Blood test phobia and endo?

Anyone have both? I really HATE blood tests (usual sickness, fainting, dragging feeling up arm and chest, pain, cold shakes, etc) and yet have to have them every now and then to check iron, B12 and other stuff due to heavy periods. I have no other fears in life and I'm happy to jump from ridiculous heights, love spiders, snakes and all other 'freaky' creatures, don't mind getting injured doing extreme sports, flying, crawling into confined spaces or standing in wide, empty areas. I don't even mind needles or blood by themselves. I can sit through an open-heart operation on TV or clean up a wound in real life, and have voluntarily had injections in various places without a problem. Yet I'm utterly terrified of having blood taken!

I always insist they take it from the back of my hand rather than arm, as it doesn't hurt me as much (although still horrible), but I was wondering if anyone else had this added problem and what your coping methods are? I'm guessing many of you will have regular tests to check levels, so hopefully there will be a few people who also have this phobia (which I'm told is fairly common). My coping methods usually vary from fainting (can't feel anything if you're blacked out, right?), swearing at my boyfriend or whoever is brave enough to accompany me (I do warn them in advance and compensate them with gifts afterwards), asking one nurse to be really abusive towards me (she was a friend of a friend and knew I had a phobia, so agreed to this - it actually worked really well and I didn't feel as faint/sick as all my energy was focused on having a row with her and getting really pissed off)! But yeah, mostly I just feel crap hours beforehand, faint during, then feel even worse for the next couple of days/weeks! I like my blood. I don't have enough of it anyway, so want to keep the rest INSIDE of my body!

Any advice? I've recently added two new symptoms to my ever-growing list, so have to return to the GP for another session tomorrow and will likely need to book another blood test very soon (cry).

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  • Have you tried any hypnotherapy or relaxation techniques to help with your blood donation phobia?

    As your fear is not needles (a much more common issue) and is really just narrowed down to a dread of loosing blood, then there should be therpists around that can help you to address the anxiety that overcomes you when you know you are going to have to make a donation, even a teeny weeny one.

    Do you get the same levels of anxiety if you chew a ragnail off and it bleeds, pop a zit, or have a nose bleed for example? Or when you have a period?

    In otherwords when you cause a small bleed yourself.

    Or is this anxiety only when you have to give enough blood to send off to the lab for checking, so when someone else is taking the blood from you?

    If it is because someone else is taking it, could one option be that you have a canula put in a leg for example, leaving both your hands free to fill up the tubes yourself, so you are controlling the donation, and not leaving it up to a nurse?

    It's a strange phobia to have and I won't pretend to understand how you managed to get this way, other than I know what anxiety and panic attacks can do, and it sure isn't a comfy experience at all.

    Perhaps someone on the forum has experience in battling a phobia (any phobia) and found ways to calm themselves right down and can pass on tips. It is a psychological thing, so there should be a psychological solution for you somwhere.

  • I have wondered where it came from, as I have several nurses in the family and definitely didn't learn it from anyone I know. I think it is due to the amount of blood I lose during periods and I've learned to associate the 'zombie' feeling of anemia with the loss of blood in any situation. I'm not that fussed about scratches or cuts (if they are in a place away from large veins), as I know I will only lose a few drops and stop bleeding fast if I shove a plaster on it. I rarely get nosebleeds, but when I have done in the past, I do get the same sick/dizzy/cold sensation and this increases the longer it takes to stop. It depends how much blood I lose. It feels like my blood pressure is just plummeting as time goes on. So I guess I view it as a self-preservation thing (albeit overly extreme). My brain knows I'm already anemic and wants to avoid any situation where I am likely to lose even more blood! I know it's an odd one and I have seen therapists about it, but nothing has helped so far. I'm hoping I'll just grow out of it and one day I won't care! haha But yeah, if anyone else has the same reaction, or used to and has found a solution, then I'd love to know!

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