What is blood phobia

What is hematophobia?

Haematophobia is an excessive fear of blood. Affected people react with strong, physical symptoms to the sight of their own or someone else's blood.
According to the WHO, hematophobia is one of the specific phobias in the blood injection / injury type category. Depending on its severity, the anxiety disorder can be dangerous and severely restrictive for those affected, which is why therapy is necessary in these cases.

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Signs of haematophobia

Fear of blood can affect both adults and children. Even small amounts can cause malaise, nausea and - especially typical - fainting spells in them.

Some people only react to their own blood, while others just can't stand the sight of someone else's blood. In extreme cases, the word blood is enough to trigger anxiety disorders.

The following Symptoms can occur in hematophobia, depending on the severity, as soon as blood is examined:

  • nausea
  • Circulatory problems
  • Fits of night
  • Avoidance strategy resulting in social withdrawal

Causes of fear of blood

In those affected, a malfunction in the brain is probably responsible for the typical fainting spells. When blood comes out of a wound, the brain normally lowers blood pressure to protect against excessive blood loss in the event of a serious injury. As a rule, however, this only happens when there is a loss of 30 percent - which then leads to fainting as a protective mechanism.

In people with haematophobia, this life-saving process is used unnecessarily and too early, sometimes even when there is no personal injury at all.

The reasons for these incorrect switching have not been conclusively scientifically clarified. However, various causes are taken into account: on the one hand a genetic predisposition, on the other hand learned behavior through the environment and also earlier, traumatic experiences with blood.

Treatment of hematophobia

Depending on the severity of the hematophobia, treatment may be necessary - if you feel slightly unwell, you do not need to treat immediately. Basic health measures such as taking blood from the family doctor, etc. should be possible.
There is a particular need for action if everyday life is so restricted by the phobia that social relationships or work suffer as a result.

Even if the avoidance behavior of those affected is so pronounced that it has consequences for their health, for example if necessary medical examinations are not complied with, therapy is definitely necessary.

The blood phobia can usually be treated quickly and easily. Usually a few therapy sessions are enough to achieve visible improvements.

First contact your general practitioner, who will refer you to a suitable therapist. The therapist first conducts research into the cause. Depending on the result. Then different treatment methods of modern psychotherapy are applied. This can be, for example, behavioral therapy, a depth psychological procedure or a relaxation procedure - depending on the severity and cause of the hematophobia. Muscular tensioning techniques are also used to control the loss of the senses.

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