Fear of Veins: Venephobia

The impact of a phobia can range from annoying to severely disabling. People with phobias often realize their fear is irrational, but they’re unable to do anything about it. Such fears can interfere with work, school, and personal relationships. Genetic and environmental factors can cause phobias. Children who have a close relative with an anxiety disorder are at risk of developing a phobia. Distressing events, such as nearly drowning, can bring on a phobia. Exposure to confined spaces, extreme heights, and animal or insect bites can all be sources of phobias.

People with ongoing medical conditions or health concerns often have phobias and there’s a high incidence of people developing phobias after traumatic brain injuriesSubstance abuse and depression are also connected to phobias. Phobias have different symptoms from serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia. In schizophrenia, people have visual and auditory hallucinations, delusions, paranoia, negative symptoms such as anhedonia, and disorganized symptoms.

Phobias can develop around any object or situation. Some people may experience multiple phobias. They can be broadly categorized into two groups which are specific phobias and complex phobias.

Specific phobias are phobias about a specific object or situation, such as the fear of veins, the fear of spiders or flying. They often develop in childhood or adolescence. For some people, they might become less severe as they get older.

If you’re afraid of something you have to see or do a lot, this can start to have a serious impact on your everyday life. If your phobia is about something you don’t come into contact with very often, this can sometimes have less of an impact on you. However, you may still experience fear and anxiety even when the object or situation isn’t present. This means that your phobia can still affect you on a daily basis.

Complex phobias tend to have a more disruptive or overwhelming impact on your life than specific phobias. They tend to develop when you are an adult. Two of the most common complex phobias are social phobia and agoraphobia.

If you have social phobia, you will feel a sense of intense fear in social situations. You will often try to avoid them. You might worry about a social event before, during and after it has happened. It is also known as social anxiety or social anxiety disorder. A lot of people find social situations difficult, or feel shy or awkward at certain times – this is completely normal. Social phobia however can completely overwhelm you. You might find it very difficult to engage in everyday activities such as talking in groups, starting conversations, public speaking, speaking on the phone, meeting new people etc.

The fear, for some, doesn’t come from worrying that getting ones blood drawn will hurt, but it instead comes from just thinking anything to do with veins is disgusting and the idea of getting their veins punctured is awful to them.

The word venephobia and is derived from vene which is a variant of veno meaning vein and phobia meaning an irrational fear. So a person suffering from venephobia usually can’t stand looking at their own hands, wrists, neck etc. due to the fear of seeing their own veins and arteries.” The fear of veins, aka Venephobia, is being terrified of anything entering your veins like needles when getting blood drawn). It’s also you not wanting someone to touch areas like your wrists, inner arms, the backs of your legs, your achilles heel, your neck, etc. where veins are visible or you can feel a pulse

The People that are suffering from phobias, are most of the times purposely avoid coming into contact with what it is that triggers them to experience fear or anxiety. For example people that suffer from venephobia, which is a body part phobia, try to avoid not only the exact objects or situations that trigger it but sometimes in severe cases the thought of those things all together which in this case is the sight of veins or needles.

There have been a lot of cases in which an individual has develop a phobia from faces where they become fearful of experiencing anxiety itself because it would make them feel very uncomfortable. A person doesn’t necessarily need to be in a situation exposed to faces to experience venephobia. The brain doesn’t have to be in that situation to experience the symptoms of panic. A person’s brain is capable of creating a reaction to fearsome situations even when the subject is not actually in that situation.

People are different and so are all the types of phobias someone might suffer from. So the symptoms also vary strongly on the severity in which an individual is experiencing these fears. But generally speaking, body part phobias and fears such as venephobia fall under the category of anxiety disorders.

Venephobia in most cases is quite related to trypanophobia which is an extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles.

Children are especially afraid of needles because they’re unused to the sensation of their skin being pricked by something sharp. By the time most people reach adulthood, they can tolerate needles much more easily. But for some, a fear of needles stays with them into adulthood. Sometimes this fear can be extremely intense.

If getting an IV scares you, you’re not alone! Although getting an IV is a fairly common procedure. One of the biggest misconceptions about IV therapy is that the IV needle stays in the patient’s vein throughout treatment. Think of the IV needle having a soft tube-like sheath over it called the canula. Once the IV is inserted into the vein, the needle is retracted leaving just the soft plastic canula through which IV fluids, medications, or blood can be infused into the body. This way, the patient can get their effective treatments without having to worry about the danger of a needle still under their skin. The clinician will make sure the needle is disposed of safely.


There is also no treatment that’s specific to venephobia. However, there are treatments for phobias and anxiety disorders. The particular treatment can vary depending on the specific phobia, the individual, and the severity of the phobia. Common types of treatment include different kinds of therapy, relaxation training, and medication.

13 thoughts on “Fear of Veins: Venephobia”
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