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Blood phobia

Blood phobia (also, AE: Hemophobia, BE: Haemophobia) is the extreme and irrational fear of blood. Acute cases of this fear can cause physical reactions that are uncommon in most other fears, specifically vasovagal syncope (fainting).[1] Similar reactions can also occur with trypanophobia and traumatophobia. For this reason, these three phobias are categorized as "blood-injection-injury phobia" by the DSM-IV.[2] Some early texts refer to this category as "blood-injury-illness phobia."[3]



Blood phobia is often caused by direct or vicarious trauma in childhood or adolescence.[3] There is also a genetic component to blood phobia.[4]


In patients with vasovagal blood phobia, patients who are successfully treated with psychological interventions are seen as unique.[5] In contrast, many behavioral techniques useful in mitigating vasovagal syncope, such as applying tension to the muscles in an effort to increase blood pressure, are helpful to patients with blood phobia.[6] Medical devices, such as pacemakers, are also used to treat patients with blood-phobia.[5]

Blood phobia in popular culture

  • The character Tsunade, a medical ninja, from the anime Naruto has hemophobia, a fact that Orochimaru exploits.


  1. ^ The Merck Manual. Retrieved on 2007-05-19.
  2. ^ Lipsitz, JD; Barlow, DH & Mannuzza, S et al. (Jul), " ", The Journal Of Nervous And Mental Disease 190 (7): 471-8
  3. ^ a b Thyer, Bruce A.; Himle, Joseph & Curtis, George C. (Jul), " ", Journal Of Clinical Psychology 41 (4): 451-9
  4. ^ Neale, MC; Walters, EE & Eaves, LJ et al. (December 15, 1994), " ", American Journal Of Medical Genetics 54 (4): 326-34
  5. ^ a b Van Dijk, Nynke; Velzeboer, Simone CJM & Destrée-Vonk, Anneke et al. (January 2001), " ", Pacing And Clinical Electrophysiology 24 (1): 122-4
  6. ^ Peterson, Alan L. (Lt. Col.) & Isler III, William C. (Capt.) (September 2004), " ", Military Medicine 169 (9): 751-3
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Blood_phobia". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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