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Fight the phobia

Interesting 1Abridged from Fright the Phobia from BD Diabetes (BD.com) written by Gary Scheiner

First of all, don’t give up. As a person with diabetes (or looking after someone with diabetes and needlephobia) your health and well-being depend on your ability to deal with sharp objects. Try some of the suggestions below:

Accept that fear of needles is normal and commonplace. You are certainly not alone. Recognise that it’s not ‘all in your head’.

Practice some sensible techniques to lessen symptoms and pain. This can include using topical anaesthesia at the needle site – from ice to anaesthetic creams – to numb it.

Avoid the sight of the needle puncturing the skin. Consider using special bits of kit to help with this, or look at a jet injector or going onto an insulin pump.

Pinch the skin when injecting and use fine gauge and short needles.

Penetrate the skin quickly and with minimal hesitation.

Ask your healthcare practitioner about desensitization and/or behavioural therapy, which may help you to ‘unlearn’ the nervous system response and extinguish irrational fears but using relaxation techniques and pain relief practices.

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