Vaccines are vital, and taking up the routine immunisations available to you and your family is the best way to protect against meningitis. However, getting a vaccine is not always something that people look forward to. Some people experience a genuine and extreme fear when it comes to needles, making them less likely to get vital vaccines.
Whether this person is you, a friend, or family member, we’re here to guide you on how to manage this phobia of needles, otherwise known as Trypanophobia.
According to Anxiety UK, Trypanophobia is thought to affect between 3.5 % to 10% of the population.
Why do people suffer from trypanophobia?
Phobias can be split into two categories; simple and complex.
Simple phobias often develop in childhood. They can be the result of a negative childhood experience, or even learnt behaviour.
Complex phobias are thought to be caused by genetics, brain chemistry and life experiences. These phobias tend to be more disabling than simple phobias.
So what does trypanophobia feel like?
Like many other emotions, fear instigates a physiological response; the body releases the hormone adrenaline. Adrenaline causes symptoms such as:
- Feeling faint (light-headed or dizzy)
- Increased heart rate
- A dry mouth
It is important to understand that although trypanophobia may lead to these uncomfortable symptoms, vaccines themselves
are proven to be one of the safest public health interventions in history.