Re: Emetophobia And Anxiety - Anyone Suffer From This
I've been a life-long sufferer of this. I am 56 yrs old. My first episode was in 4th grade. I fainted when the girl in the desk behind my partner's vomited. Can you imagine how this affected me at such an age! From then on, my life was plagued from time to time with emetiphobia. My attacks included hysteria - running away and screaming and plugging my ears, shaking violently. As I got older, I had a few fainting spells from other gross triggers that involved blood, etc. It never got so bad that I never enjoyed life. I could travel, be around anyone of any age and forget all about it - until the next time I was faced with a vomiting event of another person. One good thing came from it - I never abused alcohol or drugs! And how can people brag and consider drunken vomiting an average party activity? Sick! (pun intended.)
Well I eventually grew up and had two daughters. And I still suffered. My husband helped out at first, and then I was able to take over. But the girls picked up on my anxiety, too. As soon as the first stomach-emptying was over, I could cope better. My own mother was calm and loving every time I threw up, so that was my goal for them. I had to take my oldest to the hospital for dehydration twice. That helped me be more of a nurse. I now can squat behind them as they vomit in the bathroom, holding them by the shoulders, rubbing their back, holding their hair back, saying 'I'm here.' etc.
I'm not OK all the time, though, and can't handle this with anyone else very well. I think it's about anxiety and control. You can't control it. It could get all over you. It can ruin rugs and other stuff. It can make you sick. It is violent and usually without warning. I hate feeling immature around others who have no problem with it.
It is helpful to see TV and movies with vomiting scenes. I watched ER and HOUSE enough to understand it more, and try bracing myself better. Do I like it? NO. However, it is a bit of the 'gradual exposure' that can help. I feel I put my kids first on this issue, but I am not cured yet!