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Extreme Resistive Trypanophobia

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Extreme Resistive Trypanophobia

Postby Solthar » Sun Mar 11, 2012 1:49 am

I really need to get in control of this - as it no longer just affects me, but any health care practitioners around me. Previously, I was able to control my reactions through shear force of will, but lately it's bloomed out of control.

Firstly, I have no conceptual objections to needles - I understand their uses, safety, and risks. I can even handle them without feeling anxiety. Nevertheless, if you state or even imply that it will end up in me bad things happen - and generally to the one holding the needle. When it comes to my flight or fight reflexes I usually run instead of becoming confrontational, but when it comes to injections or drawing blood something much worse happens.

I've come to call it a 'white rage' and quite frankly it scares the $#%^ out of me. It's proceeded by what feels to be an rapid internal build-up of fear, anxiety, and anger. When it reaches a threshold point, There's a flash of white and then It's over, but around 10-30 seconds later and I am completely unable to recall what happens during that time. According to the last person, a dentist who now refuses to come anywhere near me, around the time my white flash occurred I relentlessly attacked him until he dropped the needle and fell to the floor. Luckily, all he received was a bloody nose, and I was not charged with assault. It was like my fight reflex took over until the threat was no longer there. I was sitting in a chair, FLASH, standing over the poor guy. Needless to say, I really want to deal with this in a manor that is both effective AND SAFE.

The only other thing that can trigger my fight reflex is being injured by another - and not anywhere near that extent.

I absolutely dread the thought of what might happen next time it occurs - It might not just be a bloody nose. I've generally eschewed any situation that could possibly lead to an injection for now, but avoiding them outright is a plan that is doomed to eventual failure.

Does anyone know of a way to combat such an extreme case of Trypanophobia? I've searched the net and have not found anyone who has had a reaction similar to mine.
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Re: Extreme Resistive Trypanophobia

Postby jasmin » Wed Mar 14, 2012 2:29 pm

Hi, Solthar! How about trying therapy? Maybe there are approaches that could help you like techniques to calm yourself or get over the fear or maybe even hypnosis.
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Re: Extreme Resistive Trypanophobia

Postby bgdrewsif » Wed Oct 23, 2013 7:31 am

My needle phobia is completely beyond any control. Today is my 31st birthday and I am worse now than when I was a child. Back when I was 10, I was sent to the Medical College of Ohio (now University of Toledo Medical Center) to the children's psychiatric center for 41 days in the summer between my fourth and fifth grade years.

A week before I was scheduled to be admitted, they scheduled my blood tests and I had been terrified of needles ever since being a small child (I was only 10 years old at this point...) When the nurses came into the consultation room where I was, I went out of control. Please keep in mind I am only 5'8'' and 150 pounds today, so I was on the small and scrawny side for a 10 year old male.

As soon as I saw the needle, I went out of control and began violent seizing and flying into and off of the walls, screaming and knocking lights, pictures and containers all over the place, while uncontrollably and randomly flying around the room. Several more nurses quickly came in and tried to restrain me and I grabbled the tall floor examination lamp instinctively and began wildly swinging it about -- and shattered one nurse’s leg with the force of the impact. I then bashed another nurse over the head with the lamp pole, knocking her unconscious.

My mother and father ran into the hallway, yelling and crying, while four or five more nurses, males and females, came running down the hall and into the room. By this time I was hyperventilating and still flying around the room. My blood pressure shot so high by that time, blood was gushing out of my nose like a fire hose.

I somehow fought off one of the male nurses and literally sent him headfirst through the drywall wall with his head miraculously plunging between wall studs, missing them by mere inches. He was also knocked unconscious while his head was still lodged inside the wall. (I am really not exaggerating any of this. I am having severe chest pains and difficulty breathing as I type this, recalling the experience.)

Two more nurses lunged for me and I kicked one of the females in the face and broke her nose. By now, blood was still erupting from my nose and a trickle of blood was running out of my right eye from the extreme level my blood pressure had risen to. By now the entire pediatric building was put on code blue/red alert -- whatever it is called -- and several more nurses and two Toledo police officers rushed in to take me down. In total, it took 11 full grown adult men and women to stop me and I sent five of them across the campus to the emergency department due to their injuries.

I lost consciousness and awoke about 12 hours later in a straitjacket in what was literally a white, padded room. Rather than being admitted the following week, I was already in the Kobacher Center where I would remain for a total of 41 days being tested, interviewed and examined by an entire team of doctors and med students. I would undergo blood testing several more times there and each time I was restrained while asleep in the middle of the night while 12-15 doctors and students forcibly drew blood on four more occasions. I have never been able to sleep more than three or four hours a night, even with heavy-duty prescription sleep medications in the 21 years since.

The trauma of it all has wrecked my health and I am now developing heart disease from the endless anxiety and panic attacks, out of control stress hormones and adrenaline, and the inability to have any form of invasive medical procedures. It is literally killing me and my doctors advise me that at this rate I will die of a heart attack before my 40th birthday.

Yet now it is 20 years since that episode and my terror has only increased exponentially. I am terrified that I could someday be in an accident and wake up in a hospital somewhere and instantly go into an uncontrollable rage and end up literally killing many nurses and staff before anyone could stop me.

I am petrified that America will turn on CNN one night and hear, "A man who was injured in an accident today woke up in a hospital emergency room and went into a psychotic rampage, killing more than a dozen doctors and nurses with his bare hands and hospital equipment before being shot and killed by hospital security..."

What am I supposed to do? I have since then been diagnosed with High Functioning Autism (Asperger's. I have a 130 IQ but minimal social awareness. I am constantly told I am just like the character Sheldon Cooper on “Big Bang Theory”), psychotic schizophrenia, clinical depression, chronic insomnia, dissociative personality disorder and Trypanophobia.

My heart is pounding in my chest right now so hard from typing this out. It is very painful and I had to pause for 20 minutes and take another Xanex to get my pulse under control. This episode I have recounted to you left such an impact on all the doctors and staff that day that it was written up in several medical journals in the early-mid 1990's as a case study in the issue of needle phobia years before it was given much mainstream medical consideration.

Seriously folks, what do I do? What can I do? My mother is now in hospital just beginning treatment with chemotherapy and she has a trachea tube in her neck and IV lines in her and I cannot function there. I went to visit her there on her first night in the ICU unit, blacked out and collapsed to the floor within minutes. Thankfully, my mother was conscious and able to write a hastily scribbled message for the staff not to hook up an IV and just get me to the ICU waiting room, where I awoke about 15 minutes later. I cannot deal with this but I am her only child and I need to be able to support her somehow. Please help. Thank you.
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Re: Extreme Resistive Trypanophobia

Postby Ada » Sat Oct 26, 2013 5:46 pm

I'm not a psych or professional of any kind. Just writing what comes to mind from reading your post.

There are two angles I can see from your post. The first, and most immediate, is supporting your mother. There are many ways that you can do this without putting her through further stress in worrying about you. It could be as simple as making sure there are flowers by her bed every day. Organising her friends and other family members to visit. Giving them lifts to and from the hospital, if you are able to do that. Writing her notes about how things are going at home. If she has pets, or house plants, or a garden, reassuring her that all those things are being taken care of. If the hospital allow it, sending in little snack items [cookies, etc] or her favourite skin cream. Things to say that yes, things are weird now. But the "normal" world is waiting for her.

None of this requires you to do anything near or related to your phobia, and yet it will mean the world to her.

Second, what have you already tried to overcome your needle phobia? I don't want to be patronising and repeat things that have already failed to help. Have you worked with a therapist about it? There's no button to push to turn it off. But perhaps there are gradual ways to desensitise over time. It won't help your situation right now. [Which is why I put the other ideas first.] But perhaps "My needle phobia is completely beyond any control." is not true for all time.
We think too much and feel too little.
 More than machinery, we need humanity.
 More than cleverness, we need kindness and gentleness.


Charlie Chaplain in The Great Dictator
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