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Thread: Blood phobia in child age 8

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
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    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    Another thought occurred to me -

    I know your GP seems, at this point, to be unwilling to refer for phobia therapy. However, what about mentioning to her teacher that you are struggling to get therapy for her. Every school has an associated educational psychologist, and maybe she could give some pointers of a direction to go in, or steps towards a referral ? The educational psychologists are those who visit the SEN head every now and again, their remit is behaviour and learning issues (which they are often incredibly busy with of course), but if this is affecting your daughter's school experience and daily life....then....?

  2. #12

    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    This is actually excellent advice. Positive reinforcement is one of the things I have tried whenever she has brought up her worry (usually at bedtime after an episode of seeing blood during the day). She is bright, so she understands that blood is a good thing for our bodies and that it carries oxygen and other things to help keep the body healthy and working. It's like she absolutely understands that there is no reason to react to blood, she has even asked why her body does this (vomiting/fainting) when no one else's does? I wonder if there is a book on the body that I could use to help... I'll start googling now.
    It was suggested that we try playing with fake blood, that you get for Halloween face painting? But again I don't want to start 'treating her' myself as I have no clue what will make it better or worse??

  3. #13

    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    I tried through the school... the teachers are very supportive, but they said there is no chance of getting her seen through educational psychologist as they are a really limited (and expensive) service. I also have the feeling that this comes into the realm of 'exaggerating' the phobia, or 'making too much of it'?!

  4. #14
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    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    I think if you arm yourself with some fake blood, some toys and a good book on children and phobias, combined with the positive reinforcement.....I think you would be doing a great job. You could wait forever for the NHS to pick up a phobia in a child, as it won't be viewed as critical in the overall 'treatment of mental illnes arena'. I don't think you could make it worse, its pretty bad right now, and I think it can only make it better. Phobias are treated with cognitive behavioural therapy, desensensitisation and exposure....so if you do some reading on cbt and exposure for phobias and then scale it down for a child.......


    • Exposure therapy focuses on changing your response to the object or situation that you fear. Gradual, repeated exposure to the source of your specific phobia and the related thoughts, feelings and sensations may help you learn to manage your anxiety. For example, if you're afraid of elevators, your therapy may progress from simply thinking about getting into an elevator, to looking at pictures of elevators, to going near an elevator, to stepping into an elevator. Next, you may take a one-floor ride, then ride several floors, and then ride in a crowded elevator.
    • Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) involves exposure combined with other techniques to learn ways to view and cope with the feared object or situation differently. You learn alternative beliefs about your fears and bodily sensations and the impact they've had on your life. CBT emphasizes learning to develop a sense of mastery and confidence with your thoughts and feelings rather than feeling overwhelmed by them.

  5. #15
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    Nov 2009
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    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    Oh, and you can also let her know that some people DO faint and go all wibbly seeing blood - I know a few. Some people people go faint at needles, and all sorts of things. Normalise it as a response that doesn't need fussing over.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Nov 2018
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    1,902

    Re: Blood phobia in child age 8

    Agreed, yes, it's a perfectly normal response, if a violent one.

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