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How do I get over severe squeamishness that's ruining my life

(16 Posts)
squeaming Tue 04-Aug-20 08:59:55

Name changed for this.
I wondered if anyone has experienced similar or can advise.

I am struggling with being really squeamish. I've always been faint at the sight of blood and often cry and panic during blood tests but it's more than just blood. I can't bear anything that involves my body- so injections, feeling my pulse, all and every medical treatment. I've never been able to have my nipples touched as it gives me the same feeling that I just can't bear.

I am hoping to get pregnant and had a transvaginal scan, this had me in tears as I was so uncomfortable with someone probing around inside me. I now have to get a hycosy test and every time I think about it I start crying as I just can't bear the idea of things happening in there, especially if it's painful.

I'm worried I won't cope with all the blood tests, injections and vaginal things that will need to be done as part of fertility treatment. I'm also worried that if I got pregnant I would be squeamish about a baby being inside me.

I get this pressure behind my temples and feel faint and light headed and shaky, this can last all day eg I had it after a finger prick blood test.

I don't know where to begin with getting over this, when I've got hysterical at blood tests in the past I've been told to stop being so dramatic. I feel like no one understands how severe it is. I would pay for a private psychotherapist but I don't even know what type would specialise in this or how it could be treated.

Please can someone help

OP’s posts: |
ThickFast Tue 04-Aug-20 09:05:15

Can you write down all your fears in order of least scary to most scary. In a ladder. Start with the least scary (maybe something like seeing the word blood written down) Practice self calming techniques like slow breathing so you feel reassured that nothing bad is happening. Then work on the next one fear. And the next until you feel calm with each thing. This may take a while though, it’s not an instant fix.

squeaming Tue 04-Aug-20 10:53:18

Thanks @ThickFast I'll try that, maybe I need to think about it more rather than trying not to think about it. It's hard with the gradual exposure as I can only use thought and I really struggle to imagine things, obviously I can't start taking my own blood or something like if it was a spider I could touch one. But I like the idea of trying to do some mindful thinking

OP’s posts: |
ThickFast Tue 04-Aug-20 11:35:32

Yeah that’s true. But maybe if you start with the small things and feel confident about them, then you’ll feel more in control with the bigger things. Also, remember that although you feel awful, nothing bad is actually happening. When I had my c section I did some hypnobirth breathing to try to control my fear. 4 breaths in, 8 breaths out.

squeaming Tue 04-Aug-20 12:13:27

That's a good idea thanks. It makes it worse that I have to do it all alone as my partner isn't allowed in because of Covid.

OP’s posts: |
fascinated Tue 04-Aug-20 12:14:52

What about eg EMDR

Is there a root cause?

squeaming Tue 04-Aug-20 13:10:27

@fascinated had lots of therapy for various things but EMDR never suggested. I don't know too much about it. I guess there's some kind of route course but never worked out what it might be. I was always squeamish of blood as a little child but only got the whole body squeamishness in my early 20s. Oddly i self harmed for years as a child and teenager and wasn't so squeamish about all that blood. Sometimes I wonder if this is a sort of PTSD from all the self harm but doesn't all add up as why would I eg hate having my nipples touched. I'm so confused and so much therapy has never helped. It's like a puzzle I can't put together

OP’s posts: |
ThickFast Tue 04-Aug-20 18:47:37

The self harm aspect is interesting. (Sorry if that’s not the best word) Is it something about being out of control? So during the self harm the blood was ok because you were in control? I’m just guessing at things. It’s normal to be a bit squeamish of blood, it makes sense. As in, if there’s blood it’s normally because you’ve got a cut or more.

squeaming Tue 04-Aug-20 18:58:01

@ThickFast yes I think control is a big part of it particularly being able to control the pain level. But it's been many years since I've done more than superficial cuts/scratches and I think I'd probably feel faint nowadays at what didn't used to bother me. I do feel a bit like at some point my whole body seized up and stopped being able to cope with any kind of interference from another person (I hate being touched at all by strangers) but there was no obvious trigger for this and parts of it were always there like the normal levels of squeamishness. It's like I've built it up to be something in my head to fear. I'm slightly better with blood tests as I've had to have so many in the past I've sort of faced that fear although the thought of them makes me feel sick and I can't look or anything but the other stuff terrifies me. I have to have loads of bloods and a smear done on Monday and I'm dreading it already

OP’s posts: |
ThickFast Tue 04-Aug-20 19:26:15

I guess the positive thing is that you’re doing these things anyway. So even though you’re scared, you’ll do it. I’m really scared of the dentist. I cried last time I went. But I just try to remember that no matter how scared I am, it does end. It’s not like some horror movie where it goes on and on and on. It’s 20 mins. Same with a smear. It’s less than 5 mins once they’ve put the thing in. Blood test, a few mins. Even my c section I thought, it’s less than an hour. So no matter how scared I am, it will end and then it’ll be done and I don’t have to think about it any more.

squeaming Tue 04-Aug-20 20:14:58

@ThickFast thank you and thanks for listening! Weirdly enough I don't mind the dentist confused you're so right that it's only 5 minutes and I will think about what breathing i can do

OP’s posts: |
ThickFast Tue 04-Aug-20 20:39:38

Honestly, I’d have a c section again over going to the dentist for a filling. Hate the sensation and noise of them drilling in to my teeth. Even tho it doesn’t hurt. None of it makes any sense tho, does it? Hope it’s all ok when you have the smear and blood tests

cherrybakewells3 Tue 04-Aug-20 20:45:38

I am exactly the same so interested to see advice on this post. I thought it would get better as I got older (I'm 26) but it really hasn't. Blood tests are very traumatic for me, any type of injection, blood pressure etc. I think it's psychological, the thought of things entering my body. I went for a smear the other day and whilst it was uncomfortable, i was ok I didn't have a funny turn like normal until I got in the car to drive home and started thinking about it. I felt like I was going to be sick there and then, went all shaky, sweaty and felt like I was going to pass out I had to pull over for a while and felt like I wouldn't make it home. That's what always happens with blood tests/injections and I usually have to bring my mum with me as DP works away. I wish I could get over it as I plan on having children within the next few years and honestly won't know how I would manage.

cherrybakewells3 Tue 04-Aug-20 20:49:29

I also had to cancel an ablation for SVT which I really suffer with as I was a total mess at the pre op with the blood tests and the thought of having the cannula was worse than having a really good procedure stop my svt which is something I have regurlary sad

squeaming Wed 05-Aug-20 10:28:15

So sorry you have this too @cherrybakewells3 I wish there was a name or something for it so it was easier to find where to get help from.

OP’s posts: |
ThickFast Wed 05-Aug-20 21:10:30

It’s horrible when it stops you doing something. I’m probably gonna need my bottom two wisdom teeth out. And I keep putting it off. Needles and all that kind of thing I don’t mind at all though! So I’m fine with the local anaesthetic being put in at the dentist. And then totally freak once the procedure is happening. Even tho it doesn’t hurt. So wisdom teeth will be horrible.

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