I have severe emetophobia & a sick boyfriend tonight
I've had severe emetophobia (fear of vomiting) for the last 22 years of my life. It gets to the point where if I'm around sometime who is sick, I literally will NOT eat for several days. If I end up sick with a stomach virus, I tend to become anorexic which has nothing to do with my self image just the fear of being sick. The last time I was sick in 2007, I ended up losing 90 lbs. For someone with emetophobia it's very hard to start eating when you're starving yourself, because starvation can make you nauseous. Any time I try to talk to doctors or therapists, they never seem to understand where I am coming from and they tell me that no one likes getting sick. They don't understand though, I'm completely terrified of throwing up.
So here's my latest dilemma. This afternoon I get a text from my boyfriend. He tells me he feels awful and has terrible diarrhea. He still makes it though the day at work. He was in the bathroom as soon as he got home. Then he insisted on eating supper and was in the bathroom pretty much immediately after he ate. He has no vomiting at all, just diarrhea. Well, twice he felt the urge but couldn't go. I'm very sorry about how graphic this is!!!! He says his stomach is still in knots, he hasn't been nauseous or anything like that. I'm trying to tell myself he may not even have a stomach virus but this phobia over takes my mind no matter how hard I try to keep calm. He did drink on Friday night and Saturday night, quite a bit (which I hate, I don't drink at all ) but he was fine all day yesterday. Last Monday my son had a birthday party and his step mom was here. The next day she had a stomach virus.. but it's been seven days since we've even seen her!
I tried going on the emetophobia.org site as well, but I haven't received any advice or reassurance or anything. My anxiety is extremely high now. I'm especially freaking out because my boyfriend did kiss me today.
I am so sorry to hear about your trouble. that must be very very tough for you.
here are a few things that I think i must tell you, which might help....
1. you do not need to feel so guilty about being afraid of your boyfriend's sickness right now. The fact that you are so worried and anxious and guilty, is more than enough proof that you genuinely want to be there for him, but cant because of your phobia.
2. your phobia is a real big problem if it is interfering with your life and eating habits. It is very very sad that no professional has been able to help you out so far. you need to keep searching for help till you find someone who can give you tips on how to get over this phobia. keep looking.
3. you MUST relax. even in your style of writing you sound so so anxious, i cant imagine how disturbed you must be. many people have phobias. it okay. iot can be worked out. relax.
4. apologize to your boyfriend and leave the scene. explain him your situation well, tell him you really do care about him a lot, but that you are not going to be of any help even if you try. and that your phobia will only cause more touble ion this situation which he doesnt need at all. apologise and when he has understood your opinions, leave. call him up every hour to check on him, so he knows you are there.
5. if you want to help, get him meds, or google some tips for him to help him recover fast. it is not much, but it will convince him further that you care.
also, i dont know if this makes sense...maybe hypnosis can help in your case. find out if that is an option.
Thank you very much for your kind words. My anxiety is still pretty bad, but it is better than last night. My boyfriend is fine today but he was mad at me because I ended up sleeping on the couch. We had a talk though and we are okay now. I haven't been able to get myself to eat today, but I will soon. I really need to find a therapist or even hypnosis who would be able to help me. This is pretty much an every day battle with me. I can't do anything like a normal person. It's really like a social phobia. I can't eat in restaurants or at get togethers, I've got OCD with my handwashing, even going to the dentist is a major struggle. 22 years is a very long time to battle this.