With a short therapy against an injection phobia, researchers want to help those affected in the corona vaccination phase. The Max Planck Institute for Psychiatry (MPI) announced on Friday in Munich that pictures of corona vaccinations in which syringes are poked into upper arms are difficult to bear for people who are very afraid of syringes. The experts are therefore now offering a short treatment program.
Patients who are very afraid of injections and often also of blood or injuries are gradually introduced to and confronted with the fearful event by therapists within six sessions. Those affected first look at pictures together with the practitioner and then watch films until they are ready to receive an injection themselves.
“The short intervention is very effective – even if the fear is not completely gone afterwards, vaccinations or other interventions are usually easy to carry out,” explained Angelika Erhardt from the MPI. A phobia of blood, syringes or injuries usually develops in childhood and, if left untreated, affects those affected over the entire life span. The fears can be so strong that they only perceive necessary medical interventions or preventive measures under very high stress or not at all.
In childhood and young adulthood, the number of people with a phobia against injections, blood or injuries is high at around 20 percent. Over the entire lifespan, the rate is around three percent because the incidence of the disease drops significantly in old age. Information on treatment and registration can be found on the website https://www.psych.mpg.de/spritzenphobie.