Doctor, doctor: Needle phobia and handwriting problems

Since my teens, I have had severe needle phobia that has widened to feeling faint at gory scenes at the cinema or when conversations take a bloody turn. I've tried hypnotherapy, but it didn't help. Is cognitive behavioural therapy a potential solution?
It may be, though that said, I have often found a rational and calm conversation with patients such as yourself can help a lot. Behavioural therapy takes time, and needs to be with someone very familiar with the technique; sometimes, a session with a GP and nurse can go a long way to easing fears such as yours. There are other ways we can help, too, such as applying a local anaesthetic to the site of the injection so you don't feel it, or ensuring you look away when we take blood. It is really a matter of getting over your fear just the once, and from then on it will become much easier to deal with. As for gory scenes at the cinema, I'm with you on that one.

I'm 31, very healthy and happy, but in the last eight years my handwriting has gone from excellent to being barely able to wield a pen. I have to think very hard to remember what letters come next, and I struggle to keep them in a straight line, even when writing my name on a library card. It hurts to write for a long time. My typing is a lot faster than most, although not as perfectly correct as it once was. Is there something wrong with my head or with my hands?
Probably not. The clue is that you say that your typing is a lot faster than most. Maybe now you are just writing faster than you did in the past, and you can't maintain good writing if you are going at top speed. Try to write a piece slowly, as you did when you were younger, and if you can reproduce that, you are fine. However, if you really can't properly control your hand and fingers at a slower speed, you do need to see your doctor for a check on your coordination and fine muscle control. You didn't mention whether or not your writing has become smaller, as well as untidy. If it has, then you should seek help, because that can indicate early Parkinson's disease. However, that's very rare in someone as young as you are.

• Got a medical question for Dr Tom Smith? Email

Thanks to who have provided this article. View the original here.


comments powered by Disqus