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Old 08-03-2004, 01:36 AM   #1
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Could I have developed emetophobia?

I am apprehensive about asking this because I feel in some way, if I admit it, I will throw up. I have no idea why. This is long lol.

Annnyway the point is I've been diagnosed with chronic GAD with frequent panic attacks and yeah that's alright but I have been paying attention to my triggers and I've noticed they were mostly related to feeling sick or having stomach pain or worrying about being sick, even when it's completely irrelevant.

Just this morning I woke up at 6am with pains in my stomach (which is a GAD thing for me) and nausea and all I could think was "this is it" like I was on the death march. And because I was so convinced I was going to throw up I launched into a panic attack. I have learned not to go running to the bathroom anymore though and ride it out but I don't want to feel like this anymore. Somehow each night I just want to get through without being sick.

My dad was ill on holiday (he threw up two or three times) and I couldn't bear to be in the same room as him. I couldn't even ask him how he was, I had to ask through my mum, because I was terrified. This gave me plenty of panic attacks, everytime I heard him move or the door open or him make a noise. He sat in a chair in my room for a while and I didn't sit in it for about three days. And he sat on my bed and it took me a while to finally climb in about 6 hours after he sat there. And what he has isn't contagious!!!

For this reason I have small fears of a lot of things, fears that I do face, like flying, going on buses, long journeys in cars, train journeys, boat journeys... etc, even though I don't have motion sickness. I am just scared that going on these things will make me sick, my fears are completely irrational I know but I can't shake them off. Then I happen to be a complete germaphobe because of it. Afraid of catching things. I've even become suspicious of buying stuff from big supermarkets, buying food out, just in case there is something wrong with it.

So, could I have FOV/emetophobia? If so I want to set the ball rolling and get treatment cause I don't want to go through life afraid like this.

(Oh, I should have mentioned. When I was a kid I used to have panic attacks but I was too young to interpret them as anything other than feeling sick, so I was wondering if this is related to this fear of being sick?)
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Last edited by junglemonkey; 08-03-2004 at 02:57 AM.

 
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Old 08-03-2004, 02:29 AM   #2
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bogmallo HB User
Re: Could I have developed emetophobia?

You dont have any phobia except GAd and panic attacks. Everything else is a by product of this. Please try some meditation excercises and visualisation excercises. The fact that you know these are anxieties is half the cure by itself.

Try to do yoga which is very useful in anxiety attacks. Nothing fancy but plain breathing excercises will do you the world of a good. Secondly try to shift your mind from the pa to something which gives you pleasure.

I personally chant a mantra and try to pictgurise my childrens faces whenever i get an attack and it helps me 98 % of the time.


 
Old 08-03-2004, 08:32 AM   #3
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Re: Could I have developed emetophobia?

I believe you DO have this phobia and your panic attacks dont help. i too suffer from this and it sucks!! if i see smell or hear someone vomit i go into a panic get all flushed and breath heavily and i feel sick too. i have had this phobia really bad lately and i am on ocd meds too cause i obsess about eating certain things and getting food poisening although i am getting much better! the funny thing is i get this fear, it seems like you, at night! thats when its the worst. i just think as long as i can make it through the night ill be ok almost like whent he sun comes up itll all be alright! im not sure why maybe its something from when i was a kid im not sure but dark has a lot to do with it. also i reason that if i ate something bad it would hit me in the middle of the night. about 5 yrs ago i did throw up from eating something bad and i remember after i did it thinking it wasnt as bad as i had remembered! then 3 yrs ago i go the stomach flu for 2 weeks i threw up all day and all night even though all i had was water in me i knew that after a week i was better but i had screwed my mind up so much panicking about it i couldnt stop until i went to the docs and he gave me meds, i still stress about that. for me its not just the throwing up but wondering if something worse is wrong with my health and this is just a warning sign. it is an inevitable event and one my hubby finds just an inconvenience but get on some meds and realise that vomiting really is not the end of the world.

 
Old 08-03-2004, 12:34 PM   #4
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Sickman HB User
Re: Could I have developed emetophobia?

Dear Junglemonkey,
I think you have nothing but panic disorder that is brought on by a lot of phobias. The stomach problems are very common with panic disorder and you probably have IBS, which won't hurt you at all. It will give you stomach pains, nausea, etc. but it is just and annoyance. Benzos like xanax, etc. do calm the spasms of these stomach disorders but your phobia level is so high that I think you need to seek therapy or as I tell others to get an I don't care attitude to get past these things. Everyone with panic disorder has some sort of phobias. Yours is fearing vomiting to the extent that everything traveling or eating may cause this. The only thing that is causing this is fear, nothing more. You are worrying about all of these things and your brain is having a field day playing tricks on you with this. You will only vomit for one of two reasons: One, you have the stomach flu and the other is that you create an opportunity for your mind to make you sick enough to vomit. Even if you were physically sick, you would not know to vomit unless the brain told your body to do so. The brain has the power to trick you into this at any time if you let it. The brain tells you to have a stomach ache, feel hot, cold, dizzy, numb, panic, etc. This is just a trick that is causing you to develope phobias of things because you don't react to these symptoms in the right manner to manage them. You just have to learn to shine symptoms on at the very first instant that the brain attempts to work on you. The brain is a super computer, very fast so you can not fool it, you have to really not care anymore about what it tries. You will always have aches, pains, sensations, and maybe even vomit but everyone has these things and they don't have to have any disorder of any kind. Your sensations are manifested from tricks and you can not get past this until your realize this. When you do, and it does take time, these things will go away or ease up because the brain will realize that you aren't going to be fooled either. You can get past this. I am not telling you not to seek help. I am just letting you know that we all have to deal with these kinds of things and they can be over come with the right attitude and management. Good luck my Friend and have a nice day

Sincerely,

Sickman

 
Old 08-03-2004, 04:23 PM   #5
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junglemonkey HB User
Re: Could I have developed emetophobia?

Hi all thanks for the replies I just this very second heard my dad throwing up again and now I'm having a panic attack. arrrgh.

To bogmallo - I realise that it very well could be GAD but I'm just uncomfortable with the way things have centred down on this vomiting thing. (God I hate that word so much) I just had one about an hour because I felt a stomach twinge and though "omg I'm going to be sick." That's me had three in the one day from it. That scares me. I've never had that before.
I had ten months of therapy for the GAD and panic attacks so I learned all the breathing and relaxation etc. Breathing is great, I must admit. I use it when my heart is racing and normally I feel it come back down and that's a good feeling. I use distraction a lot, and it's difficult but when it works it's fantastic. Really my issue now is not with the panic attacks, but with what is causing them. I don't wanna be so afraid anymore of something so silly we all go through. (I just got a huge spark of anxiety cause I looked round and the door was open and I was afraid of seeing my dad)

To Hayley0610 - Glad to hear someone else going through the same thing (well, I might not be emetophobic but it sure feels like it. I freak out when people cough or sneeze or clear their throats or look uncomfortable) When I was a kid it was always at night I threw up, so maybe that has something to do with it? I find it so horrible that to the rest of the world it's just a negative experience but it doesn't affect them that much, but I am bloody terrified of it. I just don't understand it because in theory I know that I shouldn't be this way, and I can almost convince myself it's not the end of the world but when I do feel sick or am triggered by something silly... I just lose it really.

To Sickman - I haven't actually been diagnosed with panic disorder?? Just "frequent panic attacks". The stomach problems were always attributed to GAD and I know I do have IBS traits but I was never diagnosed as such. It's mainly the intestinal spasms I have I can deal with that are IBS related. I worried when you said my phobia level is "so high" and what do you mean when I have a lot of phobias?! lol!

I had ten months of therapy and though I mentioned it a couple of times my evil therapist never picked up on it but it was never as severe as it is now. They discharged me because they couldn't really do anything for me at this particular point. So immediately my only basis of support has dropped away and really I'm doing this alone so I appreciate all your replies. I have mentioned to my mum that if I see no improvement I want to go back to therapy (It will be hard to find someone), but my parents don't take it seriously. It's just a silly stomach ache but the problem is they don't see it very often anymore.

I am not sure how I'm going to cope when I go back to school with this, because I'm having so many more panic attacks than I normally do and these fears are just crippling me...
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Old 08-03-2004, 04:33 PM   #6
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hry33 HB Userhry33 HB User
Re: Could I have developed emetophobia?

to junglemonkey
have you tried an antidepressant med, I think it would help a lot, they often stop all panic attacks

 
Old 08-03-2004, 04:41 PM   #7
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Re: Could I have developed emetophobia?

I'm 16 and docs are very reluctant to give me meds because of that. I tried a tricyclic, amitriptyline/Elavil and it made me depressed so I came straight off it. It made me feel terrible. I would have trouble taking meds because of this fear though. I don't even take painkillers after the dentist or anything lol, I'm just so scared.

How far would anti-depressants go in taking away mental symptoms?
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Old 08-03-2004, 06:33 PM   #8
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hayley0610 HB User
Re: Could I have developed emetophobia?

well i have gone on antidepresants and its working wonders!it seems as though they dont make you worry so much and make you see phobias are so ridiculous. why is your dad throwing up so much? i know that sucks hearing and knowing it!! have u tried just taking a bit of gravol when u are "certain" youre going to throw up? good luck btw what is GAD?

 
Old 08-03-2004, 08:12 PM   #9
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Sickman HB User
Smile Re: Could I have developed emetophobia?

Dear Junglemonkey,
I expressed it apparently wrong to you as far as a lot of phobias. I did not mean a lot of different and specific phobias. I meant a lot of "things" that you are afraid of relating to this phobia of vomiting. By the word "high" I meant that you are so overwhelmed with all of this. You are looking for the answer as to what is causing the panic attacks. It is pretty obvious because this particular fear is consuming your life. You need to stop looking for the answer to "why" or "a specific name for this". These answers will not stop the problems if you have already been checked out for physical problems causing this. Searching for a cause of a phobia may seem like the answer to you but learning to deal with it is the only way to make it go away. A phobia is a mental fear that can only be cured or managed with the right mental attitude. It really makes no difference how you got there. You can have the attitude, "I don't know how I got into this situiation, but I am going to get myself out", or you can search and search for the cause and never ever find the answer or relief. Talking therapy does no good unless you make even the smallest goals to attack a phobia and work at it. You then have to make another, and another, until you get control over the phobia itself. As far as your Family or anyone else, unfortunately no one that does not have this themselves can ever understand this. It is the same that even though I have phobias I will never fully understand yours nor you mine. You are the expert of your condition and you must become the master of it also. Think positive, get assistance if you need it, don't take big steps toward this to fast and you will find that you can beat it. The real answer lies in positive results, not names or whys. I wish you well, my young Friend.

Sincerely,

Sickman

 
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