Afraid of injections? It's natural to be a bit nervous before an injection. But for some people, the fear of injections (also called injection anxiety) is much stronger and may even prevent them from receiving the treatment they need.
Self-injection anxiety – the fear of giving yourself an injection – can be an important issue for people with MS, since some MS medications are given by self-injection after proper training by a doctor or nurse. Self-injection anxiety can get in the way of MS treatment, and people who suffer from this problem are more likely to stop taking their medications or not use them properly.
What causes self-injection anxiety? The anxiety may be related to a variety of factors, including the size and length of the needle, a history of unpleasant side effects from injections in the past, or the fact that starting MS treatment acknowledges the disease and makes it a reality in a person's life.
Fortunately, there are ways to cope. Specially trained support nurses can help people overcome their anxiety about giving themselves an injection. During the training, people will learn specific techniques to help them overcome their anxiety, including putting the needle gently against the skin first before the actual injection, learning to self-inject quickly so that there is less pain and bleeding, or practising on an orange or while sitting in a comfortable chair.
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