For most people, this fear will not lead to avoidance behaviour, but for around 10% of the population, the fear can be irrational and excessive.
When this happens, it becomes a phobia. The phobia is called Balonephobia – a specific fear of needles. Some may use the term Trypanophobia but this is incorrect. Trypanophobia is the fear of all types of injections.
Many more people would have their tongues pierced were it not for this. So what can be done to get over this fear? The most popular technique used by those who suffer is set out in 3 stages.
This article refers to Tongue piercing but may be used in other settings.
STEP ONE – PREPERATION
Research. Find out what the piercing entails. Find information on piercing procedure. Read about the type of piercing available and piercing aftercare. The key here is knowledge. Balonephobia is partly fear of the unknown – be in the know – arm youself with knowledge.
STEP TWO – CONTROL
Stay in control. Make all your own decisions. Choose the piercing studio and time you want the piercing done. Choose your ideal tongue piercing. Visit a few studios to find one you’re comfortable in. Some advice from friends may be helpful here but be sure to visit before you make an appointment.
STEP THREE – GRADUAL EXPOSURE
Your tongue piercing doesn’t have to be today or tomorrow. Let your piercing studio know that you’re anxious and visit a couple of times. See the equipment, see the procedure. Ask questions!! No matter how silly the questions seem, always ask!! If you dont, you relapse back to the unknown so all your prep might be in vain. When you appointment comes round, bring someone with you. Parent, best friend, someone you trust.
Many people with fears believe the best way to conquer their fears is to face the fear. I had a great fear of heights. I wouldn’t admit this to my better half when we first met. We were at a theme park and she wanted to ride on the highest roller-coaster in there. I still wouldn’t admit I was scared. By the time I got to the top, I thought my chest would burst! I got on anyway. It was the fastest way back down. I have never been afraid of heights since that day. True story. It really worked!! To face a fear and win makes the experience much sweeter. Its something you will never forget.