The Coronavirus pandemic has brought all kinds of problems that have made life a sea of worry and anxiety for many, but even the solutions will bring a lot of stress for some.
After months of fear and despair that the pandemic had no end in sight, light appeared at the end of the tunnel as the results of various vaccine trails started to emerge. Late last year Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca all produced data to show their jabs offered high levels of efficacy against the virus.
With several more candidate vaccines producing impressive results, many will have felt a sense of excitement that the cavalry is on the way to vanquish the enemy, albeit armed with small needles rather than the usual weapons of war.
For some, however, this brings up another kind of fear. While there are those who are reluctant or even entirely unwilling to get a vaccine after buying into various conspiracy theories and anti-vax propaganda circulating on the internet, for others it is that needle itself that causes the problem.
Trypanaphobia is the fear of needles and it is remarkably common. It is estimated around one in ten people have it to some degree, so if this is you, be assured you are in good company.
It is a fear that can arise from a range of causes. Sometimes it comes through a relative having the same fear and voicing it often, putting fearful thoughts into the minds of those around them. Alternatively, it can be acquired by individuals as a result of accumulated childhood traumas, such as hospitalisation requiring a lot of injections for blood tests or being on a drip.
There is little doubt this fear can have negative medical outcomes. If you need a blood test, anaesthetic or a vaccination, there will be a needle involved and that can prompt people to avoid such situations, with potentially serious medical consequences. It can also make it hard to watch some TV programmes if they show someone being injected.
In the case of the Coronavirus vaccine, it is about protecting both yourself and others, especially now evidence is emerging to show that vaccination can reduce the spread of the disease as well as prevent people developing symptoms. Many will want to do the right thing and to make themselves as safe as possible, but will dread the two injections this will require.
If you live in London, we can offer cognitive behavioural therapy and hypnotherapy in Putney to enable you to learn how to relax, avoid the sense of panic and dread, and unravel the tangled knot of negative memories and associations.
This will prove incredibly reassuring to you. For some, it helps a lot to begin with just to know they are having their phobia taken seriously. Moreover, the programme every patient will undergo is designed to get to the heart of their problem and gradually ease it.
By the end, your past fears of needles will be greatly reduced, which will be invaluable as you get your Covid jabs - and probable future ones to cover mutations some months or years down the line.
It will also mean you can deal with other injections in future, without the dread and anxiety that has made the whole business such an ordeal in the past.