The Extreme Fear of Needles and other Sharp or Pointed Objects
Aichmophobia: The Phobia of Needles or Sharp Objects
Aichmophobia (pronoundced Aich-mo-pho-bia) is the excessive fear of needles or the fear of other pointed objects. Aichmophobia a phobia that many people across the world can understand, though some are not as extreme a case as others. Those cases which are extreme, are not phobias. A phobia after all is a morbid fear of certain things be they sights, sounds, smells, tastes or textures.
There aren't too many people who like needles or sharp objects and that is because they can cause pain, even kill a person if used wrongly or landed on. Although a pointed finger isn't actually life threatening to a person, but it is still pointed. Maybe not like a needle or other sharp object, but it is still part of what aichmophobia stands for.
What Else do Aichmophobics Fear?
The other things which people with aichmophobia have a morbid fear of include, but are not limited to are pencils, knives, or the sharp end of an umbrella. If something has a pointed or sharp end, an aichmophobic will certainly display signs of morbid fear when around said object.
Usually irrational fears which turn into phobias have something to do with something which happened or was heard about by the aichmophobic or someone they knew. It's possible that a person developed aichmophobia when they were just a kid getting a vaccination from a doctor. Although a fear of medical procedures alone involving injections or hypodermic needles would be referred to as trypanohobia, belonephobia or enetophobia.
When Is the Fear of Needles most Common?
The fear of needles is said to be most common in children, but is usually not called aichmophobia. However adults which display extreme fear of needles or anything with protruding corners indicates they have aichmophobia. Children don't like pain and getting a needle can sting, but usually adults don't have too big of a gripe with needles.
Most, if not all parents will have gone through the phase where their kid is kicking and screaming. That is, to try and get out of a visit to the doctors to avoid getting a shot.
Just because an adult doesn't have a problem with needles it doesn't mean they like getting them. They do know that shots will help to keep them healthy. People who have aichmophobia however would prefer to avoid needles and any other pointed object at all costs.
What Happens if Aichmophobia is left Untreated?
As with anything which is left untreated, overtime it can worsen and make life miserable. Not only for the person suffering from aichmophobia, but the people around them. Thus it is important that anyone with aichmophobia gets help as soon as humanly possible.
Aichmophobia, like all phobias where one has an extreme fear can hinder the day-to-day lifestyle of the individual suffering from it. The worse it gets, the worse their daily life can become.
The more extreme cases have resulted in an individual feeling dizzy or sick to their stomach whenever around a needle or other sharp object. In fact there have been reported cases of a person fainting at just the sight of a needle even when that needle was never intended for them.
Can Aichmophobia Result in Death?
Yes, if left untreated, aichmophobia can lead to death. At least in the most extreme cases, which is why aichmophobics should never be left untreated for their psychological condition.
It's the way the body reacts before the person faints that can be deadly. The aichmophobic's heart rate and blood pressure will increase which is what causes fainting. A high heart rate and high blood pressure can be fatal. Plus if the fainting aichmophobic hits their head on concrete or anything else hard, they could suffer brain damage from the fall.
The Symptoms of Aichmophobia
- Fainting is a huge sign that someone is dealing with aichmohobia. Although the fainting would have to coincide with the person being presented with a needle or other sharp or pointed object. Even a pointing finger! This is a definite sign that the individual should seek immediate help by singing up to see a psychologist or mental health expert. Although anyone displaying any symptoms of aichmophobia should see a psychologist before the condition worsens.
- Dread or Panic felt when presented with sharp and pointed objects is another sign that one is suffering from aichmophobia and should never be taken lightly. Just because a fear of needles is widely accepted, doesn't mean that its not a psychological problem. The worse it gets, the more life threatening it can be even if someone doesn't think so or has not heard of it before. It's best to get help before it gets worse to the point where one suffering from aichmophobia faints.
- Rapid Heart Beat or Shortness of Breath is not a good sign, but it is a sign that one is suffering from aichmophobia. Although a rapid heart beat or the shortness of breath at any other time than one is in the presence of sharp or pointed objects is different. Aichmophobia isn't the only phobia out there, but it is perhaps one of the most common phobias out there.
- Trembling is yet another indication that one is an aichmophobic. That is if there are no other underlying causes of the trembling. People who are afraid, especially extremely afraid of something will tremble when faced with their fear. The worse the trembling, the worse the aichmophobia is.
- Extreme avoidance is one more symptom of aichmophobia. An individual will go out of their way to avoid any and all contact with sharp and pointed objects. They'll avoid doctors and hospitals, dentists and veterinary offices, because of their extreme fear of sharp objects, particularly needles. Needles however, when given by a medical professional are a necessity for health. Sometimes a person wont even get a shot, but they might not know that and thus will miss any appointments they might have had, on purpose. Not only will their own health suffer, so too might their pets if they don't even get someone else to take them. Vaccinations are important and missing them, whether its a booster shot or annual flu shot, a person can die from not getting proper preventative care.
How can Aichmophobia be Treated?
Aichmophobia, being a psychological condition can be treated by consulting with a psychologist or mental health expert. They will then determine whether exposure therapy or cognitive behavioral therapy would be best to deal with aichmophobia. Sometimes though, its a physical thing as some people are hypersensitive. Hypersensitivity is usually helped by some form of anesthetic, at least where needles are concerned. Exposure to every day sharp objects that wouldn't usually be poked into a person wouldn't be helped by anestetic. If the only sharp object a person is afraid of is needles, it might not be aichmophobia, but instead trypanohobia.