1. Get the Diabetes Forum App for your phone - available on iOS and Android.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. Guest, we'd love to know what you think about the forum! Take the Diabetes Forum Survey 2020 »
    Dismiss Notice
  3. Diabetes Forum should not be used in an emergency and does not replace your healthcare professional relationship. Posts can be seen by the public.
    Dismiss Notice
  4. Guest, stay home, stay safe, save the NHS. Stay up to date with information about keeping yourself and people around you safe here and GOV.UK: Coronavirus (COVID-19). Think you have symptoms? NHS 111 service is available here.
    Dismiss Notice
Dismiss Notice
Find support, ask questions and share your experiences. Join the community »

Needle Phobia

Discussion in 'Ask A Question' started by Mynameiskez, Mar 20, 2017.

  1. Mynameiskez

    Mynameiskez LADA · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Hi there.

    I'm currently awaiting results to prove I'm t1.5 not T2 as I've been treated for for 3 years (don't get me started on why it's taken so long!!!)

    Has anyone else here suffered with a fear of needles? If so how do you manage it or what did you do to overcome it?

    I litterly break down every time I have my bloods done. I can't look and I need the nurses to talk rubbish to me while they do their thing. I hate the thought of anything under my skin - which also contributes to compulsive skin picking.

    I've had one session of hypnosis and have been told I will need two more. I'm worried might not work though. If not I don't live near anyone I could ask to help me on a daily basis. I would have to give up my job and move to be near my closest friend (no family).

    One one hand I'm desperate to get insulin but on the other i know at the moment I won't be able to deliver it.
     
    • Hug Hug x 2
  2. Bs0lth

    Bs0lth Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Hi @Mynameiskez.

    I have the worst needle phobia going, I never get bloods taken drives my doctor nuts, have no tattoos or piercings and had real troubles when I've been admitted into hospital. I've tried to get out major surgery saying I can live with the pain, and generally have a really bad time.

    After 2 years of nagging to get blood work done and not doing it, I went for an overall check, they threw me by saying they needed bloods and you can watch my blood pressure go up when they say that.. And it was because of this I was diagnosed as diabetic :(

    To get my bloods done I first need to get my head straight. And I need to talk to the person taking blood. I tell them about my phobia, how bad I am and at times I ask for gas and air... Oh yes I'm that bad... If it's available then normally they will arrange it for me.

    I need to lie down to get it done... The amount of times I've fainted is rediculous but I find it easier to lie flat. I also ask for a sick bowl because I've thrown up a few times as well.

    I also take a teddy I was given by an A&E doctor as it gives you something in your hands to actually play with. This really helps because your mind focuses on the teddy.

    I try to get my mind off what's going on and tell myself it really doesn't hurt.

    I never watch them take it my eyes are normally squeezed shut.

    It's hard to relax I know but if you prepare well and talk to the person taking your blood it really helps.

    I gave no idea how I will handle having to inject insulin. My doctor seems to think that's it's inevitable but for me it's game over if that happens I don't know if I will actually be able to do it.

    However, on that note, I am able to prick my finger for the tests and two really good friends gave said that is actually worse than injecting...

    Talk to your doctor about your phobia, they might be able yo help
     
    • Like Like x 2
    • Hug Hug x 1
  3. Mynameiskez

    Mynameiskez LADA · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    48
    My doctor is well aware. Her solution: type 'complex case' in my notes!
     
  4. himtoo

    himtoo Type 1 · Well-Known Member
    Retired Moderator

    Messages:
    4,684
    Likes Received:
    5,409
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Hi @Mynameiskez
    it can be a tough dilemma. :(
    but for me I always have taken the view that if i don't inject I won't be around for too long............ that tends to provide the motivation to overcome any phobia.
    ( i realise this won't help you too much - sorry )
     
    • Like Like x 2
  5. Winnie53

    Winnie53 Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,263
    Likes Received:
    2,083
    Trophy Points:
    178
    @Mynameiskez do you live in the UK? Anxiety UK has an online booklet on needle phobias here... http://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/Needle-Phobia-Booklet.pdf

    In it they overview a variety of ways to access the help and support you need. The booklet is sensitively written and provides a good overview of your options. Hypnotherapy is discussed so it's good you're in the process of trying that treatment. :)

    If you, a friend, or a family member have difficulty accessing the booklet, you can also contact them directly here...

    Anxiety UK
    Zion Community Resource Centre
    339 Stretford Road
    Hulme
    Manchester
    M15 4ZY
    www.anxietyuk.org.uk
    [email protected]
    08444 775 774

    At the end of the online booklet - ( http://www.cnwl.nhs.uk/wp-content/uploads/Needle-Phobia-Booklet.pdf ) - they list lots of other organizations, and they list a number of books. It's estimated that 3.5 to 10 percent of us have needle phobias, so it's not uncommon. :)
     
    • Informative Informative x 2
    • Useful Useful x 1
  6. Prem51

    Prem51 Type 2 · Expert

    Messages:
    6,438
    Likes Received:
    18,370
    Trophy Points:
    198
    Hi @Mynameiskez, I have had a severe needle phobia since childhood. I believe it is due to memories of childhood innoculations. Our GP used to come to our house to give us the injections as there were five of us children, and I remember being dragged out from where I was hiding behind a sofa and having what seemed to me a huge needle plunged into my arm.

    I have only had one injection into my arm in the last 60 years after those childhood experiences, when I went to India for the first time about 35 years ago. I was told I had to have Typhoid, Cholera and Hepatitis injections. I told my GP that I had an injection phobia, so he asked the practice nurse to give me all three in one injection using a very fine needle usually used for babies. It wasn't as bad as I feared, but I still wouldn't do it again and haven't had innoculations when I have travelled to Asia since then, and I go every year to India or Thailand.

    I did overcome my fear of blood tests, after visiting a close friend in hospital. She subsequently died, but I was so impressed and grateful for the efforts made by NHS staff to save her that I felt I had to do whatever i could to support the NHS. The mobile blood donor clinic came to my workplace every year and I decided I would give blood. The first time was difficult, but it got easier after that. I still had to look away when the needle was inserted, but it didn't hurt as much as innoculations into muscle, and I am no longer fearful of blood tests.

    I do wonder why medical science hasn't come up with a less painful way of giving injections, as so many people have that phobia. At work we also used to get a NHS mobile clinic coming round every Autumn to give flu jabs to anyone who wanted them. I never had them, except for one year when they used a high pressure jet machine to shoot the vaccine through the skin which was completely painless. They never used it again, I don't know why but presumably they decided it didn't work as well as needle innoculations.

    Anyway my innoculation phobia gave me the determination to control my diabetes by diet and exercise as I knew I would never be able to inject insulin. So perhaps you should remember what the possible consequences of diabetes are, and that blood tests are the far lesser evil.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. Mynameiskez

    Mynameiskez LADA · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    48
    That's what everyone keeps saying. A good friend (t1.5 also) gave me an old pen and some fresh needles to handle, a climate myself to and practice. I can handle it fine. Inserting it - no chance.

    I'm OK finger pricking. I tense up sure, I hover over the button for a while too. But one you press the button bam it's done.
    Pens require you to actually - I can't even write it... oh God.
     
  8. Mynameiskez

    Mynameiskez LADA · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Thanks Winnie. I will definitely check that out. Good to know I'm not alone!

     
  9. Mynameiskez

    Mynameiskez LADA · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Well done you. I cant even think of giving blood and having something in me for a prolonged time.

    I do manage to have my bloods taken but it's always traumatic. It's putting insulin in that's that she issue.

    I am keeping my levels down through diet at the moment - but with vertually no carbs this means no energy.

    Usually I work full time, study part time and cycle over an hour a day. But I've not been able to cycle for a few months now and I've fallen behind on my studies by a year as work zaps everything I've got and I have nothing left for evenings and weekends. My flat is usually a bomb site so i scrape my pennies together to hire a cleaner.

    What's the point in having a job if I have no life around it!

    I've been off work a month and can just about manage housework and shopping. I though I could use the time for my studied but I was wrong. I can't motivate myself at all. Six years I've been on the course (part time phd). It's cost me thousands of pounds and I fear I won't be able to finish. I'm really only a year away from the finish line. If I can get there.
     
    • Hug Hug x 1
  10. Scott-C

    Scott-C Type 1 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    2,476
    Likes Received:
    2,725
    Trophy Points:
    158
    There was a thread a few weeks back about this gadget: www.insujet.com
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    9,787
    Likes Received:
    7,407
    Trophy Points:
    178
    I have a needle phobia. I've had Type 1 more than 20 years and I still have my needle phobia. It's improved a little, but it's still there. I still struggle with blood tests, but my injections/cannulas are ok (I'm on a pump). Firstly, the whole experience is very different from a blood test because I'm in control; the needle is tiny and manufactured to be as painless as possible; it's not an optional extra - it keeps me alive; if I want to feel good then the insulin will help me feel my best.

    The most important of those is the first one - that I'm in control. Giving yourself an injection is very different from being injected by another person.

    I've found the trick is to 'think through' the injection. That is, think into the future about what you're going to eat, etc, or even do a Maths sum in your head, whatever occupies your mind.
     
    • Useful Useful x 2
    • Informative Informative x 1
  12. Mynameiskez

    Mynameiskez LADA · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    67
    Likes Received:
    17
    Trophy Points:
    48
    Thanks for the advice.

    I've just come out of a hypnosis session where we went over and over the initial cause. When I was 5 or 6 I stepped on a sewing needle and only the eye stuck out of my foot. My mom panicked and the stress must have implanted a reaction I've been subconsciously visiting since. By going over and over it its desensitised me - or made me comfortably bored as he called it.

    Sunday we will re imprint more useful feelings and associations. I feel much more optimistic about it now. I have a lot of faith I the therapy. And if not the useful info here will definitely help.
     
    • Hug Hug x 2
    • Like Like x 1
  13. azure

    azure Type 1 · Expert

    Messages:
    9,787
    Likes Received:
    7,407
    Trophy Points:
    178
    That sounds great @Mynameiskez I really hope it works for you. It'll make a huge difference. X
     
    • Friendly Friendly x 1
  14. Bs0lth

    Bs0lth Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Hi @Mynameiskez
    Your reply made me laugh :) I love it ...complex case...

    I think my doctor I'm sure has a flashing neon light appears on his screen say ....

    God help us... We need to send her for bloods.... :)

    But seriously, because my fear is do well known, and because I was still trying to escape the hospital when they were wheeling me to surgery to get my ruptured appendix removed I was given a chance to try to control this with diet and metformin... I'm currently proving to them that I can do it for the time being without insulin.... I just pray I can keep doing it.

    Do what you can, I never thought I would get used to stabbing myself with a needle but it's getting there
     
    • Like Like x 1
  15. Bs0lth

    Bs0lth Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    63
     
    • Like Like x 1
  16. B3nny

    B3nny · Newbie

    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    1
    Trophy Points:
    23
    Needle phobias are nasty. I have got used to it now but I still hate them. I am lucky the body replaces blood as I would be drained by now.

    I know that it would be hard for anyone to comfort you when it comes to needles we are all the same but what I do is to get emla cream (an anaesthetic) from the Dr (I have it on repeat prescription as I give a lot of blood|!!) and put it on a specific vein (I am lucky that I have good veins) about 45 mins to an hour before the dreaded blood letting. This stops me feeling the needle going in. That for me was the worst part, and I do not look at the nurse taking the blood but I do not have an issue with blood itself and its normally over in 30 seconds or less.

    Over time, I have accepted this and will now willingly go to either the hospital or Drs to give blood, but it did take time.

    I know this is me, but believe me, I would find any excuse to do this as I was terrified of needles to a point of passing out and probably why I am the way medically now.

    Good luck mate.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Useful Useful x 1
  17. Bs0lth

    Bs0lth Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    63
    @Winnie53

    There was a couple of interesting things in the leaflet, one that this can be helped with CBT, I'm still doing this therapy and I'm really going to throw my therapist tomorrow and bring it up, if I can learn coping skills it might help. I sort of do what it says anyway..

    I practice deep breathing to help my body to relax, I have something in my hands, I've handled needles but that hasn't helped... Like I say, very interesting and food for thought.

    I know it's irrational, but it's just there, and maybe if I can get help all the more reason to when bloods are needed, and if my doctor is right I will need to inject insulin in the near future.
     
    • Like Like x 1
    • Hug Hug x 1
  18. Bs0lth

    Bs0lth Type 2 · Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    118
    Likes Received:
    127
    Trophy Points:
    63
    I'm going to have to ask my doctor about this cream, it might help
     
    • Like Like x 1
  • Meet the Community

    Find support, connect with others, ask questions and share your experiences with people with diabetes, their carers and family.

    Did you know: 7 out of 10 people improve their understanding of diabetes within 6 months of being a Diabetes Forum member. Get the Diabetes Forum App and stay connected on iOS and Android

    Grab the app!
  • Tweet with us

  • Like us on Facebook