TO HELP ADDRESS
NEEDLEPHOBIA FIGHT THE PHOBIA
Firstly, don't give up. As a person with diabetes - or looking after
someone with diabetes and needle phobia - your health and
wellbeing depend on your ability to deal with sharp objects.
• Accept that fear of needles is normal and commonplace. You are
certainly not alone. Recognise that it's not 'all in your head'.
• Pinch the skin (see p. 18) when injecting and use fine gauge and
• Ask your healthcare team about desensitisation and/or behavioural
therapy, which may help you to 'unlearn' the nervous system
response and extinguish irrational fears but using relaxation techniques
and pain relief practices.
• Practice some sensible techniques to lessen symptoms and pain.
This can include using topical anaesthesia ('skin numbing') at the
needle site - from ice to anaesthetic creams - to help numb the area
• Avoid looking at the needle puncturing the skin. Consider using
individual bits of kit to help with this, or look at a jet injector or
switching to an insulin pump.
If you're new to injecting, an old tip
is to practise on an orange. It can
certainly help to familiarise
someone with how to do it,
without practising on themselves.
If the technique is good, injections
shouldn't be painful. Another simple
trick is to keep a spoon either in the
fridge (or even the freezer) to gently
and briefly press onto the skin before
injecting, which should numb it.
Try to reassure yourself that the needles
used these days are tiny and
very well made, designed to
be painless. Lloyds Pharmacy has
the following advice about getting a
RELAX: This will release tension in
your muscles - tense muscles may
make injections more painful.
BREATHE: Deep, steady breathing
can help you relax and gives you
something to focus on.
DISTRACT: Don't look at the needle
if it scares you. Bring a book or a
magazine or look at favourite
photos/videos on your phone.
COUNT: Count slowly - this will help
to distract you and, chances are, by
the time you reach 10 the jab will
TRY THESE SUGGESTIONS: