Trypanophobia is a fear of the human body parts inside or outside the body. People with trypanophobia are afraid of their own organs, such as: liver, stomach, spleen, kidneys and intestines. They may also be scared by other people’s organs (such as: heart), blood vessels (such as: veins) and even insects’ bodies (such as: bugs). Some people may have a combination of all these fears.
Symptoms of Trypanophobia
People with trypanophobia may experience various symptoms related to their organ fears. These include:
Feeling sick when they see or touch something that looks like a disease-ridden part of the body. For example, if someone sees or touches their own spleen, then they will feel ill. If someone sees or touches a person’s heart, then they will feel ill.
Fear of going into a hospital because they think it is where diseases come from.
Being unable to go out alone at night, because they worry that they might get bitten by a mosquito while walking around.
Feeling very nervous when driving, because they fear getting in an accident due to being afraid of their own organs. This may cause them to drive slowly and cautiously. Sometimes people with trypanophobia will not allow anyone else near them during this time either.
Fear of getting injections and blood tests. They also fear IV’s and other medical equipment.
People with trypanophobia may experience various emotions related to their organ fears. These include:
Shortness of breath
Rapid heart rate
People with trypanophobia may display various behaviors related to their fears. These include:
Refusing to get a blood test or getting other medical checks for internal organs
Arranging their life to avoid hospitals and medical treatment
Only going to doctors they know and trust, or refusing to go to any
Spending a lot of money on vitamins and over-the-counter medicine for minor issues such as coughs and colds, even if they do not cause discomfort or pain
Refusing to have surgery unless it is absolutely necessary
Trying to spend as much time as possible in clean, well-lighted areas
Increasing their use of alcohol and cigarettes due to stress and anxiety
Making sure that their surroundings are kept clean and free of dirt and insects at all times
Avoiding activities that involve bugs or dirt, such as camping and hiking
Refusing to allow anyone to touch them or get too close to them
Seeking out the company of other people when afraid as a protective measure against diseases
Going out only in bright daylight and avoiding the night as much as possible
Washing their hands frequently to get rid of any contaminants on their skin
Refusing to eat raw food such as fruit or vegetables, insisting on cooked food instead
Seeking medical treatment for minor illnesses such as coughs and colds, even if they do not cause discomfort or pain
When faced with a blood test or injection, experiencing shortness of breath, rapid heart rate, sweating, shaking and other signs of extreme fear
Avoiding medical treatment as much as possible
How people behave when faced with a needle for a blood test or an injection will depend on their personality. Some people will go into a frozen state and be unable to do anything but panic. Other people will become aggressive, either verbally or physically. Still others will start crying or screaming in fear.
There is no known cure for trypanophobia. However, it is possible to make a person’s fears less severe or even manageable with treatment.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy is one of the most common ways to treat phobias. The patient is made to face their phobia on a gradual basis until they reach the point where their fear is manageable.
Systematic desensitization is another treatment option. The patient is induced to feel relaxed, then a small amount of fear is introduced. The patient then feels slightly afraid but is able to control their fear response. This process is repeated until the patient can be faced with their fear and stay calm.
Medication such as Xanax can also help reduce the intensity of a panic attack.
Needles should never be forced into someone with trypanophobia as this can cause further injury, possibly severe. If a blood test or injection is absolutely necessary then the person should be sedated first and only a doctor should carry out the procedure.
A phobia of needles and hospitals can severely impact the quality of life for people who have it to the point where they may become housebound, unable to work or even leave their own home.
Those who have a phobia of blood, needlestick injury, or needlestick injury combined with a fear of watching a needle puncture their skin (blood donation), risk the possibility of developing blood-borne pathogens in their blood if they are injured by a contaminated needle.
If you or someone you know is experiencing any of these symptoms and feels uncomfortable with medical treatment, please seek out a doctor immediately.
Autoimmune diseases (Lupus, Multiple Sclerosis, Diabetes)
Development of blood-borne pathogens in the blood
Fear of hospitalization and/or doctors (Hospital anxiety)
High blood pressure (hypertension)
Hypoglycemia (Low Blood Sugar)
Neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and Multiple Sclerosis
Skin disorders (acanthosis nigricans, melanoma)
Thyroid disease (hypothyroidism)
Acrophobia: fear of heights
Aerophobia: fear of flying
Amaxophobia: fear of riding in a car
Barophobia: fear of gravity (big surprise there)
Chaetophobia: fear of hair (something I can relate to)
Coulrophobia: fear of clowns
Entomophobia: fear of insects
Ephebiphobia: fear of teenagers
Equinophobia: fear of horses
Galeophobia: fear of cats
Hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia: fear of long words (I don’t think I could ever have a phobia of typing)
Idiopathic Fear of Pumpkins (Pomponophobia): It’s a real thing! (Seriously!)
Kenophobia: fear of voids
Mottephobia: fear of moths
Musophobia: fear of mice and/or rats
Oenophobia: fear of wines (I can identify with this one too)
Pluviophobia: fear of rain
Selaphobia: fear of lasers (Seriously!
Who came up with this one?
Siderodromophobia: fear of trains (I think I can guess what this is)
Sunaphobia: fear of the sun (Another obvious one)
Teratophobia: fear of giving birth to a monster or having malformed children. (A very real fear for some women, myself included. This is often paired with Oedipus Complex)
Trypanophobia: fear of needles (Also known as Adrenaline Fear, a common symptom of Adrenal Fear Syndrome)
Zoophobia: fear of animals
It’s not all bad though… at least you don’t have any fear of flowers.
There are also two specific phobias that don’t seem to fit into any of the above categories.
Bibliophobia: fear of books
Hierophobia: fear of priests (Very reasonable considering what we’ve had to deal with in the Church)
Then there’s one last phobia that doesn’t make sense based on what it’s definition is.
Geliophobia: fear of laughter (???
I can’t find a rational explanation for this one, any ideas?
So that’s about it for now. Let me know if you have any questions, I’m happy to answer them.
Professor Theo Metzger, M.D., Ph.D.
“King of the Zombies”
Professor of Neurology, Necromancer, and Lord of the Dead
(*)If you’re wondering why you’ve never seen a person with arachnophobia (fear of spiders), it’s because people with this fear almost always get themselves eaten by them. They either live their lives in terror of spiders or they just kill themselves.
Sources & references used in this article:
Perangkat Media Terapi Bagi Anak Penderita Fobia Jarum Suntik (Trypanophobia) Menggunakan Teknologi Augmented Reality by E Fuad, R Gunawan, J Al Amien… – JURNAL MEDIA …, 2019 – books.google.com
The Effectiveness of Ego-state Therapy in Reducing Trypanophobia by D Daharnis, I Ifdil, B Amalianita, N Zola… – Addictive Disorders & …, 2020 – journals.lww.com
FOBIA JARUM SUNTIK (TRYPANOPHOBIA) DAN PENANGANANNYA by K O’Daniel
DON’T BE NEEDLED OVER NEEDLES by TP Raghvendra, P Yadav, S Saxena, RA Dodia… – Int J Pharm Sci Rev Res, 2010