Hemophobia….Fear of blood!
- By Team TDO
Jack was great fun to be with. Such a charming man, really! Until the night he went dancing with his girl. The first few numbers saw Jack at his best and they really did make a graceful pair until the DJ changed the song to ‘Blood on the Dance Floor’ and all hell broke loose.
As the music started Jack’s girl said it was her favorite number and to her utter horror she saw a glazed look come over Jack and his grip suddenly tightened around her waist. He had sweat beads forming on his brow and fearing that Jack was unwell, she tried to ask him to stop. Jack suddenly let out a howl of fear and shot out of the bar as though the devil had gotten to him.
Jack later on confessed that he was long suffering from Hemophobia and it all began when he witnessed a road accident where a truck had gone over the victim’s head and he had never seen so much blood in one place. The images stayed in his mind and were subliminally triggered off at the mere mention of anything remotely connected to blood or gore.
This is a classic example of Hemophobia or the fear of blood. This fear is treatable and is classified a phobia. Hemophobia could be just a fear of the sight of oozing blood or anything that causes blood to flow is also a sub-type of Hemophobia.
Therefore, Hemophobia could include an utter dread for blood and as a logical extension could include dentists and surgeon as well. The very thought of a drill hitting a raw nerve or a scalpel cutting open a body with blood flying everywhere is enough to evoke rather strong reactions in Hemophobics.
The one thing about blood is that it is the very water or essence of life, thus can be an object of fascination, reverence and even horror. Remember the blood oaths of the Mafiosi?
Well, no ‘Hemophobic’ worth his salt will ever want to be a mile near a blood oath we are sure! While some of us might be horrified at the sight of blood spilling out of a ruptured vein or an injury we also seem mesmerized by it. It has something in it which is so compelling that we can’t bring ourselves to look away.
Horror filmmakers use this peculiar human trait to cash in on their blood and gore and all those chainsaw killers hacking and brutalizing victims amidst streams of flowing blood. These images also create an intense impact on the psyche of some sensitive or squeamish people and they react rather strongly to it whenever there is a trigger.
Symptoms of hemophobia
The most common symptoms of this phobia are increased heart rate and blood pressure. There could be, at times, a strong panic attack as the patient might lose his grip on reality if his mind is evoking past images. It can also go on to avoidance behavior fearing an injury, like cancellation of dentist or doctor’s appointments where medical intervention might be absolutely necessary. Anticipatory anxiety and gastrointestinal discomfort could also be some of the symptoms.
Consequently, Hemophobia might lead to social isolation, as the person is terrified of even travelling, lest he should witness an accident where a lot of blood will spill. He might even ignore to promptly dress his children’s wounds if there is the slightest blood from it and as a consequence, something serious could happen.
Generally, hemophobics avoid adventure activities like hiking or racing. There are coping strategies along with medication that can gradually ease the homophobia out of the person’s life. However, like all other phobias, Hemophobia too has a strong hold over the person’s life and needs plenty of patience and perseverance to deal with.