Emetophobia and anxiety
Hi, I decided to use this website while I await my therapy. I don't think this is very common so I tend to keep this to myself, however I am taking the approach of trying to talk about it. I am 16 years old and I have EXTREME emetophobia (fear of vomiting) which has also led me to be diagnosed with anxiety. As strange as this sounds I will do absolutely anything I can to stop myself vomiting. I take peppermint capsules to help with nausea, tums (antacid tablets) to get rid of excess stomach acid to make it less likely for me to be sick, I will not go out without my boyfriend or parents with me, which impacts my social life greatly. I also take kalms, which are a herbal remedy to relieve anxiousness. I also got into the habit of using a hot water bottle to relieve the stress- but after a month of constantly using it, I have permanent burns on my lower stomach which will not fade. When I feel sick I have full blown panic attacks which just makes everything worse. I got prescribed sertraline (antidepressants) from my doctor, however after days of dizziness, nausea and insomnia I have decided not to take them. I know that vomiting is not anything to be scared of, but i cannot help it. I was just wondering if anyone has any advice or has experienced the same thing? This is impacting my life massively.
First off: if you've got therapy lined up then, mind my asking why you can't just hang on a little longer for it?
Because although I am awaiting it, it can be months before it has all been set up and I just wanted some advice in the meantime.
Oh, I see. You meant you were awaiting a therapy APPOINTMENT.
Okay. So, along the lines of, every cloud has a silver lining, tell me what the benefits are to this major life constraint of yours? Can you think of any perverse upsides? There will be one or two, despite you won't have sat and thought about it in those terms before. Try to see if you can identify any. And then we'll take it from there.
probably the ONLY upside of this irritational fear is im a lot healthier, as in I do a lot more to keep myself healthy, e.g healthier diet, i try to sleep more, im a hygiene freak now (to prevent chance of getting sick) apart from that it's physically and mentally draining me
(Hmm, we seem still to have two threads running concurrently. I'll sort that out.)
Upsides: What about the one where you feel incapable of going out of the house unless in close company? Doesn't that mean you no longer feel any pressure to go out in public on your own?
(Sorry, ignore above bracketed comment - I'm going bonkers!)
You are NOT alone. I'm 32 years old. I've had severe emetophobia since I was 10 years old. It's an awful phobia. In my 22 years battling this I have taken multiple antacids, I've kept peppermint with me at all times, I'm prone to developing anorexia. It's happened 4 times already. The last time was the worst, I lost 90 lbs. I actually managed to go through 9 months of pregnancy and delivery without vomiting. My son is now 10. Those years of raising an infant, toddler and small child have been a blessing but once he caught a stomach virus it was terrifying. Without my own mother always having my back, I'd be completely lost. The problem I see with a lot of therapists is they'll say they understand you, until you're telling them hope you truly feel. I've been looking for someone to talk to therapistwise for the last several years. I know how hard it is living with this fear.
MAXSMOMMY82, that was interesting reading. What do you mean they'll say they understand you until you're telling them how you truly feel? Are you saying they have preconceived ideas that they lead you towards admitting and because of that, are too closed-minded to listen to your own opinion on the matter?