'Don't poke me please!'

Morbid Medications

'Don't poke me please!'

There are many youngsters in the City, who fear injections and find difficulty in swallowing pills. In medical terms, the fear of taking medication and medicines is called pharmacophobia.

Pavan, a mechanical engineering student, finds difficulty in taking injections. “I have had this phobia for injections right from my childhood and hence, I avoid injections as far as possible. While being injected, I close my eyes tightly. I am afraid of sharp needles and I agree to get injected only if it’s inevitable.”

Shubha, a homemaker, feels bad while swallowing tablets. “I can’t tolerate tablets for their odour. I avoid taking pills as much as possible. There are instances when I have thrown the tablets away. You might be surprised but I prefer to take injections instead of tablets,” she laughs. “I take nearly 10-15 minutes to swallow a single pill. Whenever I approach doctors, I request them for alternatives.”  

Unnati, a student, says that she was afraid of medication but overcame the problem after a counselling session with a physician. “I felt so irritated by the smell of tablets. That’s why I refused to take pills, especially antibiotics and Vitamin B complex tablets. I also hated the disinfectants’ odour in hospitals. Once I fell ill and was hospitalised for two weeks. At that time, a doctor treated me very well and all my fear towards medication vanished. She convinced me how tablets are important for treatment. Then onwards, I have not avoided tablets or injections,” she avers. She further suggests that medical experts should explain to the patients why such medicines are prescribed to them and clarify their doubts.

The doctors’ advice, for those who have this tendency, is to take proper counselling in order to beat the phobia. Dr Hemalatha, an experienced physician in a private hospital, opines that this is nothing but a mental perception. She says, “Much of your fear probably has to do with the lack of knowledge of medication. I have witnessed a few instances where people find it difficult to swallow tablets. And in several instances, the size and smell of the tablets scare them. For them, I prescribe tonics. I have also seen a good number of people who were afraid of injections. Fear of pain may force them to refuse medication. But we can’t give any alternatives for injections. They have to change their mindsets.”

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