When talking about fear of something, I genuinely feel bad about telling other people about mine. Because even though it is a common one, I still get tired of trying to explain my condition to those who seemingly do not believe that my condition could exist to some phobia-like extent. The thing with my phobia is that others know it as a regular condition that most children experience. Unfortunately, it stayed with me up through this adulthood stage. It is none other than the fear of injection or hypodermic needles, also known as Trypanophobia.
The condition is disturbing as it makes me feel the sensation that my skin is being pricked by unknowingly something sharp. I don’t know how I should clearly explain it, but I get this chilling, uncomfortable, and nerve-wracking feeling that something small, pointy, and sharp is trying to rip my whole skin open.
An Unpleasant Experience With My Phobia
Of course, we know that the world is currently battling with this pandemic. Every day, new variants are coming up, and it pretty much won’t stop multiplying. But the good thing is that experts came up with vaccines that help everyone’s immune system fight the virus. Unfortunately, the only way the vaccine can help protect the body is through administering it through an injection.
When I heard about the news, I was genuinely happy that people can now receive the kind of protection they have all been waiting for after almost two years of a global health crisis. But at the same time, I was concerned about myself because I know that I am afraid of such medical equipment, particularly injections. But since I entirely want to keep myself away from this COVID and keep my family safe, I had no choice but to set myself up for a vaccination schedule. I know the importance of the vaccine, and I understand that it is something more worthy than my fear of injection. (So I thought)
Now, here’s what exactly happened.
I registered and finished a couple of interviews right before I waited quite a few hours in line for my priority number to get called. I’m not sure I feel safe and comfortable. Still, I didn’t give a damn about everything physically around me because I was too focused on thinking about what it would be like to just go home and forget all about coming to the vaccination center. I was nervous and wasn’t thinking straight. But then, after a few minutes, someone called my name, and it was time for me to get that needle.
The person in charge instructed me to sit on the chair right beside him so he can immediately perform whatever it is that we were about to do. (I was kind of brave enough to come to that part, though). He then pulled the cover of the syringe. So when I was about to get that shot, I panicked and jumped off the chair. I didn’t know what I was doing, but my mind and body just went into a panic mode that I repeatedly asked the person in-charged of the vaccine shot to give me even a couple of minutes so that I can compose myself again.
I was so scared of the needle that it somehow annoyed some people who were getting their vaccine shots done. I overheard someone say, “She’s overreacting.” Then the other one said, “she shouldn’t suppose to be here if she’s that scared with the injection.” Then the woman behind me said, “She’s just wasting other people’s time and effort.” Those words literally sucked into my head and hurt my feelings.
Clearly, I understand these phobia-uneducated sentiments. I was somehow taking more than the required time at that particular moment. And the fact that I was crying because of fear and panic attacks made me feel even worse. But what’s more painful is that nobody seemed to understand what I am going through. People are accusing me of things I am certain I am not, and I don’t intentionally do. I was just so afraid of that needle, and the thought of it touching my skin on a closed encounter was just the end of my mental control.
As much as I want to get mad at others for not being kind and considerate with me, I couldn’t blame them. They do not know what Trypanophobia is, and I was pretty sure that even if I tell them, they would still think otherwise. It is so sad that most individuals wouldn’t spare some time understanding mental health conditions like this. There are other phobias out there that most people are aware of. These conditions they fully accept. But sadly, the common ones like the fear of needles and others alike; it just doesn’t seem real for them.