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Mary Shomon

Needle Phobia: When a Fear of Needles Poses Dangers to Your Health

By May 12, 2013

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While none of us like to get shots, or have blood taken, some people suffer from needle phobia, which can be so severe that that it causes sufferers to avoid anything related to needles. Needle phobia can have serious, even deadly consequences, because patients may categorically avoid all procedures that involve needles, such as lab testing, injections, vaccinations, even dental work. For thyroid patients -- who need regular blood testing for diagnosis and treatment -- needle phobia can be a huge impediment to treatment.

Learn more about needle phobia in this informative new Q&A with patient advocate Geri Rybacki, Executive Director of the Coalition for Better Thyroid Care. Geri successfully worked with a thyroid support group member who had severe needle phobia, helping her obtain long-overdue bloodwork and treatment. As a result, Geri is focusing efforts on increasing awareness of this overlooked but common phobia, the problems it can cause -- including to patients with thyroid conditions -- and what can be done by practitioners, patients, and their friends/families/advocates -- to help sufferers of needle phobia.

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Comments
May 14, 2013 at 9:18 am
(1) JerseyWoman says:

My needle phobia is not unfounded. I was getting a blood test at 5 years old when the stupid nurse got the needle STUCK in my arm! The needle exploded and blood shot out like a fountain. I’ve been afraid of them ever since. I still get blood tests – and even concieved my children via the use of fertility shots. But I get very anxious before hand and NEVER – EVER look at the needle. I close my eyes! I got over 150 fertility shots and blood tests – and never saw the needle once! The worst is IV’s. I’m so afraid of IV’s that I cry when they come at me with the needle and someone needs to be with me to calm me down. I have bad veins and have had some painful experiences with them and have kicked nurses out of room and not allowed them to come near me. My BP always rises when I need to get any type of needle – blood test, IV’s, immunizations (even the flu shot!)

June 3, 2013 at 9:13 pm
(2) Emily says:

About a year ago I had to have surgery on my toe because I had an ingrown toenail. the doctor there have been used to doing soldiers for surgery( which I did not know). when he gave me the shots he was very brutal about it and gave me 6 shots in each foot to numb it. apparently as I found out afterwards he had done soldiers and so he was known for being that brutal and soldiers are way more tough and can handle more pain than a 13 year old so the soldiers didn’t complain about how much it hurt. I now again have an ingrown toenail and have to have surgery again but this time I have a different doctor but I was so traumatized from last time Im so scared to have the shots again even though he seems way more gentle and understanding of pain. i have to have the surgery in two days and Im breaking out about it!!!!!

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