Talk:Fear of needles

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Requested move[edit]

The correct name for this phobia is Trypanophobia rather than Aichmophobia Tmbg37 01:06, 12 December 2005 (UTC)


  • Support Tmbg37 01:06, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
  • Support Trypanophobia 01:26, 12 December 2005 (UTC)
    • The move request has been completed. --HappyCamper 18:37, 26 December 2005 (UTC)


"In early time periods, genes that predisposed a person to avoid physical injuries such as piercing, stabbing or other skin penetration..."

This statement is absurd on so many levels.. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:18, 15 February 2006 (UTC)

I don't think so. To a certain extent, it makes sense. The gene wold have been toned down as time went on, leaving the fear of needles, or Trypanophobia. - Katami 00:02, 20 June 2006 (UTC)

It does make a certain kind of sense to me, and I tentatively agree with it. However, it's entirely unreferenced, so I'm sticking that section with an {{unreferenced}} tag. I wouldn't be surprised if there are no references to be found anywhere, though, and it has to be taken out. — Saxifrage 00:59, 21 July 2006 (UTC)

Actually, that can be cited. It appears in Hamilton's 1995 research paper on the subject.


"The presence of a genetic trait among a species automatically indicates that the trait must have been selected for during the evolution of that species. The needle phobia trait probably evolved among the human species in response to piercing, stabbing, and cutting injuries.(1) The vast majority of violent deaths in our species' evolutionary history have been caused by skin penetration from teeth, claws, fangs and tusks, and from sticks, stone axes, knives, spears, swords, and arrows. Besides death resulting from direct trauma or hemorrhage, many of these deaths were due to infections secondary to skin penetration. A reflex that promoted the learning of a strong fear of skin puncture had clear selective value in teaching humans to avoid such injuries. Over the 4+ million years of human evolution, surely many genes controlling blood pressure, pulse, cardiac rhythm, and stress hormone release were selected for to create the vasovagal reflex."

         - Needle Phobia: A Neglected Diagnosis James Hamilton, M.D.

Tryanophobia and the death penalty[edit]

Does anyone know if a trypanophobe has ever been executed via lethal injection? If so, who and when? I'm doing a research paper about the constitutionality of lethal injection, so this is an aspect I'd like to cover. Thanks! - Katami 00:03, 16 July 2006 (UTC)

AFAIK the lethal injection is a painful procedure. Any fear of it could be considered completely rational. No trypanophobia involved there. 16:29, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Is this trypanophobia?[edit]

I have a very strong fear of anything cutting or being injected into my veins. Is this trypanopobia? Im certainly not affraid of doctors or hospitals just the things I stated in the first sentence. 'o' Whats a question? 19:27, 22 March 2007 (UTC)

Same here. And I just don't like needles, and the ones that are closest say that it was a traumatic experience, but I didn't have any traumatic experience, I just don't like them. What would a doctor call that? Shadowedmist 20:41, 30 May 2007 (UTC)

I have actually been described as having this phobia. I am deathly, horribly afraid of things involving taking out or putting things into my bloodstream. Pencils and pins don't affect me, and I had little anxiety about getting my ears pierced. To be honest, straws frighten me more than knives (which sounds ridiculous, but I cannot tolerate even being teased with the threat of someone poking me with one). Also, having my blood pressure taken even frightens me a bit because I can feel my blood being kept from circulating (or I at least imagine it). This is a phobia in that I will actually begin to panic almost immediately upon imagining receiving an injection. I too have no past traumatic experience. You could talk to your doctor about it, but I'll warn you in my experience most general practice doctors don't really understand how terrifying and disabling it can be (as do most people). Sarrandúin [ Talk + Contribs ] 03:20, 1 June 2007 (UTC)
Yes, all three of you definitely have trypanophobia. As do I, as a matter of fact - though mine is associative, resulting from a couple really bad experiences when I was a young child. It's no surprise that general practitioners don't understand this phobia. Psychologists and psychiatrists are much more likely to be knowledgeable about it, so if you seek treatment for it (cognitive behavioral therapy, etc.), get a referral to one of these specialists. (Especially if it is severe enough to prevent you from having blood drawn for routine analysis - this is one of the most important ways to monitor one's health, and shouldn't be avoided because of a phobia.) Fuzzform (talk) 19:43, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

I have a fear of sharp or pointed objects in my field of view, but no fear of injections. I can look at a needle going into my arm, and as long as it goes nowhere near my eye, I have no reaction to it. There was a traumatic incident when I was about seven or eight. I was chased on the playground by an older child after I gave up on a dodge ball game. I turned to look at my pursuer, turned back and a low hanging tree branch cut my eyelid. So, I have a panic attack when I'm confronted with something pointy headed for my face. I thought the term for this fear was aichmophobia, but wikipedia says no. I wonder, though, whether there is a distinct fear related to pointed objects going in the eye without the fear of injections going in the arm. I recognise it as irrational in either case, but they seem to have distinguishing characteristics. But, expecting wikipedia to allow separate articles on everything would be too much to expect - the deletion enthusiasts would be very put out. Planetaryjim (talk) 01:37, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

I also think this is called aichmophobia, although this is often used as a diagnosis for people who suffer from trypanophobia. As mentioned in the article, that is incorrect. Aichmophobia is a fear of being touched by a finger or pointed object (Aichme is Greek for point), so this is not neccessarily a phobia for injection needles. My girl friend suffers from it and she even gets dizzy by looking at a (slender) candle... WholeyMoley (talk) 21:41, 21 April 2009 (UTC)

Blunt Objects[edit]

Strangely enough no matter how often you painfully hit yourself on them you will never develop a special sense of care when dealing with blunt objects. I think the dangers of blunt objects are far underrated. In fact most accidents are caused by blunt objects, most probably due to their harmless appearance. 16:56, 25 April 2007 (UTC)

Interesting observation; let me elaborate. Blunt objects are not used for the same purposes as sharp objects. The latter objects can cut/impale/etc., whereas blunt objects cannot. Also, think of how common blunt objects are, compared to sharp objects. Sharp objects, in the vast majority of cases, were created by humans to fulfill some type of function - in the case of this article, needles were created to pierce into flesh to inject/remove substances such as drugs/blood (respectively). Likewise, swords/knives/etc. were created to cut things - namely, animal flesh (human or otherwise). Clearly the hypothesis that humans developed a tendency to meticulously avoid sharp objects cannot be considered far-fetched. Such a tendency would be neurological in nature, of course, and would be governed by genetic changes (just like any other body tissue). And... just imagine having a phobia of blunt objects - you'd be in constant fear, since they're everywhere. Yes, they do appear harmless; no matter how many times I stub my toe on the edge of my couch, I never develop any fear of couches. Fuzzform (talk) 19:36, 8 March 2008 (UTC)

Terminology Confusion[edit]

I find the Introductory section quite confusing. First it says that trypanophobia is the correct term for this condition because none of the other synonyms capture the full scope of the phobia. Then it says that few if any medical professionals use the term and that it doesn't appear in the standard reference works dealing with phobias. The "correct" term is one not used by practitioners and other experts in the field?

Psychlist (talk) 16:21, 29 December 2009 (UTC)

Apparently Highfields (talk, contribs) 17:43, 29 December 2009 (UTC)
For a long time, the Wikipedia article on Phobia has stated, "The name of a phobia generally contains a Greek word for what the patient fears plus the suffix -phobia. Creating these terms is something of a word game. Few of these terms are found in medical literature."   I have studied needle phobia for many years, and as far as I can determine, the word "trypanophobia" originated in Wikipedia.  Therefore the name of this article violates the NO ORIGINAL RESEARCH mandate for Wikipedia.  I am not knowledgeable in Greek, so the name may very well be a logical derivation of that language.  According to medical dictionaries, though, the only similar word is trypanosome, which is a kind of protozoa of the type that causes sleeping sickness and Chagas Disease.  To the best of my understanding, trypanophobia would be the fear of this family of protozoa. X5dna (talk) 05:48, 14 February 2011 (UTC)

Trippaning is the folkmedicine/witchdoctor practice of drilling hole into a person's skull to release pressure/demons or to increase oxygen in the brain. It has, like using leeches, returned to use in some medical circles. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:52, 10 February 2013 (UTC)

List of sufferers[edit]

I have had a go at separating out real sufferers from a rash of fictional characters. I am personally interested to discover people in the public eye that also suffer from this irrational, annoying and sometimes dangerous phobia. I am NOT quite so interested in TV show episodes and in-game scenarios that supposedly feature a fear of needles. I have not removed them of course, as it is just about worthwhile keeping. Just a question of relative notability. This section is still in dire need of references, if anyone has them. Careful With That Axe, Eugene Hello... 20:11, 29 September 2010 (UTC)


In list of sufferers it says "Jackie Chan, the martial art action movie star who performs all his own stunts, cannot be insured due to the almost certain guarantee of injury during filming as he is terrified of needles." For the life of me, I cannot make sense of this? (talk) 13:42, 26 January 2012 (UTC)

Requested move 2[edit]

The following discussion is an archived discussion of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on the talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

The result of the proposal was move to fear of needles. Cúchullain t/c 16:07, 23 August 2012 (UTC)

TrypanophobiaNeedle phobiaNeedle phobia currently redirects to this page. The article was moved from Needle phobia in 2005 following a move request by user Tmbg37. There were only two votes on the 2005 move request, and the second appears to be a sock puppet of Tmbg37. The leading section of this article is devoted to a defense (as other comments on this talk page have noted) of the use of the title/term "trypanophobia" over "needle phobia" in spite of the fact that only the latter term is found in a leading medical database. The most frequently cited reference in the article is titled "Needle Phobia - A Neglected Diagnosis". None of the cited references use the term "trypanophobia" in the title. The DSM-IV (also cited in the article) is perhaps the most authoritative source for an article title here, but as far as I can tell the only term used there is the broader Blood/injection/injury type phobia. Google Scholar results strongly support needle phobia as the most common term: "needle phobia" 2520, trypanophobia 72, aichmophobia 131, enetophobia 15, belonephobia 59. General Google results: "needle phobia" 119k, trypanophobia 81k, aichmophobia 101k, enetophobia 804k, belonephobia 48k. Enetophobia is the most common term on Google, but scholarly sources overwhelmingly support "needle phobia".

Aichmophobia as defined at that article (sharp objects) appears to me to be a separate subject, albeit rarer than needle (injection) phobia, or at least the subject of less scholarly research. Enetophobia (fear of pins) redirects to this article but perhaps would be better redirected to aichmophobia, in spite of it's wide use in Google. Belonephobia (fear of sharply pointed objects) also redirects here, but doesn't seem to be injection specific. The "official" DSM-defined Blood-injection-injury type phobia article might be a better redirect target for some of the other -phobia redirects mentioned above --Relisted Cúchullain t/c 15:37, 10 August 2012 (UTC) Plantdrew (talk) 05:06, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

  • Might Fear of needles be a better option? It beats needle phobia for general Google results (276k) and only slightly lags behind in Scholar results (2440). Looking over Category:Phobias and the subcategory Category:Zoophobias, "Fear of foo" is more prevalent than "Foo phobia." I'm sympathetic to the argument that trypanophobia is esoteric, but I think "Fear of needles" is going to be more readily comprehensible than "Needle phobia." --BDD (talk) 17:07, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I agree that the current name is pretty pedantic. I am not sure on which "fear" or "phobia" is a better choice, as "phobia" is a readily recognized name for "fear of".--Education does not equal common sense. 我不在乎 20:13, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
  • I also agree that the current name is not optimal at all. I think "fear of needles" would be a slightly better name for consistency with other phobia articles, but the title "needle phobia" would be fine as well. Graham87 01:38, 25 July 2012 (UTC)

Just some general information to aid in making a decision about the requested move:  Since this is supposed to be an encyclopedia, the large databases that catalog millions of medical journal articles should have some significant influence. One of the largest and most comprehensive of these databases is the PubMed database from the United States National Library of Medicine.

As of this date, a search for the phrase "needle phobia" returns 83 results. The phrase "fear of needles" returns 48 results.

Just this month, as the move to a more logical title is being considered, the term "trypanophobia" finally occurred for the first time in the National Library of Medicine database. "Trypanophobia" was mentioned in the abstract of a July 2012 medical journal article entitled, "Managing patient stress in pediatric radiology."

This demonstrates the power of Wikipedia, where the term "trypanophobia" was first either made up or raised from obscurity. "Trypanophobia" (as a term relating to needle procedures) was virtually unknown until December of 2005, when the term was first used for this Wikipedia article. X5dna (talk) 11:37, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Comment: Yes, Wikipedia 'is' an encyclopedia so why resort to common vernacular when we can use the correct medical term? Incidentally, if anything is lacking in the article, then is should be pointed out that it means a phobia about anything that bores into to the skin -not just stainless steel needles. So no. Don't rename and take a step backwards.... is the place for that sort of thing. --Aspro (talk) 20:28, 30 July 2012 (UTC)

Comment: An examination of any major medical database will reveal that the correct medical term is "Needle Phobia." Trypanophobia is a neologism that was popularized by this Wikipedia article. Wikipedia is not supposed to be in the business of inventing or popularizing new terms.

The naming of a Wikipedia article Trypanophobia causes unnecessary confusion and violates more than one Wikipedia policy.  (Some of the policies are obviously overlapping.)

 (1) It violates the no original research policy.

 (2) It violates the Wikipedia_is_not_a_word usage guide policy.

 (3) It violates the Wikipedia policy against neologisms. A neologism is a new word that is usually made up by combining logical parts of other words.

 (4) It violates the Wikipedia policy on article naming conventions.  This policy advocates the use of common names for articles rather than any kind of article naming system that would be unfamiliar to the average reader.

The term trypanophobia can cause additional confusion because it has also been used in recent years to refer to a fear of a certain type of disease-causing protozoa.  Those protozoa are known as trypanosomes or trypanosomatids.  The disease-causing protozoa of this type cause illnesses such as sleeping sickness or Chagas disease.  They have nothing to do with the medical use of needles.

Prior to the re-naming of this article in December 2005, I can find only one instance of the suggestion of the use of the name "trypanophobia" for needle phobia. That instance occurred on a web site about needle phobia written by a person who suffers from this condition. Advocates of the continued use of the neologism, "trypanophobia" should show that this word was actually in either common usage or medical usage prior to the renaming of this article in December 2005. X5dna (talk) 04:03, 31 July 2012 (UTC)

Now I can see where your coming from, I'll can answer your points when get time in just a day or two. --Aspro (talk) 18:04, 1 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support a move. However, "Needle phobia" sounds archaic or perhaps made-up. Better to move to "Fear of needles". Hill Crest's WikiLaser (Boom.) (talk) 04:10, 7 August 2012 (UTC)

If the consensus becomes to rename the article "Fear of needles" rather than "Needle phobia," I would suggest that "Fear of needle procedures" might be a more appropriate alternative. Fear of a needle as a static object that is not going to be stuck into anyone is a rather rare phobia (and it barely mentioned in the article).  Fear of needle procedures, however, affects at least 10 to 20 percent of the population to some significant degree. If a user begins typing "Fear of needles" into the search box, "Fear of needle procedures" would quickly come up as an article title. X5dna (talk) 10:23, 10 August 2012 (UTC)

  • Relisting comment We have clear consensus that the article should be moved away from "Trypanophobia". However we need to determine the best alternative title: so far needle phobia and fear of needles appear to have the most support.--Cúchullain t/c 15:37, 10 August 2012 (UTC)
  • Support "fear of needles", per my comments above. I'd prefer it over "fear of needle procedures", as the latter title is not a common name – it only gets 1,260 Google hits. Graham87 02:57, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

It doesn't matter to me whether the article is renamed Needle Phobia or Fear of Needles. I have, however, added a notice about this discussion to the main article page because I believe that we need to get more input on this from people who read the main article but do not ordinarily come to the Talk page. X5dna (talk) 03:04, 11 August 2012 (UTC)

The above discussion is preserved as an archive of the proposal. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made in a new section on this talk page. No further edits should be made to this section.

Needles outside of medical contexts[edit]

I don't have any references (yet), so I suppose I can't just toss this into the article proper yet. But in my experience, I have a pretty severe but specific fear of needles (I can get cut/sliced any which way and shrug it off no problem, but start just thinking about poking myself with a needle, and hoo boy, I need to go put my head between my legs for a bit), and some of the worst instances of it occurred in getting my ears pierced. And since then, I've pretty much ruled out the idea of ever, ever getting a tattoo at all. I'd like to see these things (and other needle-like triggers that might come up) considered in this article, in addition to the clinical use of hypodermic needles and such. -- J. Randall Owens (talk) 11:11, 15 December 2013 (UTC)