Nobody likes needles. For some people though, fear of needles may be more extreme than for others — some people have panic attacks, pass out, or hyperventilate during vaccinations or IVs. This can be a big problem for people who can find relief in IV treatments — Infusions therapy and ketamine treatments can be revolutionary for those struggling with treatment-resistant depression, PTSD, bipolar, and other mental health challenges. But how can those who have a fear of needles cope with the anxiety that can often come with even the sight of an IV?
Fortunately, there are ways to make IVs more bearable. Coming from someone with a fear of needles, there are many tips that have helped me — and can help you — make your infusion therapy something you can do with minimal fear!
This tip may sound counterintuitive at first, but it really does help. Dr. Timothy Hendrix, medical director of AdventHealth Centra Care Urgent Care, says that thinking about shots, needles, and IVs prior to the appointment will multiply the fear unnecessarily. Avoid thinking about the IV until you actually arrive at the Infusion Center — instead, think about the results, the purpose of attending the meeting, your next meal, your dog (anything to get your mind off of the IV itself).
Tell The Nurse!
Trust me, we here at VIT have had our fair share helping those who struggle with needles. We want to help you! Our nurses will help you feel comfortable, chat with you, and do whatever they can to help you feel as relaxed as possible.
One of the best aspects of our VIT center is that our rooms don’t necessarily look like medical rooms — they have soft low lighting and comfortable reclining chairs. You can also bring headphones and music too! We’ll do our best to help you keep your mind off of the infusion itself. But, do be sure to communicate your fear of needles. It’s important that we know, that way we can help you best we can.
It's Okay To Close Your Eyes.
Not looking at the needle can help when the time to get an infusion comes. Looking away and squeezing your eyes shut can be soothing enough for the nurse to get the IV in — and then the worst part is over! Taking deep breaths, holding still, and closing your eyes can help soothe you, and you won’t have to see anything. If you’d prefer not to close your eyes, focus on something away from the infusion — look at the designs of the wallpaper, intently study the metal lampshade, or stare at the thread in your jeans. It helps to get your eyes –and mind — off of the infusion itself.
Try Not To Move.
This one may be the most difficult…it’s so easy to want to yank away, shake, jerk, or curl up when the nurse is bringing the needle near. However, as difficult as this is, moving is going to make everything far worse (and dangerous!) for you and everyone else. Leaning back in the chair, closing your eyes, taking deep breaths, and making conversation with the nurse may be what you need to stay still. You can ask the nurse to not do a countdown if you’d rather not know when the needle is descending, that way you don’t know when to react. Or, if you’d prefer, you can ask for a countdown that way you’re prepared to brace yourself — you know yourself best, so make sure you know what strategy will help you hold still. And fortunately, before you know it, it’ll be over.
Hold Something In Your Other Hand.
Holding your phone, a stress ball, a stuffed animal, the arm chair, or a keychain can help your body focus your nerves onto whatever you’re holding rather than on your IV. It’s a simple yet effective way to help you get your mind and jitters onto something else, which sometimes makes all the difference!
Try Talking To Your Therapist.
If your fear of needles is bad, then we recommend talking to your therapist about it. They’ll help you cope with needles and grow accustomed to dealing with them in a safe environment prior to an IV infusion. They’ll provide you with insight, tips, help, and anything additional you may need. That way, when you head into the VIT appointment, you can look forward to your results rather than dreading the needle!
It Will Get Better!
If it’s your first time getting a vitamin or ketamine infusion, then rest assured that the next time will be much easier! Like most things, it becomes easier and more bearable with repetition. This is a good thing that will make it much easier to look forward to the benefits of VIT and ketamine after each appointment and not the IV itself.
Schedule a free consultation with us today! We’d love to talk to you about our services, our ketamine and vitamin infusions, and how we can help you feel as comfortable as possible as you begin your journey in IV treatments.