Irrational Fears


New Member
I'm sure I'll take quite a beating for this one which was why I was hestitant to even pose the question in the first place but what the heck !!

Like many of us I've always dreamed of becoming a pilot for the military since i was a little kid and over the past two years have actually spoke with recruiters and many on this website and have started app's for OCS and flight slots. Even if I wouldn't get flight I would be honored with the opportunity to serve in any capacity. I just hate sitting at a cube when I know I should be out serving my country in a more rewarding role. I'm definately qualified having my masters degree and excellent leadership positions in the business world for a major bank. The thing that I cannot get past though is the blood sample and needles... I've just always had what I consider an irrational fear of them. I'm in perfect health so never needed novacain shots for dental work or any surgery's etc... even just when I'm in a doctor's office I always get really light-headed etc...

The funny thing about all this is I started out as a pre-med for two years before switching majors.. and I'm really an adventurous person.. skydiving, white water rafting.. rock climbing.. martial arts... so to be calm under pressure comes naturally to me... except when it comes to the ten second procedure has kept me from pursuing something I think I am cut out to do.

Any thoughts or suggestions... can i have the sample taken elsewhere ... or you could just say I'm a big baby and if I have this much trouble now what would happen in a battle and a fellow soldier needed blood on the spot ?

Thanks for any insight !!

pgh, pa
Dude, I would say you are going to need to face that fear. You are going to be getting blood drawn, poked, prodded, pricked and perhaps even probed before it is all said and done in a military career. Sorry that isn't what you want to hear but it is the truth.
Yeah, in the military you can put yourself up for things that make your fears become a face to face reality. Contact MikeD and see what has to say.
My dad hates needles and blood too. He seemed to temporarily overcome it a few weeks ago when he thought he was having a heart attack and they stuck a few in him at the hospital.

Point is, are you really going to let an irrational fear of needles and blood stop you from persuing what you really want to do? I sure wouldn't.

I'm not a big fan of spiders, but I'd eat one alive if I had to.

And, one final note...theres people that specialize in helping others overcome their fears. You may want to contact one of them if you really think this could get in your way.

Good luck!
I have a fear of heights, though I don't think that is irrational

Interesting how you don't feel that in a plane

Edit: As to not try to steer the topic too far left, needles and blood don't bother me much, but those finger prick blood suckers hurt like crazy!
I had the same problem that you do up until about a year ago. Well, the needle one. I had always said that I could never have an IV and when I had a chronic in grown nail which required 6 shots directly in to my toe every 6 months or so I would loose sleep for WEEKS before. Anyhow, I did some therapy for some other stuff about a year ago and one of the things that came up was this deep seated fear of needles. So we worked through it and after a bunch of sessions I was over it apparently. Well, the test came in October of this past year when I had to have some minor surgury and it involved in IV. Let me just say that my pulse rate was about 135 right before they put the IV in. Normally I am at 55 or so. The point of all this? Well, it didn't hurt like I thought it would (even though it took three tries to get the line started). So I guess the point of all this is, the way I dealt with it was to get help and to classify my fear. So I am not afraid of needles per say (although I sure as hell don't like them) but rather injections. Don't know if this will help you any. Good luck.

Look the other way and tense up and grab onto somthing, and it will be over in a few seconds. I hate needles too and thats what I do, half the time you don't even know when they do it. I don't know what it is about needles but I've had some strange fear of them too, I could care less about the pain or blood - I just hate needles. It gets easier every time you do it, just try not to think about it and don't watch!

and if that doesn't work heres a surefire way to overcome it.- Bring in the Hottest girl you can find to the doctors office with you and have her sit next to you. I guarantee you won't chicken out and act like a baby in front of some hottie, you'll take it like a man!
seriously that does work, whenever my girlfriend is with me for surgery or doctors - I'm not afraid of no stupid little needles

but if any one ever tries to stick a needle in my eye - thats where I draw the line, I don't know how a doctor could do that to sombody, it's freakin gross, I can't even watch that on TV.
Lol... Thanks a bunch ya'll ... it does seem strange at times i don't flinch an eye jumping outta or flying planes or anything like that... and I won't even begin with spiders !!! my gf's a wildlife biologist so i've grown accustomed to all kindsa creepy things as well as bears, lions and such...

I think I'll get my gf to tell me we're going to play hoops or something and take me to a blood drive some weekend.. lol.. can't back out with a hot chick standing over me. I like that idea.. plus I talked her into buying me dinner if I live.. can't beat that :) So who knows.. maybe if I bite the bullet so to speak I'll end up not thinking twice when giving blood.. .. nah.. probably not !!

Thanks a bunch for not being to brutal !!
There are 3 things I am terrified of.


Not very logical fears are they? I mean, bees are just stupid insects that fly around, and they ignore you if you ignore them, right? Yet everytime I see a bee buzzing around my heart stops, and I hold my breath until I can either walk away or it flies away. But I don't let my fear of bees keep me from pruning my roses, or doing anything else outside!

Elevators, now there's a silly fear. When I was a baby I cried in elevators, I hate elevators. I don't know why. Nothing bad has ever happened to me in elevators. But if it's a choice between dealing with the closed-in feelings or walking up 100 flights of stairs to the top of the Hancock building, I take the elevator! The fear is always there, but I know the ride won't last long.

Now for shots.............When I was 2 I had lots of allergy test done, the old kind where they take a bank of needles and ram it in your arm. That's where my fear started. When I was 5 and surgery I had to have a shot, it took 4 nurses and my dad to hold me down. When I was hired at Eagle & AA I had to have blood drawn for the new-hire medical. And I won't even go into what happens when you have a baby! Basically, pinch your arm, that's what you'll feel, it's really not that bad. When the time comes for a real shot, just stick out your arm, and tuck your chin to the opposite shoulder. You can't see anything, it pinches for a couple seconds, and then it's over. I have panic attacks when I see medical syringes, I just do whatever I can not to look at them, and no matter what, I do not look while it's happening.

No matter how 'silly' a fear may seem, the fear is very real to the person experiencing it!
I have a fear of heights, though I don't think that is irrational

Most pilots do! I do.
I have a fear of heights as well. I am nervous up on a ladder. It is really hard to explain why this doesn't bother me when I am flying. I think it is a control issue.
Well, I too was afraid of needles, and I was in the military.

Here's a couple things that may or may not help you out.

I got a flu shot from a gun rather than a needle (it's a hypospray kind of like in Star Trek). Let me tell you, that hurt's a hell of a lot worse than a needle. Especially when you aren't expecting it... I was signing in for my flu shot, and I got shot in the arm with that air gun. It bled for a while and hurt like hell. After that, needles aren't so bad.

And my horror story about the military for the day is that my blood type was listed in at least three places: my medical records, my dogtags, and my ID card. Well, my mom was A+; my dad was A+. No surprise that I was A+. Well, while upgrading the personnel system to go to the new ID card, they lost my blood type. Now, you would think that it isn't that big of deal; after all, it's all documented in my medical file. But, no, it's off to the clinic for another blood test, because we can't really be sure of the MEDICAL blood tests...

Blood tests and Operation Golden Flow - they suck for about the first dozen times you do it, but after that, it's like, "Can we hurry and get this over with? I've got things to do..."

The part that sucks is the fasting for 24 hours before going in for a cholesterol blood test. After they draw the blood, I always felt like barfing; I usually just went and rested in the waiting room for about 20 minutes while I got my energy level back.

Believe it or not, the military is actually pretty accomodating. Tell the doctor what's up, and see if he'll help you.
Never ever tick off the Corpsman in the navy. One of them and I hated each other, mostly cause I was a jerk to him once. After the 3rd time my shot record was "lost". I apologized...
Operation Golden Flow

Lol.. Op Golden Flow ... that's classic !!

I remember a post here a while back regarding fear of heights and how many pilots are like that.. I'd agree with sense of control...

I'm kinda suprised to hear that the military would work with ya.. lol... kinda cool !! Some of my friends oversea's now have some great med revenge stories... lol.. you're right htough... don't mess with the doc !!
I come from a family background of medicine, aviation, and the military. You will definately be getting many shots, either by needle injection or air gun. My mother is a nurse and when I chose to join the Marine Corps many years ago, the fear that I did have at that time of needles, soon disapeared. I found that people actually get used to the shots. Except the dreaded silver/white bullet. Warm the penicilin shot up with your hands if you are given the chance. Also, rock back and forth on your bottom after you get it. If you don't do this, you will be enjoying a charlie horse feeling for a couple days. Funny thing about phobias is that they can come back. I now work in the medical field and hate getting shots. I can watch people getting them all the time along with gore that comes from work in emergency medicine. Don't like getting them though. Good luck, I am sure you will do fine.
I have a strange fear of heights in that the higher up I am, the less scared I am. When I first started doing ground reference maneuvers solo, I used to be so tense I couldn't concentrate. Same way, I get a bit nervous when I am entering the pattern to land (being only 900 feet AGL).

I also get nervous when I am on top of buildings that are higher than 2 or 3 levels. Weird.

Ohh, I hate the smell of hospitals too!

The heights thing hits me too. I can't stand within 20 feet of a high ledge, but I'm perfectly fine in a plane. *shrugs*
I have a strange fear of heights in that the higher up I am, the less scared I am. When I first started doing ground reference maneuvers solo, I used to be so tense I couldn't concentrate. Same way, I get a bit nervous when I am entering the pattern to land (being only 900 feet AGL).

I also get nervous when I am on top of buildings that are higher than 2 or 3 levels. Weird.

Ohh, I hate the smell of hospitals too!


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Sounds more like you're scared of the ground.