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A 39-year-old member asked:

irrational fear of needles and shots- can i ever overcome it? what about taking a pill before each shot visit?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Colin Kerr
Family Medicine 44 years experience
Fear of needles: If the fear is there, it is usually automatic. You are not really in control of it, so plan appropriately. For some people numbing medicines like Emla (lidocaine and prilocaine) cream eliminate the pain and gets rid of the fear. Sometimes the fear is not about the pain, and a sedative or anti-anxiety medication may help. For most people it is not worth the trouble or expense to do formal phobia desensitization techniques.
Dr. Kevin Windisch
Pediatrics 25 years experience
Yes: I've had patients threaten to kill themselves if they had to get a shot. With patients and good psychotherapeutic technique (we used hypnosis) the patient was able to work through this successfully.
Dr. Andrew Berry
Clinical Psychology 14 years experience
CBT: Seek a cognitive-behavioral therapist who specializes in phobias. One method they use is systematic desensitization which slowly and incrementally brings the person closer and closer to the thing they are afraid of in slow, graduated steps that help make the anxiety more tolerable.

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A 29-year-old member asked:

How can I overcome my intense fear of needles?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Danny Proffitt
Family Medicine 43 years experience
Difficulty to do: Phobias and fears are often misunderstood by others. I have fear of needles and heights. It is not rational! it is real, can be immobilizing and emotionally painful. Desensitization may take a long time and needs to be by someone skilled and cautious. Maybe having the patient assist in the puncture may help. This can be done. May need professional help. Don't force the issue however.
A 37-year-old member asked:

What could cause my intense fear of needles (shots)?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Seth Kunen
Clinical Psychology 45 years experience
What's excessive?: Nobody likes shots. Phobias grow as avoidance of the feared event increases. Perhaps your fears have caused you to exaggerate the pain associated with shots. The fears can go away quickly. I treated a person with shot phobias who shortly after starting treatment was dx'd with diabetes. He had to start giving himself Insulin shots and lost his shot phobia in about one week. Quick cure!
A 29-year-old member asked:

How can I get over fear of needles?

7 doctor answers10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Alison Segal
General Practice 19 years experience
CBT : Systematic desensitization is a specific type of behavior therapy that is very helpful to individuals to overcome fears. It involves gradual exposure to the feared stimulus while teaching a person to be able to be able to acclimate to their own feelings of fear. Contact a licensed psychologist trained in cognitive behavioral therapy for this type of treatment.
A 33-year-old member asked:

What to do about my fear of needles?

2 doctor answers2 doctors weighed in
Dr. Heidi Fowler
Psychiatry 25 years experience
It can be conquered.: Cognitive behavioral therapy can be quite effective for phobias.
A 48-year-old member asked:

What do I do to get over my fear of needles/injections?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Lynne Weixel
Clinical Psychology 36 years experience
CBT phobia therapy: A therapist experienced with treating phobias would be a good idea. It's like unlearning the fear and learning how to tolerate feelings associated with unrealistic threat. As this is a fairly common phobia, there are therapists who have really effective strategies. Good luck working with one of them!

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Last updated Mar 19, 2015

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