Hematophobia is a specific phobia characterized by fear of blood. It is estimated toaffect 20% of the population. It's a phobia that's easy to treat, but can be very restrictive, causing extreme panic, avoidance of certain situations and so on. And it's a phobia that's even more difficult to manage when you're a woman, and therefore confronted with your menstruation.
What is hematophobia or fear of blood?
Hematophobia is a type of phobia characterized by heightened fear at the sight of blood. People with hematophobia will feel anxious whenever they see blood, or even if they are in the presence of someone who is losing blood. According to the WHO, it's the third most common fear in the world. It's a phobia that can be very restrictive in the day-to-day lives of sufferers, even more so for women who have their babies in the womb. periods.
What are the origins of hematophobia?
Hematophobia can have several causes:
- Reason number 1 is the fact of having had experiences containing blood, such as: an accident, an injury, whether experienced by the person themselves or by those around them;
- As blood is associated with the funereal, some people suffering from thanatophobia (fear of death) may feel anguish at the sight of blood;
- For some people with hematophobia, negative medical experiences (involving needles, injections, etc.) may increase their fear of blood. The latter is often linked to fear of needles.
Generally speaking, the causes of haematophobia are not really understood... Sometimes, the fear is just genetic without any real cause being found.
How do you cure the fear of blood for good?
There are several ways to get rid of this fear of blood:
- Cognitive-behavioral therapy: working with a psychologist to learn techniques and apply exercises to change the brain's thought patterns, structure its thoughts and reduce anxiety about what we fear. This may involve breathing or relaxation exercises, but also other exercises;
- Psychotherapy is a treatment based on the use of words and non-verbal language, so that the patient learns to know himself better;
- Psychoanalysis takes into account the link between our fears, our experiences, our personality and our unconscious thoughts;
- Finally, hypnosis is a short-term treatment that doesn't seek to understand where the phobia comes from, but rather to find solutions. A bit like cognitive behavioral therapy.
How do you get diagnosed with hematophobia?
Several symptoms are characteristic of blood phobia. Avoidance behaviors, i.e. stopping oneself from doing certain activities or going to certain places for fear of being confronted with blood, are very characteristic of hematophobia. Anxiety attacks and panic attacks are symptoms of a phobia. Here's a list of more specific symptoms characteristic of an anxious reaction to the sight of blood. They include :
- Vagal malaise;
- shortness of breath ;
- stomach ache;
- Nausea and/or vomiting;
- tachycardia, or a drop in heart rate;
- physical fatigue, such as loss of energy;
- tremors ;
This list is not exhaustive, as the intensity of symptoms will depend on the strength of the phobia.
An anxiety attack in a hematophobe can be triggered by the sight of blood, or by the simple visualization of blood. Blood phobics have varying degrees of sensitivity, depending on the individual...
If haematophobia is too prevalent and handicaps the person's daily life to the point of preventing them from doing things, such as avoiding medical appointments etc., solutions must be sought.
Our 5 tips for fighting haematophobia at periods !
But how can you stop being afraid of blood? Here's our advice to help you make the most of this moment.
Don't look at the blood periods
If you are a hematophobe, the easiest way to combat this phobia during your periods is toavoid looking at the blood on your periods. The same applies to spottingi.e. the small amounts of bleeding that occur outside the periods. It's a completely natural phenomenon, but one you unfortunately can't control.
Use absorbent external protection
To avoid being confronted with blood, we recommend using external protection rather than internal protection such as tampons and cups, in which case you will be directly confronted with the sight of blood.
For external protection, we strongly recommend knickers periods. In fact, almost all our menstrual panties have a black organic cotton bottom, so you're not directly confronted with the sight of blood, as you might be when using conventional sanitary towels.
Practice breathing techniques
If you're looking for long-term solutions to your hematophobia, relaxation and breathing techniques such as sophrology and cardiac coherence can help. If you practice them regularly, they will become real tools to help you in your daily life.
Consult a doctor in case of heavy periods
If your phobia is making you anxious, even more so during your periods, consider therapy or treatment by a qualified health professional . He or she can give you the keys and tools you need to live better with your phobia, and even make it disappear, or at least reduce its symptoms.