Finding the best treatment methods for trypanophobia, or a fear of needles, can be a matter of trial and error, because each patient responds differently to the various treatment options. Some of the most popular options include the use of anxiety medications, topical anesthetics, or nitrous oxide. Various behavioral therapy techniques may be employed as well during treatment for trypanophobia. These methods may include hypnotherapy, neuro-linguistic programming, or energy psychology. Any specific questions or concerns about appropriate treatment options for trypanophobia in an individual situation should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.
Anxiety medications may be prescribed to those with severe cases of trypanophobia. These medications are usually taken a few minutes before the procedure, which involves the use of a needle, is performed. Some studies have indicated that the need for these medications may decline over a period of time among many people with this disorder.
Topical anesthetics may sometimes be used for those with trypanophobia. These anesthetics may be in the form of creams, sprays, or patches. The anesthetic is applied shortly before the needle is inserted to lessen the amount of discomfort experienced by the patient. It should be noted that many people with trypanophobia are not afraid of the pain caused by needles, but by the needles themselves. For this reason, the use of topical anesthetics may have more of a psychological effect than a physical one.
Nitrous oxide, more commonly referred to as laughing gas, may be used to relieve the anxiety caused by needles for those with trypanophobia. This method of treatment is typically used for dental procedures that require the use of needles, although it may be used in other situations as well. Nitrous oxide may be used alone or in combination with other treatment options, such as oral anxiety medications.
Behavioral therapy may be useful for those with trypanophobia in order to learn to cope with feelings of anxiety caused by the sight of needles. Hypnotherapy involves a deep state of relaxation known as hypnosis and may help to reprogram the way the brain reacts to needles. Neurolinguistic programming, or NLP, is designed to help the patient change unwanted perceptions instead of dwelling on what others think or perceive. Energy psychology operates on the same principles as acupuncture, but there are no needles involved. Several different therapies may be used until an effective individualized treatment plan is found.