Are you afraid of needles? Try these phobias on for size:
Belonephobia: n the fear of needles.
Aichmophobia: n the fear of pointed objects.
Algophobia: n the fear of pain.
Trypanophobia: n the fear of injections.
If needles freak you out, you certainly are not alone. Approximately 22 per cent of Australians are so afraid of needles that they avoid many medical procedures, according to research conducted by Griffith University. The study found that this was a huge detriment to the Australian Red Cross Blood Service, with 77 per cent of participants admitting it stopped them from donating blood!
So, we’ve put together a list of tips with the help of the American Red Cross to ensure that you desire to do a bloody good deed and donate blood wins over your fear of needles.
- Keep your eye on the prize: Focus on the difference your donation will be making. You can help save three lives and, compared to the slight, momentary pinch you feel when giving blood, your sense of accomplishment is timeless and the affects you’ve made can last a lifetime.
- Don’t make it a big deal: Try not to think about the needle, or getting the needle. Don’t worry about the size of the needle, and don’t stress over the pain- most first time donors say it’s painless anyway! If you keep stressing over the needle before you even get there, you’re just creating a sense of anxiety that, in the long run, will make the entire process, and the needle itself, much more uncomfortable.
- Know what to expect: It’s a great idea to be aware. Read up on the whole donation process, so that when you arrive at your appointment, you will feel ready, prepared and won’t be thrown off guard. Don’t hesitate to ask questions while you’re there as well- the friendly staff are more than happy to help!
- Distract yourself: Pick up a magazine from the newsagent on your way, or bring a book. Your favourite tunes or a friend for moral support or to chat with can be incredibly helpful. Some say pinching yourself when the needle goes in can also be effective. Figure out what works for you and indulge in it!
- Share your fear: Tell the Australian Red Cross Blood Service staff about your fear in advance. This way, they are aware and able to talk with you and assist you during the donation process.
Andrew B, who made his 30th donation just last weekend, shared this advice with us via Twitter (@youngbloodNSW):
Do you have any tips or tricks that you use? We’d love to hear about them! If you’re ready to tackle your fear book an appointment to donate blood, by calling the Australian Red Cross Blood Service on 13 14 95 or simply visiting https://www.donateblood.com.au/ready-to-donate/make-appointment.