Some people really don’t like needles. It’s called Trypanophobia.
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A video of a lady about to get her vaccine shot in what appears to be a drive-through vaccination centre in Malaysia has gone viral because this lady is all of us who have the fear of getting pricked!
HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA NEXT LEVEL PUNYA TAKUT JARUM NI HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAHAHAHHAHAAHAHA pic.twitter.com/unXUwXN0tT— Rage Against The Govt 🐷 (@_ahmadboii) July 8, 2021
The 1 minute and 29-second long video posted by Twitter user @_ahmadboii shows a lady terrified about getting her shot while repeatedly reading salawat in her prayers.
With her face mask covering her whole face, she is seen giving a quick hug to her friend in the car while being told it will be quick.
She then tries to get the frontliners to join her in prayer and to pray for her too. While they are still preparing for the vaccine, the lady is seen trying to control her emotions with a short breathing exercise while still reciting prayers.
Just as they are about to clean the site for the injection on her arm, she advises the team of 3 vaccinators to recite the salawat for real – which they all oblige.
After the ordeal was over, celebratory applause could be heard followed by “yay! Dah boleh balik kampong” (yay! Can go back to my hometown!) and “adoi” (an expression of grief) as the video cuts out.
The video garnered several laughs for netizens with the original poster also congratulating the lady for successfully fighting Trypanophobia.
Jokes aside, tahniah akak ni sebab berjaya melawan perasaan Trypanophobia. Bukan calang calang orang boleh encounter fobia sendiri tau. Power kak power!— Rage Against The Govt 🐷 (@_ahmadboii) July 8, 2021
Trypanophobia is an extreme fear of medical procedures involving injections or hypodermic needles.
It may be common for children to be afraid of needles because they are not used to the sensation of being pricked by something sharp. However, the fear in adults is also common with 10% of Malaysia’s population who also having this phobia.
In this race to reach herd immunity, vaccines are crucial so to be able to overcome your fears is a big feat in itself.
Conquer your fear of needles
While some people’s reactions are worse than others, some things you could do to appease the situation are to:
Talk with the vaccinator – This allows them to assess and handle the situation better. It may include getting you to lie down, look away or tense your muscles as tensing it for 20 to 30 seconds, especially if you’ve fainted in the past, will help raise your heart rate and blood pressure.
Have a support buddy – Try scheduling an appointment with a friend or family member, or ask the vaccine centre if it’s okay to bring someone along.
Distract yourself – Easier said than done, but having a distraction can help refocus your mind away from the anxiety, especially in the time you’re waiting before your turn.
Like the lady in the video, focusing on your breath also helps. According to Dr Thea Gallagher, clinical director at the University Of Pennsylvania Center for the Treatment and Study of Anxiety, count your inhalations and exhalations by breathing in for one and out for two.
If your phobia is severe, professional help should be sought and there are techniques like exposure therapy to help you learn to tolerate the distress.
Ultimately, focus on the benefits of getting vaccinated. It’s the most selfless act you can do right now in this fight against everyone’s nemesis Covid-19.
Former advertising mad woman - turned mother to an amazing little girl born 3 months early - and now a returned writer. Also a textbook ambivert with no clue about today's pop music but a walking encyclopedia of music from the 80s and 90s.