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3362 Big Pine Trail, Suite A, Champaign, Illinois 61822

We all have things we're afraid of. But one common fear, in particular, has now taken on new meaning throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Experts are growing concerned that people with a fear of needles, also known as Trypanophobia, may avoid getting the COVID-19 vaccine. Someone who identifies with this fear may endure extreme dread and anxiety when hearing or thinking about getting the vaccine. They may also avoid or refrain from getting necessary medical care as a result. 

Alongside extreme anxiety, other symptoms of Trypanophobia can include:

  • dizziness 
  • fainting 
  • insomnia
  • high blood pressure
  •  elevated heart rate
  •  feeling emotionally or physically aggressive

Whether your needle phobia is keeping you from getting the COVID-19 vaccine or causing distress about it, here are 6 ways to overcome it:

  1. Seek professional help. Some mental health professionals are experienced in helping people with phobias and can help you better understand your fear and guide you in learning new coping strategies. 

  2. Tell the nurse about your anxiety before getting the shot. If you feel that your fear is so severe that you're at risk for fainting, inform the nurse. There may be specific products available or techniques they use to reduce the risk- like having you lay down instead of sitting upright. Some vaccination centers may allow you to bring someone for support if you feel that would be helpful. Be sure to ask ahead of time! 

  3. Distract yourself. You could choose to watch a video on YouTube, listen to your favorite song, or point out all of the blue objects in the room. Remember, the entire process only takes a few seconds, so choose something you could focus on beforehand.  

  4. Associate the vaccine with positivity. Pay attention to some of the pictures people post after getting their vaccine. This tricks your brain into associating positive feelings with the vaccine. Remember, the more grateful posts, stickers, selfies, you see, the better!

  5. Practice mindful exercises. Not only do anxiety and stress have an exhausting impact on your body, but it won’t make the appointment any easier to get through. Consider utilizing various relaxation techniques like deep breathing or short meditations to calm your nerves before and during your appointment.

  6. Focus on the benefits of the vaccine. Many of us will find that the anticipation of receiving the vaccine is more stressful than the actual event itself. In the case of COVID-19, getting a vaccine means we're one step closer to returning to normal. Remind yourself of this whenever you feel any anxiety or nervousness arise; it'll shift your perspective and ultimately make it a less stressful experience for you.

 

Takeaway

It's OK to be nervous! Focus on the benefits, practice relaxation strategies, and get professional help if you need to.  It'll be over before you know it, and you'll (deservingly) feel a sense of accomplishment and pride knowing that you're doing your part. 

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy (or SMP) is a body-centered approach that aims to understand how the mind, body, and relationships work together to treat the somatic symptoms of unresolved trauma. While traditional talk therapies rely on the individual's verbal account of their situation, this type of therapy focuses on the person's physical experience to improve mental health.

 

What is Sensorimotor Psychotherapy?

SP is a comprehensive treatment approach developed by Pat Ogden, Ph.D. This method integrates sensorimotor processing with cognitive and emotional processing in treating trauma. 

In other words, SP utilizes a person's body, mind, and emotions to manage and relieve physical sensations associated with trauma.

By focusing on the body first, rather than thoughts and feelings, SP addresses the impact the trauma has had on the body, which facilitates emotional and cognitive processing in turn. 

 

When is Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Beneficial?

When used for trauma and attachment-related issues, SP can help turn a  traumatic memory into a source of self-awareness and strength. This gentle, integrated approach provides a powerful therapeutic tool for:

  • Anxiety 
  • PTSD
  • Difficulty concentrating due to overwhelming thoughts or uncomfortable physical sensations
  • Inappropriate emotional reactions that are distressing or disturbing
  • Finding it difficult to enjoy life or feel hopeful
  • Childhood trauma, including neglect, abuse, or toxic parent
  • Trouble keeping a job, a family, friendships, and other relationships
  • Feeling detached from yourself and your relationships

 

How does Sensorimotor Psychotherapy work?

A typical session looks different for everyone, as they depend on your unique needs and capacity for processing trauma. Additionally, it’s based on a therapist’s level of training. Generally speaking, there are three significant steps toward promoting better health:

 

  1. Safety and stabilization: Your therapist will work to identify any physical and mental connections that have been “clocked” or “frozen”. While maintaining a safe, controlled environment, this phase helps highlight the body's response to specific memories, thoughts, and emotions.

  2. Processing traumatic memories:  If you feel ready to speak about the trauma, your therapist may ask you to recall the period of time leading up to the incident. As you do this, your therapist will pay attention to any significant emotional or physical reactions you're experiencing. For example, if you report feeling angry, your therapist may ask you where in your body you feel that anger (your eyes, throat, chest, etc.).

  3. Re-integration: This phase includes strengthening newly restored connections through mental practice, physical exercise, and mindfulness to promote a continuous triumph over the experience.

 

Takeaway

Therapist and client collaboration is essential to successful treatment outcomes. SP can ultimately help you address and overcome any unresolved feelings, behaviors, and thoughts that are disrupting your life.

As restrictions lift and our freedom slowly returns, some of us may be feeling differently than we thought we would for things to go back to normal. Regardless of whether you're feeling nervous about socializing after months of spending time alone or excited about returning to a more active role in society, here are seven tips to help you throughout this transition: 

  1. Set healthy and flexible boundaries.  Identify your comfort zone or your window of tolerance, where you can work, live, and socialize within. As time goes on and you adapt, you can adjust it as needed. That recovery and reentry is not a jump-in-the-pool experience; but more of a slow, gradual progression. 

  2. Consider your new priorities. For some of us, self-isolation was an incentive for self-discovery. It required us to pause and reflect on how we spend our time, energy, and money. Perhaps you've learned to value your alone time or discovered that you'd rather stay in on a Saturday night than go out. Take some time to reprioritize and build habits that align with your values.

  3. Plan and think ahead. If you're worried about seeing certain people or are nervous about interactions at work, take a step back. Social anxiety has been on the rise since the start of the pandemic. Allow yourself to evaluate what things might make you feel socially anxious or insecure. Play out these scenarios and ask yourself what you can do to establish some grounding or safety sense. A small amount of exposure to social situations at a time will ultimately help you adjust.

  4. Adjust your routine. Just as it took all of us some time to adapt and find ways of coping when lockdown began, we should expect that it'll take some time to find our way back. If you're returning to work, try to get into your morning routine at home beforehand-meaning waking up at a particular time, getting dressed, and planning for your morning commute. If you don't have any upcoming changes to your schedule, maintaining a routine and staying consistent with your time is always healthy.

  5. Allow yourself to feel worried or anxious. Uncertainty has been a significant theme throughout the last year. And as things start to shift, it's no different. It's normal to feel anxious or nervous, so embrace those feelings and validate yourself for having them. You may benefit from writing out your thoughts or talking to a friend. Chances are, they'll feel similarly.

  6. Practice self-care. You may feel that you have lost control of many things over the past several months, but it is essential to recognize the things you can control and take full advantage of them-such as self-care. It's necessary to take care of yourself to build resilience to change and manage daily stressors. Remember to take breaks throughout your day, and set aside some time for things you enjoy!

  7. Ask for help when you need it. If your levels of stress and anxiety start to interfere with your job, relationships, and other aspects of your life, please consider working with a mental health professional. They’ll help you cope with your symptoms and support you throughout this transition.

Envy and jealousy are two emotions often confused for one another as they are similar in nature. However, there is a difference between the two. So how do you tell them apart?

Let's take a closer look at the difference between envy and jealousy and what makes them similar.

What is envy?

The definition of envy is pretty straightforward: It's the desire for what someone else has that you'd like to have yourself. For example, if you envy your sibling for settling down and starting a family, you may blame them for their "unfair advantage." Or, you may begin to feel ashamed, inadequate, or unworthy of having what they have. 

Despite being an uncomfortable emotion, envy serves a purpose. If we emulate people we perceive as more successful than we are, envy can be a powerful motivator in achieving our goals. The trick is to keep envy within a healthy range rather than suppressing it. Examine the underlying shame or discomfort that comes with it with an open, curious perspective. 

We tend to envy people regardless of our relationship with them. Although the feeling itself is more prominent when it comes to a family member or a friend, it's not uncommon to envy people we'll never know-like celebrities or extraordinarily successful, wealthy, beautiful, or intelligent people. 

It is envy's irrationality that marks the most significant difference between envy and jealousy.

What is jealousy?

Jealousy is a complex, painful emotion in comparison to envy. Simply put, jealousy is driven by a fear of loss, specifically in relationships. We grow suspicious of other people's intentions to protect what we already have. 

For example, you may feel jealous when you see your husband joking around and laughing with a co-worker you didn't know about. In this case, jealousy arises due to the threat this co-worker brings to your relationship. 

Although jealousy is often used in the context of romantic relationships, it can arise in any relationship-whether it's a sibling getting more attention from a parent or a colleague receiving more praise from your boss. If envy can promote motivation to achieve a goal, jealousy can motivate us to preserve and value our relationships.

Similarities between envy and jealousy

It's easy to understand why the two get mixed up-both envy and jealousy have the power to bring up our deepest insecurities and anxieties. They can be a source of anger, hurt, and aggressiveness. In a sense, both are necessary emotions. But if ignored or suppressed for too long, the resentment can bite away at our mental wellbeing.

If you feel that your envy or jealousy is uncontrollable, consider working with a licensed therapist. These feelings can result in low self-esteem, depression, and increased anxiety if ignored. Understanding these emotions is the first step in overcoming them.

About Insight Therapy

Insight Therapy is a professional mental health private practice located in Champaign - Urbana. Insight Therapy offers individual therapy, couples counseling, family counseling, and professional mediation services to clients of all ages and issues.

Contact Information

Insight Therapy, LLC
3362 Big Pine Trail
Suite A
Champaign, Illinois 61822

Phone: (217) 383-0151
Fax: (217) 633-4555

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Practice Areas

Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Addiction, Couples Counseling, Eating Disorders, Sexual Abuse Survivor, School Anxiety, Women's Issues, Relationship Issues, BiPolar Disorder, Personality Disorders, Family Issues, Couples Counseling, Mediation, and more!