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Thread: Really bad blood test phobia, please help! (Diazepam experience?)

  1. #1

    Unhappy Really bad blood test phobia, please help! (Diazepam experience?)

    Hi all, I have just joined this forum after reading other people's posts who are in the same situation, & just wanted to get some specific advice from you guys. I have had anxiety & panic disorder for the last 5 years & have a specific phobia of medical procedures/blood/pain.

    I have a blood test appointment on Thursday. I can't even begin to count the number of times I have gone to a blood test appointment, completely freaked out, and not had it done. It must be around 10 times now over the last few years.
    Over the last year specifically I have been feeling progressively worse and I am becoming increasingly worried about my health, so I know now the time has come that I need to get this looked into properly.
    My doctor wants to do bloods ( and has done for the last around 4 years! ) to check my thyroid levels specifically, among other things.

    I am currently having CBT for my panic disorder in general but haven't yet worked specifically on the blood test situation. I have in the past been given EMLA cream & still haven't had the test done even though my arm was numb! I think I just didn't trust that it wouldn't hurt, or deep down my phobia is of more than just the pain. My Dr has also prescribed Diazepam to take before the blood test but I am too scared to take it!

    Most of my fears come down to being out of control, & I feel that taking Diazepam would make me out of control if that makes sense. I'm worried about feeling spaced out, or 'not myself' .. So anyone who's taken it and can tell me how it feels would be helpful too. (I've only been given 5mg tablets and was considering even cutting them in half/quarter!)

    Sorry for the long post!

    Does anyone have any advice? Everything I've tried so far hasn't worked! Thanks!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    , , United Kingdom.
    Posts
    416

    Re: Really bad blood test phobia, please help! (Diazepam experience?)

    Hi there,

    Not really much I can offer as I too am petrified of blood tests. I have to book a double appointment as it takes me a while to get back off the table without fainting.

    The procedure itself doesn't hurt, and is over in a matter of minutes. I don't know why I get so uptight.

    I had diazepam the last time before my appointment and it was great. I went in, had it done and walked straight out again.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Posts
    743

    Re: Really bad blood test phobia, please help! (Diazepam experience?)

    I wish I had something useful to say to help, but I don't really, except to say that blood tests don't hurt. At most it feels like a little scratch on your skin. I just turn the other way until it's over so I can't see what they're doing. I can't help with the diazepam either, I'm sorry, but from what I know it just makes you feel calm and relaxed, definitely not out of control. Good luck, I know you can do this!

  4. #4

    Re: Really bad blood test phobia, please help! (Diazepam experience?)

    I used to fear blood tests...had all sorts of adrenalin rushes and used to pass out! I found what worked was to speak to the blood test nurse at my GP surgery beforehand so she knew I was anxious.

    She booked me a double appointment so I could calm down after, and when I got in there she'd made up a bed for me to lie on!

    Afterwards I wondered what I was worried about. It took a few seconds and didn't hurt.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Posts
    85

    Re: Really bad blood test phobia, please help! (Diazepam experience?)

    Hi Charley,

    Although I don't have a specific fear of needles I used to get really worked up about having a blood test in case I felt unwell during or after (sickness phobia) so can sympathise. Until I got used to them I used to take a book in with me or put my iPod on, just so I had something else to try and focus on, would that help at all?

    Also, I've recently started taking Valium occasionally for anxiety and I like you I was too scared to take it at first. I've taken it 4 or 5 times over the past few months and didn't experience anything bad from it, I was almost waiting for something to happen or for me to feel different but I didn't, just a bit more relaxed and not like everything was overwhelming me, if that makes sense?

    If you're worried about taking it (and you have an extra tablet) why not take it on a day when you have nothing planned just so you get some confidence in the tablet and are reassured that you won't feel out of control etc?

    I had a physical illness as well as anxiety and it wasn't until I got the physical side sorted that I began to actually see an improvement in my anxiety levels so can understand your desire to get the test done and get it sorted - hope it goes well

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2013
    Posts
    535

    Re: Really bad blood test phobia, please help! (Diazepam experience?)

    Charley,
    I take diazepam 5mgs if panic attacks are really bad. You won`t loose control with 5mgs, it will only calm you and make you feel relaxed.

  7. #7

    Re: Really bad blood test phobia, please help! (Diazepam experience?)

    i have the exact same problem my mental health team people said itd be worth doing a blod test to check thyroid etc to see if thats something to do with my moods and anxiety , im scared to death i havent had a blood test for maybe 5 years , ive taken diazapam before for sleep and it didnt do much so i dunno what im going to do i mean i know i need to have it but im shitting myself !! sorry thats not much help but just letting you know your not alone

  8. #8

    Re: Really bad blood test phobia, please help! (Diazepam experience?)

    Quick update; Just realised I posted this in April and unfortunately the situation hasn't changed!
    I'm in the same predicament except now I feel even worse in myself. I feel so ill every day but I don't know if this is purely anxiety. I need my mind put at rest that there is nothing physically wrong. If I am told it's just anxiety that in itself will make me calmer!!

    Does anyone have any more advice for having a blood test when you have severe anxiety. It's ruining my life right now!

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    3,130

    Re: Really bad blood test phobia, please help! (Diazepam experience?)

    Horace has given you the best reply Charley.
    I had a MRI scan recently and was dreading it, I had it without sedation, although I was given the choice. I said no. I just closed my eyes and did some deep breathing
    and I was fine after one hour. I was so pleased with myself.
    Blood tests are for your own benefit to see if you need help.
    If you need to take 5mg of diazepam about an hour before the test, then do so.
    Sending you hugs anyway
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