We probably have a friend or two who are extremely afraid of blood and some even get fainted over the sight of it. It may not be much of an issue for many of us. Some people feel sick in their stomach when they see blood or the mere thought of seeing blood. Blood phobia is known as hemophobia or hematophobia . Hemophobia is not only a fear of blood. Hemophobia refers to the fear of injections as well.
Signs and Symptoms
All phobias have quite a bit of similar reactions, both physical and emotional. The fear is not much vivid for some people. However, for many out there it stays for a prolonged period. The phobia triggers with real-life sight or even while looking on the screen. The symptoms are often so vital that it leads to fainting, respiratory troubles, and many other complications.
Physical Signs and Symptoms
- Rapid heart rate
- Sweating profusely
- Feeling nauseated at the sight of blood
- Trembling vigorously
Mental Signs and Symptoms
- Extreme anxiety
- Panic attack
- Isolating yourself from outdoor activities
The symptoms may vary over different people and based on the level of fear. It may not be as fierce for some people, however, it can be extremely threatening for some. An extreme fear of blood may cause a vasovagal response. The vasovagal response refers to a reduced heart rate when you see your own blood or someone else’s blood.
Also, the symptoms can be more vicious among children. Children tend to through tantrums, cry, and hide to avoid the situation. This may become an extreme hassle for the parents as they will refuse their annual checkups or dental appointments.
Causes and Common Triggers of Hemophobia
Hemophobia is highly related to other phobias such as the fear of needles. Some homophobic people are afraid of doctors and hospitals too. People with the fear of blood usually have a traumatic experience related to the blood which can be an injury, abusive or any other trauma.
The sight of blood tends to take them back to the horrendous past memory and fear that they’ll need to go through the traumatic experience all over again. Sometimes the gruesome scenes in the movie also play a part in causing someone the fear of blood at an early age. Over time, the sense of fear rises and triggers with the sight of blood.
The sight of a needle is one of the most common triggers for hemophobia. . Sometimes people get triggered even when they see fake blood or even when they watch a blood scene on television. Along with human blood, some people are also triggered by seeing the blood of animals. The fear of blood is also triggered when someone has the fear of death, thanatophobia
Treatments of Hemophobia
Hemophobia is not deadly if you treat it properly using the right methods. Without proper treatment, along with mental distress, it can cause you physical distress as well. There have been many proven methods of treating hemophobia that has shown exceptional success results.
Exposure therapy is one of the most common and effective methods of treating the fear of blood . The therapist will expose you to your fear to gradually help you overcome it. It may take a while to completely let off the fear but exposure therapy has a massive success rate with proven effectiveness among patients.
Another treatment that worked splendidly well among people with hemophobia is the applied tension method . The method involves tensing your arms and torso muscles before you face your phobia. This method has proven to be working great with people who tend to faint as exposed to the sight of blood.
Societal and Cultural Impact of Hemophobia
Many times we tend to forgo something just because it's not causing distress on a continuous basis. Hemophobia can cause a wide range of difficulties that will limit your life choices which can prove to be fatal in the long run.
If you fear blood then you will constantly try to avoid medical checkups and avoid any dental or surgical treatments as well. The constant negligence may result in vital physical problems that can even become life-threating over time.
Many people who suffer from hemophobia deliberately avoids social gatherings and sports as that may lead to injuries. This eventually labels them as socially awkward make them isolated from the rest of the world.
How common is the Fear of Blood?
It may seem odd or unlikely if you don't suffer from the fear of yourself. However, around 12.5% of people in America suffer from fears related to blood, needle, etc. If we look closely around us then we can easily identify the people who avoid going to the hospital because they'll have to witness blood.
We all have a relative who avoids the annual checkup or dental appointments as they will have to encounter a needle. If you notice such symptoms on your close ones then try to counsel them and help them overcome the fear gradually.
Sometimes the fear is so extreme among some people that they have sudden panic attacks and some even faint. The issues may become severe and fatal if not treated properly. It may not be common as many other fears but we need to consider how dire it can be for some people out there.
What Should you do if you have the Fear of Blood?
The fear of blood will limit the activities that you. You’ll always live in the fear that you might get injured and shed blood. This will lead you to avoid sports, outings and social gatherings as well. So, you’ll eventually you may become isolated which can affect your relationships as well.
Many parents are even afraid to put a band-aid on the child due to their fear of blood. This may cause mental distress and you may label yourself as a bad parent as you're unable to help your child in the time of need. We suggest you rise above your fears and seek medical help if such issues arrive.