Hematophobia – The Fear of Blood

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Hematophobia is the fear of blood. It’s a widespread phobia that affects women as much as men. For hematophobes, the idea of being in contact with blood is unbearable, as well as being in places where blood is potentially present, such as hospitals or blood donation centers.

Summary

  • Behaviors Associated With Fear of Blood
  • Possible Sources of Hematophobia
  • Physical, Psychic and Behavioral Consequences
  • Possible Treatments for Hematophobia
  • Famous Hematophobia
  • Analysis Of a Case Of Hematophobia

Behaviors Associated With Fear of Blood

The fear of being hurt and therefore seeing blood, or having to undergo a transfusion will make many activities difficult. On the medical side, hematophobia is often linked to belonephobia, which is a fear of needles. Obviously, TV shows where blood is potentially present are unwatchable for hematophobes (ER, Gray’s Anatomy etc).

Possible Sources of Hematophobia

An extreme fear of blood can be due to traumatic events in childhood. But often, hematophobia has no directly identifiable source and takes on a somewhat inexplicable character. Ultimately, hematophobia is a fear of death, of blood loss and of losing one’s vital functions.

Naturally, hematophobia is usually accompanied by a fear of accidents, diseases, injuries and pain in general.

Physical, Psychic and Behavioral Consequences

The sight of blood – or even the idea of being in contact with blood – causes a noticeable drop in a hematophobe’s heart rate which can lead to vagal discomfort.

Blood, symbolically, is associated with vital energy, circulation and filiation. Hematophobes are people who have trouble connecting with their loved ones and having intense activities. They are continually afraid of getting hurt for fear of cuts, and the possibility of ending up in the hospital to receive a transfusion.

Possible Treatments for Hematophobia

As with many phobias, behavioral therapies are often recommended to treat symptoms. There is also considerable success in Ericksonian hypnosis and contemporary approaches to emotional management such as Emotional Freedom Techniques (EFT). EFT is a form of needle-free acupuncture that acts on the energy system of the meridians of the body.

Because the deep roots of this phobia are sometimes difficult to grasp, psychoanalysis can be conclusive but will take longer than other approaches.

Analysis Of a Case Of Hematophobia

Example of a patient: Tom is hematophobic. The sight of blood is terrifying to him, but he is more afraid of knives and sharp objects. This handicaps him considerably in his daily life. Even the thought of blood gives him cold sweats. He is 37 years old and has been living with hematophobia for a long time. In fact, his emotions practically revolve around it. His best course of action is to begin with emotional control techniques (EFT for example) before turning to a more behavioral approach that will help him overcome his hematophobia.