Did you know people avoid the flu shot because they have a fear of needles?

It’s time to get your flu shot. Does that scare you?

Whilst some people describe the flu shot as a little prick, others feel significant pain. In both cases however, the injection is over before they can count to 3! So why are an alarming number of individuals avoiding the flu vaccine? Turns out many people have a clinical fear of needles. It is estimated that 1 in 5 people have a fear of needles in Australia. Of those people, 20 percent will avoid needles or injections all together. This means that it isn’t just the avoidance of flu shots but all medical needs may be avoided as well.

What is a needle phobia?

A needle phobia is an extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections. Children are especially afraid of needles because of the pain factor. The brain responds to these early needle experiences as a threat. However, by the time most of these children reach adulthood, their brain learns that despite the sharp prick, the needle is no longer a threat. For some, this threat response does not go away and persists throughout adulthood.

What causes a fear of needles?

There is no one cause of phobia. A variety of factors can lead to the development of a needle phobia such as environmental or genetic factors. Learned behaviour: Factors in the family home play an important role in fear development. Anxious or worried parents can impact the way a child learns to cope with anxiety later in life. Historical trauma: Experiencing a traumatic event can create a strong association between fear and situations reminiscent of that event. Genetic susceptibility: Research suggests that genetic vulnerabilities or predispositions to anxiety can increase the likelihood of a phobia later in life.

Are needle phobias treatable?

YES! Through a simple five step process you can learn to overcome your fear. This will then help you freely choose to have your medical needs met. At Mind Up you will be taken through the skills to manage your fears in a safe and comfortable way.