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  • Q&A with Australian Health Practitioners

    How can I get rid of my fear of needles?

    I have a specific phobia (fear of needles). I have been scared of getting shots since I was a kid and I am terrified of going to the doctor or dentist when I know there is a blood draw or numbing involved. I try to avoid these appointments but I know there will be a time when I have to go in. How can I get rid of my fear of needles? How are specific phobias treated?
  • Find a professional to answer your question

  • 3

    Thanks

    Anthony Berrick

    Psychologist

    Needle phobia is one of the most common specific phobias, affecting approximately 10% of the population. It usually develops in early childhood as a result of a traumatic experience with an injection. Once this ‘conditioning’ has occured, the needle can become a trigger for severe anxiety. This anxiety is extremely unpleasant and naturally leads to avoidance.

    The good news is that, as with most specific phobias, treatment is relatively straightforward and has a high success rate. The treatment with the strongest evidence is Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, which aims to reduce the anxiety response associated with the needle through exposure and ‘systematic desensitization’. 

    A psychologist with experience treating specific phobias with CBT should be able to help you. If you're in Sydney, please feel free to get in touch with me. Otherwise, check out the Australian Psychological Society's website to find a psychologist in your area: www.psychology.org.au/findapsychologist

    All the best.

  • 1

    Thanks

    Ralph Graham

    Counsellor

    Ralph Graham, Counsellor, Psychotherapist, helping those who are affected by:grief, loss, anxiety, phobias, panic attack.And those who have been traumatised by:crime, assault, sexual abuse and … View Profile

    In addition to the above, the anxiety being triggered can be coming from an earlier painful event. When this is the case and the event can be discovered and skillfully examined the phobia can resolve quite quickly. I have seen phobias leave in one session using this approach but of course every case is different. Follow Anthony's advice and find a professional you feel comfortable working with. Go well,

  • ptojoe

    HealthShare Member

    i have needle phobia…how do iget rid of it

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