Hemophobia Symptoms

Hemophobia Symptoms

Hemophobia is the fear of blood. According to MedicineNet.com, the word hemophobia stems from the Greek terms "haima," which means blood, and "phobos," which means fear. This fear becomes a phobia when the state of the fear becomes persistent and abnormal, resulting in extreme signs of excitement or anxiety when blood is present. While symptoms of hemophobia vary by individual, the most common symptoms include fainting, nausea, increased heart rate, anxiety attacks and excessive sweating. These symptoms are sometimes triggered when an individual sees, smells or touches blood.

One Cause of Hemophobia
Hemophobia is often correlated to a childhood or life-event trauma involving blood. It is possible that the hemophobic individual saw an excessive amount of blood during a specific event in his life--perhaps in the form of an accident or death.

Anxiety Associated with Hemophobia
In the presence of blood or when coming into contact with blood, hemophobic individuals exhibit exaggerated fear in the form of an anxiety attack or panic. The fear these individuals face as a result of hemophobia is at times crippling and can lead to nausea or vomiting, and fainting.

The life of an individual who is hemophobic varies. Some can live a normal life with periodic hemophobic episodes that come and go rather quickly, and symptoms that can be easily managed. For others, hemophobia is a debilitating experience, causing a longer period of symptoms that may be harder to manage.

The anxiety associated with hemophobia can also lead to mental disorders, including depression.

Affects on the Heart
If you or someone you know experiences heart palpitations, chest pain or an increased heart rate when in contact with blood or in the presence of blood, hemophobia may be the cause. Signs of hemophobic symptoms exist when the heart rate noticeably changes when blood is present, then returns to normal when the blood is taken away. A rapid or noticeable decrease in heart rate while blood is present is also a telling sign of hemophobia.

Treatment of Symptoms
Behavioral therapy is one method used to treat individuals and help them understand the phobia. A specialist will assist the patient through a series of behavioral therapy activities, which may include hypnosis, psychological evaluation or periodic discussions. Specialists also may recommend the use of a pacemaker to control the heart rate of hemophobia sufferers.

Safety and Lifestyle
Individuals who exhibit symptoms of hemophobia sometimes fear blood-related diseases such as HIV, AIDS or Ebola. For those who fear blood, it is wise to take extra safety precautions before coming into contact with blood. Wearing protective gloves or gear could help those suffering from hemophobia to feel more secure and safe in the presence of blood.

Hemophobic individuals may choose to change their lifestyle to manage their hemophobia. For instance, some choose to avoid attending events where blood may be present, such as boxing matches or athletic events, avoid clinics or hospitals, or avoid eating red meat.