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Blood-injection-injury type phobias

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According to the DSM-IV classification of mental disorders blood-injection-injury type phobias constitute a subtype of specific phobias. It includes fear of blood (hemophobia), injury phobia and fear of receiving an injection (trypanophobia and some other names) or other invasive medical procedures.[1]

A distinctive feature of phobias of this type is their vasovagal manifestation. For most fears (both normal and abnormal) the response to the feared stimulus includes the accelerated heart rate. [1] In the cases of blood-injection-injury phobias a two-phase vasovagal response is observed: first a brief acceleration of heart rate, then its deceleration, bradycardia, and dropped blood pressure. [1] the above may also lead to vasovagal syncope (fainting).[1][2]

These characteristic vasovagal reactions may contribute to the development of a phobia, but not necessarily: the occurrence of vasovagal reactions (as reported in 1994) is 5-15%, while for the phobia it is 3-6%.[1]

The other factors contributing to the development of the blood-injection-injury phobias are the same as for other specific phobias.[1]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 1.5 "Oxford Textbook of Psychopathology" by Theodore Millon, Paul H. Blaney, Roger D. Davis (1999) ISBN 0195103076, p. 82
  2. The Merck Manual. URL accessed on 2007-05-19.

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