Jacob's experience with anxiety

Jacob is 12 and is really afraid of getting injections. When he was eight years old, he passed out at the doctor’s office during a blood test. Since then, Jacob avoids watching or thinking about anything that has to do with blood, needles, or medical procedures.

He says they make him feel like “my body is out of control” and that “my mind goes blank”, and he worries he will either “freak out” or “faint again”. On the days leading up to a doctor’s visit, Jacob repeatedly asks for reassurance and promises from his parents that he will not need to get a shot or have blood drawn, and becomes explosive if they cannot provide that certainty. Although the family has been mildly successful at avoiding shots and blood/medical procedures for Jacob over the past few years, Jacob now has an abscessed tooth that needs extracting and will require several injections. When the dentist told Jacob about this, Jacob got very upset and started to breathe heavily and shake. He also began sobbing loudly and insisted on leaving. Jacob’s mom was surprised by her son’s physical reaction, and thinks he may have had a panic attack. She is worried that Jacob will be unable to have this dental procedure, which is critical to prevent further infection.