S: MN – http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=12337 (last access: 23 July 2015); Phob – http://phobias.about.com/od/phobiaslist/a/hemophobia.htm (last access: 23 July 2015).
N: 1.1844, from hemo- “blood” + -phobia “fear.” Perhaps based on French hémophobie. Originally in reference to fear of medical blood-letting.
2. Hemophobia is a fear of blood. People with hemophobia usually fear their own blood as well as the blood of others, and may experience phobic reactions when exposed to things like photographs, movies, and descriptions of blood. There are a number of treatment options for individuals with this type of phobia which can be explored with a mental health professional or doctor.
3. Sometimes hemophobia is rooted in a real-life experience, and it can be accompanied by things like fear of injections and fear of fainting. In this case, a traumatic experience resulted in oversensitization to blood. Trauma can include secondary sources of exposure, such as hearing a traumatic story from someone, watching a film with frightening content, or seeing gory images. In other instances, there may be no source of trauma, but the patient still reacts violently when exposed to blood.
4. Hemophobia symptoms vary. Some patients experience an elevated blood pressure and heart rate. Others may have the opposite response, even fainting when they see blood. Other symptoms can include trembling, sweating, confusion, nausea, dizziness, and weakness. The patient may develop a fear of knives, needles, and other sharp objects because they are associated with bleeding, and sometimes patients also experience a fear of fainting caused by fainting spells experienced during bouts of hemophobia.
5. Cultural Interrelation: Through the ages, writers have done little to calm the fear of blood. In Homer’s Iliad, waterways run red with blood as a wrathful Achilles harvests his crop of Trojans. In Shakespeare’s Macbeth, blood becomes a terrifying symbol of guilt to Lady Macbeth, and she washes her hands raw to rid them of blood, real or imagined. In Bram Stoker’s Dracula blood becomes the nurture of a vampire.
S: 1. OED – http://www.etymonline.com/index.php?term=hemophobia (last access: 23 July 2015). 2 to 4. Wisegeek – http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-hemophobia.htm#didyouknowout (last access: 23 July 2015). 5. MN – http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?articlekey=12337 (last access: 23 July 2015).
S: TERMIUM PLUS (last access: 23 July 2015)
CR: emetophobia, erythrophobia, phobia.