Hey, I was just searching a phobia of veins on a whim and found little else but this forum! Anyways, it's nice to know I'm not the only one with this fear. I've been horrified of veins (and arteries) since I was a little kid. Seeing them, talking about them, or thinking about them too much made me feel sick. Once, when I had to have an IV, I nearly freaked out and barely resisted the urge to pull it out. I panicked for an hour once it had been removed. Blood was fine, even cool, but I just could not handle veins.
BUT, since my dream is to become a doctor (more specifically a surgeon), I realized I had to work harder on getting rid of my phobia. It's been years, and I have slowly but surely gotten more control over my phobia. I can look (even touch!) my veins and others without panicking. I've been able to learn how veins and arteries work, and continue my studies.
I've had a few relapses, (including, I'm sad to say, a panic attack a year ago during class involving a powerpoint about them), and sometimes I still do get nervous or anxious. But I've done a lot better. I've given blood six times, and the times were I get nervous are becoming fewer and farther between.
Since I've seen some of you guys have the same problem, I thought maybe I'd share with you what I did to help? That's part of why I've joined this anyway. Having this phobia is really horrible, especially since it seems to be rare, or not talked about a lot at least.
Here are some things I've done over the years to help with my phobia. I should note, not everyone is the same and things that worked for me might not work for you. And also remember, it takes time! It's impossible to get over this overnight, but NOT impossible to move passed it! Also, remember to be patient and pace yourself!
-I tried to accustom myself to bloody videos. For me, it wasn't so much the blood as the veins and artieries, and if it's the same for you this might be a good start. This can be anything from horror movies (I recommend silly ones that are not meant to be actually scary, or even medically accurate) to medical surgery shows: in the same genre as Mystery Diagnoses.
-Try to love your veins. I know. This is very very hard. But I find trying to treat your veins as a friend, as a part of you, instead of something alien, can really help. This is kind of embarrassing for me to say, but (especially when I'm feeling nervous about them), I lightly kiss the veins on my wrist and arm. It reassure me that, yes they are there, and no they won't harm me. They are a part of me that belong there.
-Poke your veins. Not hard. But poke them. They are not as weak as they seem.
-When you feel like you're ready, try and follow where your veins. See where they go in your body, and lightly trace them. I find that the arms feel the safest for me (I still have trouble with the veins in my ankle), but it might be different for you.
-Learn about your veins! How do they, and your arteries, work? This one took me a while, since just reading the words used to make me sick. But knowledge is power! The more you know about what they do and how they work, the more you'll know what they can't do. This can help if you especially have specific worries about what might happen because of and/or to your veins.
-Reading, writing, and saying the words! Don't let the taboo of the name have power, like Voldemort! Say the words over and over until they become just a sound, and not a power to be held over your head.
Hey, if you've read this far, you've already done a lot! I've written (and you've read) the word 'veins' a bunch of times!
(even if you've had to take a break, or stopped for a moment, that's okay).
That's the general, most helpful, things I did. REMEMBER: Take your time. It will be baby steps. (This guide is a summary of what I've learned and had to think up for about 4-6 years). The important thing is that you keep trying, and take strength in little victories. It's unlikely that you'll be able to do all these things right away. Try to do them, and work on whichever one is the least hard and try to work up from there.
Anyways...I hope this helps. Even if just a little. If you've read all this, thank you! And good luck!