort for, little by little , get used to the phobic stimulus. This is achieved using, for example, the controlled exposure technique.

Another of the strategies that psychology professionals use in cases of phobias is cognitive restructuring, that is, helping the person acquire much more positive and adaptive thoughts and cognitive processes that allow them to overcome their anxiety, setting aside dysfunctional beliefs about danger assumed from the phobic stimulus and its ability to cope with these situations.

And finally the Applied Tension technique, a technique of applying tension to certain muscle groups of the patient to prevent fainting or fainting when exposed to the source of fear.

Do you want to start a psychotherapy process?

If you need psychotherapeutic help for a phobia problem or another class of fear or anxiety disorder, contact me.

I am a psychologist expert in the treatment of anxiety problems and I offer face-to-face and video call sessions.

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