How to overcome fear of needles and injections?

How can I get over my fear of the needle?

First of all, don't feel that you're more cowardly than anyone else. We've never met any people who enjoyed sticking themselves with a needle. (And in fact, we'd rather not meet any.) We have met several, though, who swore they'd never be able to do it, but when the golden moment arrived they found they could, as Lady Macbeth put it, "Screw their courage to the sticking place."

Most insulin dependent diabetics who inject themselves and many do it two or three times a day for better management get so used to it that it's fairly routine. (We won't give you that nonsense that "it becomes like brushing your teeth.") Sometimes people can inject themselves for years without being bothered by it. Then suddenly they begin building up dread again. If you haven't yet conquered your fear or if you find it suddenly reappearing, here's what you can do about it.

1. If you have the habit of worrying about the injection and how much it's going to hurt, instead picture yourself doing it easily and without pain. Positive thinking brings about positive results.

2. If you've been having someone else give you shots, start giving them yourself. Not only is this necessary in case of emergencies, but you'll reinforce your feelings of competence. You may even discover it hurts less when you do it yourself. We tend to tense muscles when someone else is taking a poke at us.

3. This may sound ridiculous, but it's true. June found that when she switched from one to three shots a day an amazing change took place. She lost all dread of the needle. Our explanation of this is that the more often you do it the less time you have to build up a wall of worry. You inject your insulin as calmly as you'd do any other daily routine.

A dividend you get from mastering your insulin injections is a feeling of power, an "if I can do this, I can do anything" feeling. You'll find you become a stronger person in every way.


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