Coping With the Fear of Blood

How to handle fainting at the sight of blood

Coping With the Fear of Blood

From the WebMD Archives

I didn’t expect to faint at the sight of my son’s blood. As a mother, my job is to nurse boo-boos — and when when my son came to me after smashing his thumb a few months ago, I prepared to do my best Florence Nightingale. Then I saw the blood.

The room began to spin. I broke out in a cold sweat. I felt all the color drain from my face. After yelling upstairs to my husband to take over, I slid to the kitchen floor.

Psychologists don’t know exactly why up to 15% of us experience the plunge in blood pressure that causes us to faint whenever we see blood. One theory is that the phenomenon — officially termed “blood-injury phobia” — is an evolutionary mechanism.

“The idea is that back in time, when someone was coming at someone else with a sharp stick or rock, a kind of genetic variation allowed certain people to faint in response,” explains Tyler C.

Ralston, PsyD, a clinical psychologist in Honolulu, who treats people with blood-injury phobias. Warriors who fainted looked dead and were passed over during battle.

The blood pressure drop also might have helped those who were wounded avoid bleeding to death. Survivors then passed on the “fainting” gene.

And while this might have been helpful to our ancestors, it can be absolutely debilitating for people who can’t make it through a simple blood test.

Fortunately, psychologists have devised ways to treat the fear, so if you’re trouble staying upright at the sight of blood, try to find a psychologist trained in treating phobias.

For a referral, check with the Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (www.aabt.org) or the Anxiety Disorders Association of America (www.adaa.org).

The therapist may be able to give you relaxation training (progressively relaxing the muscles of the body), which can be helpful for blood phobia.

The technique that appears most effective is called applied tension, developed by Swedish psychologist Lars-Göran Öst, which works best when coupled with a self-exposure program.

To learn applied tension you work with a therapist. When you start feeling light-headed, you tense the muscles in your arms, legs, and trunk for about 10 to 15 seconds to raise your blood pressure and prevent fainting. Once you have mastered applied tension, the therapist exposes you, step by step, to the situations that trigger your phobia.

The first step might involve thinking about driving to the clinic where you have blood drawn. In later sessions you might watch videotapes of blood tests or simulate the experience.

“I may come in wearing a lab coat and put the tourniquet on [the patient’s] arm,” says Martin Antony, PhD, psychology professor at Ryerson University in Toronto and author of Overcoming Medical Phobias: How to Conquer Fear of Blood, Needles, Doctors, and Dentists.

After three to five sessions, you should be able to look at blood without the world starting to swim.

SOURCES: Tyler C. Ralston, PsyD, clinical psychologist,Honolulu. Martin M. Anthony, PhD, ABPP, professor in the Department ofPsychology at Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada.

Jeffrey Lohr, PhD,professor of Psychology at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. BrachaHS, et al., Clinical Autonomic Research, 2005;15:238-241.Hellström K, et al., Behaviour Research and Therapy, 1996;34:101-112.Vögele C.

, et al., Behaviour Research and Therapy, 2003;41:139-155.

© 2009 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.

Source: https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/features/swoon-at-the-sight-of-blood

Fear of Blood Phobia – Hemophobia

Coping With the Fear of Blood

Simply explained, Hemophobia or the extreme fear of blood, elicits a phobic reaction from the suffering individual at the sight of blood, which may or may not be his own. Often, there is confusion between Hemophobia and the fear of needles.

A person may be afraid of having his blood drawn which can be mistaken for Trypanophobia (or the extreme fear of needles). In fact; this common specific phobia is actually categorized broadly as blood-injection-injury phobia.

Un other specific phobias, the fear of blood phobia leads to some rather different symptoms which shall be covered later in this article.

First let us study the causes of Hemophobia.

Causes of fear of blood phobia

As stated above, there is a link between other phobias and the fear of blood phobia. The fear of needles phobia and hemophobia is one combination often seen in individuals. Some patients are known to display a phobia of dentists and doctors along with Hemophobia.

  • In general, the fear of blood phobia is triggered by a fear of the field of medicine as it is often related to blood, injections, injury, pain and death.
  • TV and movie images can also contribute to this fear. Halloween culture, gory bloody movies, serial killer murder stories etc have also been known to cause this phobia.
  • Bleeding is often a sign or indication that there is something wrong with the body. Hence, hypochondriasis or nosophobias are also linked to Hemophobia. Hypochondriasis and Nosophobia are both characterized by a fear of falling sick or developing specific diseases cancer, diabetes etc.
  • The fear of germs or Mysophobia can also trigger Hemophobia since the individual is afraid of ‘catching germs’ from someone else’s blood.
  • Fear of blood is also linked to the fear of death or Thanatophobia.
  • The sight of blood often causes the individual to faint; s/he may fear embarrassing oneself by fainting, which is actually the body’s defense response to protect itself from further stress.
  • As with other extreme phobias, the fear of blood can be brought on by a prior negative or traumatic childhood experience with blood.

Symptoms of Hemophobia

As stated above, Hemophobia brings on some rather different symptoms than those brought on by specific phobias.

The similarities with other phobia symptoms are:  anxiety, nausea, increased heart rate, sweating, trembling or shaking at the sight of blood. This is followed by a sudden drop in blood pressure and heart rate that leads the individual to faint, become pale or weak, which are not seen in other phobia reactions.

Fainting occurs because the brain does not receive adequate blood supply. Fainting or having a panic attack can be an ‘embarrassment’ to the individual who then tries to avoid seeing blood at all costs.

Hemophobics not only fear seeing their own blood or that of others, in some cases, they may even have an anxiety attack upon seeing blood of animals.

The phobia can sometimes consume one to the degree that it interferes with his/her daily life. The sufferer might refuse to visit a doctor or dentist or even see printed pictures of movies involving blood. S/he may lead a sedentary lifestyle in order to avoid sports related injuries.

Treatment for overcoming fear of blood phobia

Experts recommend the opposite of relaxation techniques which are usually suggested for overcoming other common specific phobias. In this method, rather than relaxing, the individual is asked to ‘squeeze his large muscle groups into tense knots’ in order to prevent himself from fainting. This technique is especially helpful for patients who faint at the time of getting an injection.

One of the major side effects of Hemophobia is depression or anxiety. A mental health professional can help provide a solution to overcome these conditions.

Hemophobics are also encouraged to gradually expose themselves to certain events or sports which are potential areas where blood may be present. This can help one slowly get comfortable with their fear. Behavior and cognitive behavior therapies as well as hypnosis and talk therapies can help hemophobics lead a normal life.

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Source: https://www.fearof.net/fear-of-blood-phobia-hemophobia/

Coping With the Fear of Blood

Coping With the Fear of Blood

Martin Barraud/OJO Images/Getty Images

Hemophobia, or fear of blood, is a common specific phobia. The fear is categorized by the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual as part of the subtype “blood-injection-injury” phobias. This subtype, which also includes needle phobia, can cause symptoms that are not frequently seen in other types of specific phobias.

Most types of specific phobia cause heart rate and blood pressure to rise. Hemophobia and other blood-injection-injury phobias frequently cause a drop in blood pressure and heart rate.

The sudden drop can lead to fainting, a relatively common response to the sight of blood.

 Anticipatory anxiety, in which you may experience a racing heart, shaking, and gastrointestinal distress, is common in the hours and days before an upcoming encounter with blood.

Hemophobia is often related to other phobias. Trypanophobia, or fear of medical needles, is sometimes associated with hemophobia.

Some people with a fear of blood also have other medical phobias, such as fears of doctors and dentists.

 The field of medicine is popularly associated with gruesome images of spilled blood, particularly in television and movies, which may help to perpetuate such phobias.

Hemophobia may also be associated with health phobias including hypochondriasis and nosophobia.

Bleeding is an indication that something is wrong with the body, and the sight of one’s own blood can be enough to trigger​ health anxiety.

In those who experience mysophobia or fear of germs, the sight of someone else’s blood can trigger fears of catching a disease. In some cases, the fear of blood may be related to the fear of death.

Hemophobia may be caused by a previous negative experience with blood. Those who have been through a traumatic injury or illness that caused a major loss of blood may be at increased risk. However, hemophobia may be inherited or even be rooted in evolutionary factors.

Because the fear of blood is extremely common, it is frequently exploited in popular culture. Horror movies and Halloween events prey on our natural aversion to blood, often featuring large quantities of fake blood in full Technicolor glory.

Of course, as the 1980s slasher genre proved, it is easy to become emotionally numb to such images, particularly for those who have a fear, but not a full-blown phobia.

 Part of the reason that the shower scene in 1960s Psycho is still considered a masterpiece is the relative lack of gore. The scene was shot in black and white, and the knife never actually pierces the skin. Yet the mind fills in all of the details of a gruesome knife attack.

Spilled blood sometimes creates a paradox—we can’t bear to look, yet we can’t bring ourselves to look away.

Hemophobia can cause a wide range of difficulties that may prove life-limiting or even dangerous. If you are afraid of blood, you may be reluctant to seek medical treatment. You might postpone or avoid annual physicals and needed medical tests. You may refuse surgery or dental treatments.

Parents with hemophobia may find it difficult or impossible to bandage their children’s wounds. You might pass these tasks off to your spouse whenever possible. You may also overreact to minor injuries in your children as well as yourself, frequenting emergency rooms or walk-in clinics when home treatment would suffice.

A fear of blood may also cause you to limit activities that carry a risk of injury. You might be unable to participate in outdoor activities such as hiking, camping or running. You may avoid sports, carnival rides and other activities that you perceive as dangerous.

Over time, such avoidant behaviors can lead to isolation. You might develop a social phobia or, in extreme cases, agoraphobia. Your relationships might suffer, and you might find it difficult to participate in even the normal activities of daily living. Feeling depressed is not unusual.

Hemophobia responds very well to many treatment methods. One of the most common is cognitive-behavioral therapy. You will learn to replace your fearful self-talk with healthier responses to the sight of blood. You will also learn new behaviors and coping strategies.

If your phobia is severe, medications can help control the anxiety, allowing you to focus on treatment strategies.

Other forms of talk therapy, hypnosis, and even alternative treatments may also be helpful.

 A skilled therapist can guide you through the process of recovery, which can be difficult or impossible on your own. With help, though, there is no reason for hemophobia to control your life.

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Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.

  1. Association AP. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5®). American Psychiatric Pub; 2013.

  2. Pan Y, Cai W, Cheng Q, Dong W, An T, Yan J. Association between anxiety and hypertension: a systematic review and meta-analysis of epidemiological studies. Neuropsychiatr Dis Treat. 2015;11:1121-30. doi:10.2147/NDT.S77710

  3. Wani AL, Ara A, Bhat SA. Blood injury and injection phobia: the neglected one. Behav Neurol. 2014;2014:471340. doi:10.1155/2014/471340

  4. Roxby P. BBC News. Fear of dentists and needles needs sympathetic ear. January 15, 2011.

  5. Iverach L, Menzies R, Menzies R. The Conversation. Fear of death underlies most of our phobias. May 15, 2016. 

  6. Glaser D. The Guardian. Why some people can’t cope with the sight of blood. October 8, 2017.

  7. Martin GN. (Why) Do You Scary Movies? A Review of the Empirical Research on Psychological Responses to Horror Films. Front Psychol. 2019;10:2298. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02298

  8. Pitkin MR, Malouff JM. Self-arranged exposure for overcoming blood-injection-injury Phobia: a case study. Health Psychol Behav Med. 2014;2(1):665-669.

  9. Spiegel SB. Current issues in the treatment of specific phobia: recommendations for innovative applications of hypnosis. Am J Clin Hypn. 2014;56(4):389-404. doi:10.1080/00029157.2013.801009

Additional Reading

  • Sanford J. Stanford Medicine. Blood, Sweat and Fears.

Source: https://www.verywellmind.com/fear-of-blood-hemophobia-causes-and-symptoms-2671861

Applied Tension Technique – For People Who Faint at the Sight of Blood or Needles

Coping With the Fear of Blood

Applied Tension Technique – For People Who Faint at the Sight of Blood or Needles

Apr 17 • 2019

Most people feel a bit uneasy when they see blood or have to get a needle. However, for some people, seeing blood or needles causes them to faint or to feel they will faint.

It is very rare to actually faint from anxiety, unless you have this problem.

If you tend to faint when you get an injection or have blood drawn you can benefit from learning a simple technique that will help you prevent fainting or speed up the recovery time if you do faint.

Why Do Some People Faint at the Sight of Blood or a Needle?

Fainting is caused by a sudden drop in your heart rate or blood pressure. When we are anxious, our heart rate and blood pressure actually go up. This is why it is so rare to faint when you are feeling anxious.

However, some people with a fear of blood or needles experience an initial increase and then a sudden drop in their blood pressure, which can result in fainting. This drop in blood pressure is called the vasovagal response. Only a small minority of people have this response at the sight of blood or needles.

The good news is, if you have this problem there is a way to prevent it and keep yourself from fainting.

In most cases, fainting is harmless.The sudden drop in blood pressure that results from the vasovagal response is not dangerous or life-threatening.

However, it is important that you discuss your fainting with a doctor before using this technique or exposing yourself to situations (such as needles or blood) that could cause fainting.

The Applied Tension Technique

The Applied Tension Technique (The Applied Tension Technique was developed by Lars-Göran Öst) is a strategy developed to help prevent fainting or help people recover faster if they do faint. The technique involves tensing the muscles in your body, which then raises your blood pressure. If your blood pressure increases, you are less ly to faint.

How to Do It

Sit in a comfortable chair and tense the muscles in your arms, legs and trunk forabout 10 to 15 seconds. You should hold the tension until you start to feel a warm sensation in the head. Then, relax your body for 20 to 30 seconds. Repeat 5 times.

TIP: When you relax your muscles after tensing them, the goal is not to become completely relaxed, as this will cause your blood pressure to drop. Rather, the goal is to let you body return to a normal state (not overly tense or completely relaxed).

It is important that you practice this strategy several times a day for at least a week.

Using the Applied Tension Technique with Exposure Exercises

After you have practiced this technique for at least a week, you can start using this strategy when doing exposure exercises to blood and needles. See modules on Specific Phobia for more information.

Helpful Tips:

  • Speedy Recovery: If you do faint, you can speed up your recovery by lying down and elevating your feet.
  • Tense & Relax: If you tense your arm when you are receiving a needle, it can be more painful. Try to relax the arm that will be receiving the needle, while tensing the other parts of your body. However, since this can be difficult to do, it’s important to practice before going to get an injection. Alternatively, you can use the tension technique before and after getting a injection but try to release the tension in your body when you actually get the needle.
  • Warning: If you develop a headache when trying the applied tension technique, try to reduce the level of tension or the frequency of practice sessions.
  • Warning Signs: It can be helpful to learn to recognize the early signs of your blood pressure dropping, such as feelings of lightheadedness. Try to use the tension technique as soon as you start to experience these sensations.
  • Practice: Even though this strategy sounds simple, it takes practice to be helpful.

Source: https://www.anxietycanada.com/articles/applied-tension-technique-for-people-who-faint-at-the-sight-of-blood-or-needles/

Blood Phobia & Fear of Fainting: How to Solve this Problem

Coping With the Fear of Blood

A blood phobia is a condition in which a person is ly to faint at the sight of blood, the anticipation of physical injury, or the anticipation of an injection.

It's actually called a blood-injury-needle phobia, because those are the cues that can trigger a faint.

With panic attacks, fainting is extremely unly to occur, but with a blood-injury-needle phobia, it's ly under the right conditions.

This isn't really a phobia at all, but the result of a particular biological condition. But first, here's a little background.

The Nature of Fainting

People often think of fainting as a physical catastrophe, in the same category as heart attacks. But fainting is actually a self protective response, not a sign of disease or disaster.

What causes a person to faint? Fainting is caused by a sudden and significant drop in your blood pressure. If your blood pressure drops for whatever reason, the part of your body most ly to get an inadequate supply of blood is your brain, because it's on the top.

The brain, more than any other organ, needs a steady supply of freshly oxygenated blood, and it can be damaged if blood flow is impaired. That's a problem if your blood pressure drops a lot, and fainting is the body's response to this problem.

If we can't get enough blood to the brain, fainting brings the brain down to the blood.

If we had our brains in our feet, there wouldn't be any such thing as fainting, but kickboxing matches would be really hard to score.

Too much of a good thing

All of us have a tendency to respond to seeing blood with a slight drop in blood pressure. This is a good thing, because if you see blood, there's always the chance it's yours. And if you're bleeding, it's good to have low blood pressure. You'll bleed less, and clot faster.

People with a blood phobia just have too much of a good thing. When they see blood (or a needle in a nurse's hand), their blood pressure drops more than average. It drops enough to make it hard to get good blood flow to the the brain, resulting in the self protective faint.

The Treatmentof Blood Phobia

Fortunately, this is a treatable problem. The treatment involves learning how to raise your blood pressure, typically by tensing and squeezing your large muscle groups, to make it harder to faint when you're about to have an injection, or to read some illustrated medical textbooks.

This treatment, systematic tensing of your muscles, is the opposite of relaxation. Relaxation can be helpful for most phobias and anxiety problems, and may be useful to you in managing other anxiety symptoms. It's not part of the treatment for blood phobia!

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Hematophobia: Can you overcome the fear of blood?

Coping With the Fear of Blood

Hematophobia. Can you overcome the fear of blood? There are many people who suffer from blood phobia. An illogical and irrational fear takes hold of them when they see (and even think) of a wound, needles, cuts, syringes, hospitals, etc. Anything related to blood scares them. Find out what hematophobia is and how to overcome it:

Hematophobia

Few of us to see blood. It is normal to feel rejection, even experience unpleasant feelings (dizziness, nausea, and even fainting). The problem comes when the anticipation of these sensations produces such intense fear that it leads us to avoid any situation that has to do with blood. They even prevent the person to undergo hospital intervention or medical care.

The only way to overcome the fear of blood is by exposing ourselves and getting used to it. The challenge lies in the first approximations, where dizziness and discomfort are the usual response. For all those who wish to try it, in this post we explain what is hematophobia, and how to deal with it.

Hematophobia: Fear of blood

It’s a hot summer day. The temperature under the sun is scorching, but we are sitting comfortably in a chair on the terrace of our house. Under a shade that casts a pleasant shadow, we share the table with some good friends after a hearty meal. However, this idyllic image will soon give way to a terrifying and typically “Tarantinian” episode.

Someone decides that the best way to be less full from the meal is by eating a piece of watermelon. The person in charge of cutting the watermelon has very little fine motor skills. This story ends with him screaming because he has cut himself.

A bruised finger is clamped with a cut that is astounded by its small size and incredible bloodstream. As our friend bleeds, we begin to feel a sensation of discomfort, dizziness, we move to a chair, we don’t want to look, we lose strength in our hands.

At that moment a cry for help comes our throat with incredible force:”Someone call an ambulance… I’m going to faint!

This is more common than it seems. Many people, from first-year medical students to gore viewers, have suffered the symptoms of what professionals call Hematophobia.

Blood phobia: Hematophobia

Fear of blood can be called Hematophobia: People who suffer from it fear wounds, hospitals, cuts, and syringes. This phobia can sometimes have troublesome consequences for the person and can lead to more serious disorders such as anxiety and incapacity to undergo medical care (such as a simple blood test) or the ability to provide help to a person who has had an accident.

In addition to being rare, these cases are usually the most problematic, in the sense that this fear prevents them from leading a normal or healthy life. Hematophobia is characterized by the anticipation of thoughts (“I’m sure that if I go to the doctor I’ll have to have surgery”) and avoidance (“I’d better not go, I rather not know”).

The important thing and the most interesting thing is that just by observing needles, blood, viscera or wounds, produces in some people a concrete physiological reaction. The good news is that this reaction can become controllable and can be overcome.

Hematophobia: A biphasic response

People, who are afraid of blood experience a biphasic response, what does this mean? that our organism, when it sees (or thinks) about any issue related to blood, responds in two stages:

In the first phase, and as a result of the shock and fright typical anxiety response is given. Our physiological aspects, for example, heart rate, blood pressure, and breathing rate decide to rate skyrocket.

The second phase, which follows, is the subsequent hangover that makes these same variables that had been triggered, decrease abruptly. Hence, blood does not circulate to the periphery and we have that feeling of lack of strength in our hands.

The blood supply is also reduced, and the end result can be fainting.
In fact, the fainting rate, according to some authors, is as high as 80%. Considering that the prevalence is about 40% of the population. Well, statistically, a lot of people faint with blood.

Hematophobia: Overcome your fear

If everyone were to suffer from this phobia, who would be in charge of performing surgery? Although it is largely a natural response, there are people who while being exposed to blood, manage to overcome the fear without even knowing it.

 There are people who avoid any situation that exposes them to these situations (hospitals, injured people, blood tests or donations). It is at this point that hematophobia can appear as a psychological disorder.

But to reach the point of disturbance, it must clearly affect our normal life, and especially our health.

The good thing about all this (yes, there can be something good!) is that there are ways to deal with that fear.

We can practice relaxation at home and apply it the next time we feel that the fear of blood and its biphasic response take hold of us.

These tips are intended for those who want to try a useful way to learn how to respond to these situations, but the ideal would be to go to a psychologist if the symptoms are intense.

1- Sit down

The feeling of dizziness may result in fainting. If we are sensitive to blood pressure, it is important that you always sit down to avoid hurting yourself.

2- Squeeze Strongly- Arms

Put your hands on your legs. Squeeze your fists you have something in your hands, hold on for 10-15 seconds and then let go.

3- Breath slowly and relax

Reduces stress by controlling your breathing. Relax your hand muscles, this part will last approximately 15-20 seconds.

4- Squeeze Strongly- Legs

Force the soles of your feet against the ground while squeezing your knees together. Same time as in the case of the arms.

5-Breath slowly and relax

Loosen your legs and stay that way for 15-20 seconds.

6- Squeeze Strongly- Body

In this part, we will tighten the body if we were going to stand up position. We will lift the buttocks off the chair and clench your whole body.

This position is the one we adopt when we are several people at home and the bell rings.

We make the gesture of getting up while we say “I’m coming,” but in reality, we’re not really making the effort to get up. This position will clench your whole body.

8- Maximum voltage and End

Once you have contracted all the muscles you can now be conscious that you have relaxed the whole body.

The above technique is used in therapy to treat this type of phobias. Remember to always be aware of your fears and brain train your cognitive abilities. CogniFit offers different platforms were you can evaluate and train different aspects of cognitive skills and mental health disorders.

 This article is originally in Spanish written by Diego Rémon, translated by Alejandra Salazar.

Alejandra is a clinical and health psychologist. She is a child specialist with a diploma in evaluation and intervention in autism.

She has worked in different schools with young children and private practice for over 6 years. She is interested in early childhood intervention, emotional intelligence, and attachment styles.

As a brain and human behavior enthusiast, she is more than happy to answer your questions and share her experience.

Source: https://blog.cognifit.com/hematophobia/

4 ways to stay calm during a blood test

Coping With the Fear of Blood

While it’s true that blood tests are quick, safe and usually painless, they’re not always easy to face. That’s because many of us suffer from a phobia of needles (trypanophobia) or blood (haemophobia) and it's little comfort to be told your fear is simply irrational.

Instead, here are four easy ways to make the experience a little easier, so you can get the tests you need:

    If you’re anxious about blood tests, the best thing you can do is let your phlebotomist (the person taking your blood) know. Try to put your embarrassment aside and let them help you through it. Give them details about experiences in the past where it’s been difficult to draw blood, or you’ve felt faint or nauseated.

    It’s ly they’ve heard it before and know how to help. If you feel faint they can recline your chair or take your blood while you lie on a couch or bed.

  1. Distraction is your best friend
  2. Anxiety builds when you obsessively overthink a situation. During a blood test, distract yourself by any means possible. The key to this is never looking at the needle. Here are a few suggestions:

    • Watch a video or listen to music on your phone and close your eyes
    • Bring a friend who’ll keep you engaged in conversation
    • Visualise being somewhere else. Close your eyes and take yourself to the beach or somewhere relaxing.

  3. Stay hydrated and fill your belly
  4. First, ask if your test requires a period of fasting. If it does, try to fast for the minimum time allowed. If it’s 12 hours, book your test for first thing in the morning so you’re only skipping one meal. Most blood tests don’t require fasting so make sure you’re well fed and have had plenty of water.

    Low blood sugar, a consequence of skipping meals, can contribute to feeling faint, while dehydration lowers the amount of available fluid in your body and can make it more difficult to draw blood. Drinking plenty of water promotes fuller veins and brings them closer to the surface for easier access.

    Read: Blood-injury-needle phobia | The fight against fainting

  5. Keep warm
  6. Low temperatures shrink your veins, making it difficult for the phlebotomist to find an appropriate location to insert the needle. This can draw out the process and make you more nervous.

    If you’re a typically cold person, or outside temperatures are low, do everything you can to stay warm and get circulation flowing. Wear warm clothing and go for a brisk walk before your appointment.

I felt the needle go in and I thought “great I've done it I've not fainted!” And then I fainted…

The lady was very nice, she just literally took two tiny things of blood.

I was quite kind of nervous about it. It was okay really I kind of had to look away and she did her thing.

I've never actually had a blood test done before. Ever. So I didn't really know what to expect. But she was excellent, she calmed me down, she told me when to look away.

Barely felt it, the guy was really really good with needles. Definitely the best needle experience I've ever had.

I take blood from patients all the time and I have lots of patients that are scared of blood taking and scared of needles.

There's quite a few things you can do number one: Talk to the person taking blood, tell them that you're nervous, tell them that you're scared, it can make a big difference.

Two: You know where your blood test has been successful from before and you know the vein that won't give the blood up, let the healthcare professional know where they should look. The third thing to do: Distract yourself, whatever that is.

Obviously I fainted, but I was lying down and it was fine.

– If you are a person that faints when you have a blood test it's okay, we can take our time and both of us will have a better experience.

Last updated Thursday 17 October 2019

Source: https://www.nuffieldhealth.com/article/4-ways-to-stay-calm-during-a-blood-test

Coping With The Fear Of Blood

Coping With the Fear of Blood

By Nicola Kirkpatrick

Updated February 08, 2020

Reviewer Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC

Source:rawpixel.com

Hemophobia,oraphobiaolood,canbeaproblematicfeartohave.Youcanseebloodanywhere.Forexample,you'reonthebus,andyounoticeachildwithabloodynose.Aco-workeraccidentallygetscutswhilemovingafilecabinetorworkingwithheavymachinery.Ifyouhavechildren,theycanskintheirkneesonthefootballfieldorthesidewalk.

Bloodisacommonthingtosee,andit'sahardfeartoface.However,thefearoloodissomethingmanypeoplestrugglewith,soifyouhavethisfear,you'renotalone.

Severecasesofhemophobia(orfearolood)causeapersontohavephysicalreactionsthatyoudon'tseewithotherphobias.Forexample,someonewhoisafraidoloodmayfaintatthesightofit,whichisknownasvasovagalsyncope.

Someonewithhemophobiacouldalsohavetrypanophobia,thefearofneedles,ortraumatophobia,whichisthefearofphysicalinjuries.Hemophobia,trypanophobia,andtraumatophobiaallfallundertheumbrellaof”blood-injection-injuryphobias.”

CausesOfHemophobia

Ifsomeoneisafraidolood,it'sprobablybecausesomethingtraumatichappenedduringchildhoodoradolescencetocausethephobia.Traumaticeventsthatoccurduringthestagesofhumandevelopmentaremorelytocausehemophobiathanbeinggeneticallypredisposedtothefear.Thatmeansthatthefearoloodisonethat'sprobablynotinheritedorpasseddownthroughgenerations.

Source:maxpixel.freegreatpicture.com

Although,homophobiacanresultfromtraumarelatedtoseeingblood,expertsbelievethatitisnotalwaysaneventspecificallyinvolvingbloodthatleadstohemophobia.Maybeapersonhadaterrifyingexperienceinvolvingthecolorredand,asaresult,ittranslatedtoafearolood.

Hemophobia”Triggers”

Bleedingcanbescarybecauseit'sasignthatsomethingiswrongwiththebody.

Whenpeopleareafraidthatthey'resickorhavechronichypochondriasis(thefearoecomingsick)ornosophobia,whichisthefearofdevelopingaspecificdisease,cancerordiabetesthataffectstheentirebody.

Whenyou'reafraidofcontractingaparticularailment,itcanthenleadtoafearoftheverygermsthatcanleadtosickness(mysophobia),or,intheextreme,thefearofdeath(thanatophobia).

Hemophobiaandmysophobiacanbeevenmorecloselylinked,asthepersonmaybeafraidofcatchinggermsspecificallyfromanotherindividual'sblood.

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Asstatedearlier,thesightofneedlescantriggersomeone'shemophobiabecausethey'reafraidofwatchingthebloodgointothesyringe.Inadditiontoneedles,thereareseveralother”triggers”thatcanexacerbateaperson'shemophobia.

Forinstance,Halloweendecorationsdepictingblood,thoughfake,canstilltriggersomeone'shomophobia.Imagesontelevision,suchasthosefoundingoryhorrorfilmsortelevisionshowsinvolvingmurderasatopicorstoryline,canaffectsomeone'sfearolood.

SymptomsOfHemophobia

Whenapersonexperienceshemophobia,theytrembleatthesightolood,usuallyafterasuddendropinbloodpressure,andtheyfeelfaintandturnpale.

Someonewhoisafraidofthesightoloodmayalsoexperiencethesesymptomsuponseeingthebloodofananimal.Itdoesn'tnecessarilyhavetobehumanbloodthatevokesastrongreaction.

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Apersonwhohashemophobiamayprefertoliveasedentarylifestyle.They'rerelativelyinactivelifebecausethey'reprobablyscaredthatexerciseorsportscouldinjurethem,whichmightleadtobleeding.Iftheybleed,itcouldlandtheminthedoctor'sofficeorhospital,wherethereismorebloodaround.It'ssadtothinkaboutbecausethepersonmightotherwisebeabletoenjoyoutdooractivities,butfearlimitsthem.

Anotherunfortunatesideeffectofhemophobiaisdepression,whichgoeshand-in-handwithasedentarylifestyle.Theindividualmaywanttobeactive,gorunningorplayasport,butbecauseofhemophobia,thepersonisscaredofinjuryandseeingblood.Notbeingabletogetoutthereanddothethingsyouwantto,itcouldleadtodepression.

Ifyoustrugglewithhemophobiaandyou'renotsurewhattodo,considerreachingouttooneofourBetterHelpcounselorsforassistance.

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TreatingHemophobia

Onetreatmentforhemophobiaistoincreaseanindividual'sbloodpressure.Byincreasingit,thiswilldecreasethechancethattheirbloodpressurewilldrop,andthatthey'llfaint.

Theappliedtensionmethodworkswellonhomophobiaratherthanrelaxationtechniques,whichiseffectiveonthosesufferingfromotherphobias.Hemophobiaisdifferentfromothersincethetoppriorityistopreventthepersonfromfainting.Squeezingaperson'smusclegroupsintoknotsisonewaytoraisetheirbloodpressure.

Itworkswellinsituationswhereapersonisatriskoffainting,suchasreceivinganinjectionorblooddrawatthedoctor'soffice.Imaginepracticingrelaxationtechniquesforaphobiathatalreadyleadstofainting.Itdoesn'tmakesensetoloweryourbloodpressurewhenyoufeelfaint.

It'snowonderexpertsinthefieldcameupwithadifferentmethodforcopingwithastrongphysicalreactiontoaphobia.

TipsForASuccessfulApplicationOfTheAppliedTensionTechnique

Ifyou'restillgettingusedtousingtheappliedtensiontechnique,youmaystillfaintatfirstwhenplacedintoasituationinvolvingahemophobiatrigger,gettingyourblooddrawn.Ifyoudofaint,youcanrecoverfasterifyoucanliedownandelevateyourfeet.

It'simportanttorememberthattensingyourarmwhilereceivinganinjectioncanmaketheinjectionmorepainful.Instead,relaxthearmthatisreceivingtheinjection,andfocusontensingtheotherpartsofyourbodytoavoidfainting.Itmaybedifficulttomasteratfirst,butit'sessentialthatyoupracticedoingthisbeforegoinggettinganinjection.

Youcanstilluseappliedtensiononthearmthatisgettingtheinjectionbothbeforeandaftertheprocedure;however,youneedtoremembertoreleasethetensioninthatarmwhiletheneedleisadministered.Ifduringtheinjection,younoticeyourselfdevelopingaheadachewhileusingtheappliedtensiontechnique,trytoreducetheamountofstrainyou'reputtingonyourmusclesorthetimeyourspendtensingthem.

Usetheappliedtensiontechniquewhenyourecognizeafaintingspellabouttocomeon.Youmayexperiencelightheadednessasawarningsignbeforeyourbloodpressureisabouttodrop.Harnessthisfeelingandstartyourappliedtensiontechniquestopreventfaintingbeforeit'stoolate.

Donotgetdiscouraged.Appliedtensionmaysoundsimple,butit'scrucialtopracticeboththetimingofthetechniqueandrelaxingthearmthat'sreceivingtheinjectionwhilesimultaneouslytensingtherestofyourbody.It'satrickyskilltomasterbutkeepworkingatit,andyou'llgetbetterandbetter.Sources:

Fear of Blood

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_phobia

Fear of Blood Phobia – Hemophobia

Source: https://www.betterhelp.com/advice/phobias/coping-with-the-fear-of-blood/