Fear Of Blood (Hematophobia): Relevant Aspects Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

The fear of blood or hematophobia as it is also known is defined as an intense fear of blood. Without treatment, this fairly common phobia can become disabling when the subject needs certain medical care.

Relevant aspects

  • Hematophobia or blood phobia is an excessive and irrational fear, triggered by the sight of blood (his own or someone else’s) in real life, in pictures or on the screen (a hematophobe can hardly see a series medical).
  • Depending on the intensity of the phobia, a few drops of blood may be enough to cause discomfort.
  • Hematophobia can also experience severe anxiety beforehand, for example, about having to have a blood test.
  • A particularly annoying point: the fear of being confronted with one’s own blood is so strong that a hematophobe may forego a medical examination or the intervention he needs.

It should also be noted that hematophobia is often accompanied by belonephobia (intense fear of needles): a ‘double penalty’ for subjects who need regular injections (daily insulin injections for diabetes, for example).

You can also read: Fear of driving


  • The symptoms of hematophobia are very particular.
  • To simplify, we can say that the body reacts in two stages.
  • In the first phase, anxiety caused by the sight (or thought ) of blood causes an increase in heart rate, respiration, and blood pressure.
  • The second phase is marked by vagal discomfort, which results in a decrease in heart rate, a decrease in tension and muscle weakness.
  • Among hematophobes, this discomfort often leads to loss of consciousness.

Causes of hematophobia

  • Sometimes the fear of blood is directly attributable to a traumatic event in the subject’s past, for example if they have been the victim or witness of a serious accident.
  • But in many cases, the trigger for the phobia is difficult, if not impossible, to pinpoint.
  • However, we can remember that this fear of blood generally refers to the fear of dying, of bleeding.


  • The psychotherapy is often effective against hematofobia, as it is for other phobias .
  • You may consider psychoanalysis to find the source of your fear of blood, or you may gradually confront your fear with the help of cognitive and behavioral therapy.
  • In some cases, occasional drug treatment is also necessary, usually with antidepressants or anxiolytics.
  • Other approaches are also possible, such as hypnosis or EFT (Emotional Freedom Technique).
  • The latter is an acupressure technique: it consists of applying pressure with the fingers on certain acupuncture points.
Georgia Tarrant
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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.