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Fear of Needles+Tattoos

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I hear so often that "Im afraid of needles, I could never get tattooed"

But, when you get tattooed, it's nothing like real needles. You cant really see a needle going in your skin, and it doesnt feel like getting a shot or blood drawn. Yeah, they are done with needles, but to me, the feeling and look of needles (as in dr's office type) vs a tattoo needle is completely different.

Your thoughts?

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I agree that there's a pretty significant difference, but for some people just the idea of needles can trigger a panic attack. a woman recently fainted at the shop where i work, not because she was getting tattooed, but because she was watching her friend get tattooed. she's lucky she didn't get a concussion falling and hitting her head on the floor!

phobias are irrational, so even if it doesn't make sense to us, it could be terrifying to someone else.

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I hear more frequently that people hate needles, but don't mind getting tattooed. Personally, I can't watch when I have blood drawn (other people, it's not a bother). I think for the people who have that mindset, it comes down to a mental difference between the two... outside of an irrational phobia, people tend to think of one as some cold piece of steel jabbing into their artery, where as the other is a surface nuisance.

Tell them the number of needles on the set up you're using, though, and some people will still get a bit freaked out.

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well, I do not like getting a shot or blood drawn...but not like it freaks me out..just disturbing seeing the needle going in there. feels funny.

i skip if i can. would never skip a tattoo tough!

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I've never done well with blood draws (which probably goes back to a really, really bad draw when I was nine) and I get more than my fair share with a drug study I am in. On top, that study has me self-injecting three times a week with the study med. I'm OK as long as I don't look.

I found I did the same thing when I had my tattoo (first go, re-work and touch-up). Part of me wanted to watch, but I figured that was a bad idea considering how I am with injections and draws.

It is different with a tattoo in that the sensation is completely different but the last thing I want to do is watch. I have tried to explain to people what it is like (a hot cat-scratch) but some of them just don't get it. It makes me wonder if this may be part of the reason why some people dislike the idea of tattoos....

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I've never done well with blood draws (which probably goes back to a really, really bad draw when I was nine) and I get more than my fair share with a drug study I am in. On top, that study has me self-injecting three times a week with the study med. I'm OK as long as I don't look.

I found I did the same thing when I had my tattoo (first go, re-work and touch-up). Part of me wanted to watch, but I figured that was a bad idea considering how I am with injections and draws.

It is different with a tattoo in that the sensation is completely different but the last thing I want to do is watch. I have tried to explain to people what it is like (a hot cat-scratch) but some of them just don't get it. It makes me wonder if this may be part of the reason why some people dislike the idea of tattoos....

thats interesting that you dont want to to watch, if anything, I would love to, but the places where I have been tattooed, it's hard to watch them being done because of my positioning.

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The last time I had blood work done the nurse (after seeing my arm) told me that she found it's the people with tattoos who are always most afraid of the needle.

I see a lot of tattooed patients who are needle phobic. A lot of nurses and doctors (usually have no tattooed themselves) can't understand this but there's a big difference in the type of pain. Also, people want to be tattooed, most peopke don't want to get sick and have blood taken.

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last week I had some blood drawn for a routine test (i'm perfectly healthy so don't anyone worry) and when the phlebotomist asked if I preferred one arm over the other I rolled up both sleeves and said "well you can either poke this hannya in the face or you can just poke this empty skin on my right arm." She then remarked that since I have tattoos I must not be worried about a simple blood draw and I agreed I wasn't worried. But in my head I was thinking "How many years experience do you have drawing blood?", "Do you have a portfolio of your previous work I can look through before I choose you as my phlebotomist?"

Strange that people have asked me if I'm worried about getting infections, diseases, viruses, etc from tattoo artists that have 15+ years experience but no one is worried about the phlebotomist that might be fresh out of training with only 6 months experience.

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Strange that people have asked me if I'm worried about getting infections, diseases, viruses, etc from tattoo artists that have 15+ years experience but no one is worried about the phlebotomist that might be fresh out of training with only 6 months experience.

Couldn't agree more. I'm a type 1 diabetic on an insulin pump (essentially a little robot pancreas...it's pretty rad), so I'm pretty comfortable with needs of both the injecting medication and placing ink varieties.

That said, there are new nurses at my endocrinologist's office and they are fucking horrible at drawing blood. The last three times I've been in they've either pressed the syringe right through the vein, or rolled the needle while it was in. I end up with a bruise for a few days at the site and look like I have a different sort of problem all together.

I'm actually getting tattooed this Sunday after a doctors appointment on Saturday, so my hope is that they've improved so that I don't have to awkwardly explain to the tattooer that the needle mark and bruise are from an indelicate nurse, not some questionable extracurricular activities.

Might be time to ask the nurses for a blood-draw portfolio.

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I have been getting a lot of acupuncture lately, and my acupuncturist always asks about tattoo stuff, and those needles vs. these needles. I told her acupuncture is like, a freaking treat compared to getting tattooed. Interestingly, she was saying that she imagined the places that she finds acupuncture needle insertion hurt the most are also the places where getting tattooed sucks the most, but it doesn't seem to correspond at all. Like she says forearms are generally a rough spot (although I have not found that to be the case, with the exception of my wrists). And like, she sticks needles right into my forehead and stomach and I don't feel a thing. So all that to say: duh, different needles feel different.

Also, I have a sick fascination with getting my blood drawn--its kind of cool to watch!--but last week I went for a routine blood test and they took EIGHT VIALS and it kind of freaked me out when the damn process would not end. I have no idea why. I suspect vampire nurses.

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I hate hate hate getting blood taken. I hate needles. That being said, I have pierced myself, and get tattooed regularly. The biggest problem with getting blood drawn for me at least is my veins damn near don't exist. They always have to draw from the hand but they always still try to get it out of each arm.

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I don't watch when I get blood drawn. I do watch when I get tattooed when it's in places I can see b/c it's it's neat to watch and it's like coloring w/ the most painful Crayola ever..I like to color. I don't like getting shots either. I would rather get a tattoo than have my blood drawn or get a shot. When I had our daughter and had to have a walking epidural I was petrified just from the thought of the needle going in my back, having watched too many baby shows on TLC.

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Last week my friend was getting his first tattoo while I was getting my ROA. He has a fear of needles, but had overcome it to get tattooed. Maybe because he was getting it on his back, not sure. About half an hour in he asked "how does the ink get under the skin without it bleeding?" If I had been on the ball I would have just said 'black tattoo magic', but instead I just explained that it actually does bleed ;)

He ended up with a pretty cool tattoo even if I wouldn't have placed it where he did - Trinity knot.

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I too, like to watch having my blood drawn. Also, I donate blood as much as I can, excluding where having a new tattoo disallows me from it.

It's a huge needle that goes into your arm, they roll the vein sometimes, and they take several vials before even taking the pint of your blood.

The intial feeling makes me feel sick, and the feeling of a needle in your arm sucks... but it's odd and interesting to watch yourself lose a pint of blood. the tube that allows the blood to go into the bag gets warm from your blood, and it's like, what am I doing?

Sometimes, its a little comparable to being tattooed. it's interesting and fascinating to watch, and painful, with great results. Lol except being tattooed doesn't almost make me pass out everytime.

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The needle in the arm goes in much deeper and I freak out just imagining the needle in there poking against the vein. What if they poked too far? What if while they are switching the vials they slip? Heebeejeebees.

I've always wondered, if you get a mandala tattoo right there, do they try to position the center where the nurse sticks the needle? Or if they don't, does it confuse the nurse?

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I too, like to watch having my blood drawn. Also, I donate blood as much as I can, excluding where having a new tattoo disallows me from it.

It's a huge needle that goes into your arm, they roll the vein sometimes, and they take several vials before even taking the pint of your blood.

The intial feeling makes me feel sick, and the feeling of a needle in your arm sucks... but it's odd and interesting to watch yourself lose a pint of blood. the tube that allows the blood to go into the bag gets warm from your blood, and it's like, what am I doing?

Sometimes, its a little comparable to being tattooed. it's interesting and fascinating to watch, and painful, with great results. Lol except being tattooed doesn't almost make me pass out everytime.

I am a regular blood donor too (although I will have to have a break to get a tattoo now!) and I really don't mind the needles.

My Ex-husband hated needles, can't look when he blood drawn, nearly passed out when I gave birth but he still insisted on getting a tattoo! He had to do several short sessions as he nearly passed out every time!

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I've had 8 spinal procedures within the last year.. so I'm quite used to watching them start the IV. I show them the vein that's a sure hit the first shot.

During my excursion into white powders (clean since 1987), I had no qualms about handling the hypo myself. Freaked out a few people who weren't junkies when I shot up in front of them though...

Rob

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I used to have a fear of needles when it came to blood and shots, but after donating plasma for a while (not only is it helping others out, but a little extra money here and there doesn't hurt either) and then having a child i'm used to it now. When I was pregnant the last 4 months i'd go in every week to get blood drawn and tested, then when I was in labor I had an IV and an epidural. Tattoo's I love watching others get and myself getting done, I think it's neat how even though it a needle/a million needles the ink just starts appearing under the skin to make a pattern.

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I've had a fear of needles for as long as i can remember, but if you want something bad enough you tell yourself it's worth it for the end results.

I'm also guessing (being a tattoo virgin) that the needle doesn't enter the skin as much as it would if you were getting a shot of something.

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Yep - As someone who just got their first tattoo, and isn't a huge fan of getting blood drawn or shots (not fearful, but not a fan) I can say that it's nothing like any other needle.

Not only does it not look anything like getting a shot or getting blood drawn, the sensation is totally different. The thing about shots/blood extraction that squiggs me out is the feeling of the needle deep in my skin/vein/muscle whatever. The feeling of a tattoo is pain on the surface...it's less a needle in me, and more a needle on me.

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last week I had some blood drawn for a routine test (i'm perfectly healthy so don't anyone worry) and when the phlebotomist asked if I preferred one arm over the other I rolled up both sleeves and said "well you can either poke this hannya in the face or you can just poke this empty skin on my right arm." She then remarked that since I have tattoos I must not be worried about a simple blood draw and I agreed I wasn't worried. But in my head I was thinking "How many years experience do you have drawing blood?", "Do you have a portfolio of your previous work I can look through before I choose you as my phlebotomist?"

Strange that people have asked me if I'm worried about getting infections, diseases, viruses, etc from tattoo artists that have 15+ years experience but no one is worried about the phlebotomist that might be fresh out of training with only 6 months experience.

Well, it isn't really the same ball park. The worst thing that can happen with an inexperienced phlebotomist is a painful poke and a nasty bruise. A bad tattoo artist can scar you for life.

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