View Full Version : panic and phobia of throwing up????

06-12-2006, 07:38 PM
I started having panic attacks/depression when I was 19 (I'm 34). Been on and off meds since then. Most recently was on Lexapro last year, but went off and also was on Wellbutrin but lost health insurance and couldn't afford it.

As long as I can remember, I've had a phobia of throwing up...can't take people around me getting sick, will do ANYTHING to avoid doing it myself...the pa's make me nauseous, and the more i feel nauseous/afraid to swallow, the more panicky I get...it's a horrible cycle.

I'm scared because I had a prescription for an anti-emetic called Compazine, which I was able to get for acid reflux issues. I called my pcp today for a refill and his nurse told me "we don't like to give that out, you should be trying Prilosec" etc. I see my pcp tomorrow, I can't tell him the main reason is because the pa's make me nauseaous, my fear, or when I've had stomach bugs I've had to take it....

The pa's are getting worse lately, I don't know why...stress? I'm not taking anything and recently got health insurance and should be on something, I'm so afraid of weight gain again (took me a long time to lose the weight)...I know that might sound stupid and vain, since feeling like this is no picnic...

The pa's happen a lot while highway driving, though the other night it happened bad at the movies...

I don't really have a point, just needed to share, see if anyone else had this issue...thanks.

06-23-2006, 10:47 PM
I know exactly what you mean. Even when I drink too much, eat something that doesn't settle right, or whatever, I refuse to throw up. I take a lot of meds and try to sleep it off. I don't know why I hate puking so much but to this point I have managed to eek out of every single instance where it was an issue and fallen asleep or dealt with sickness for probably much longer than I would need to if I HAD thrown up.

Anyway, I haven't found any remedy whatsoever to this point other than taking klonopin and going to sleep. Nausea is my main trigger for panic attacks, because nausea makes me think of "what if i puke," then that makes my mouth water and makes me more afraid, etc etc. So I guess maybe no one answered because there's no remedy. Maybe it will be comforting to know that someone else has the same issue? Hope so.

06-28-2006, 05:57 PM
hi, i have the same problem, about throwing up. anytime i get a stomach i start to panic. as far as i can remember back i always hated to throw up and would also fight it. i have had panic attacks now for almost 4 years. im on celexa and xanax(when needed) i also found a great therapist. we have come up with when i get a tummy ach i take a xanax and then i dont go into the evil circle of feeling sick then panicing. i hope this helps ya some. your not alone thats for sure

06-30-2006, 05:06 AM
I also have a fear of throwing up. For many years I taught myself not to. I don't exactly know how I did it. It was some tightening of the throat thing. But I did get sick for the first time not too long ago. It wasn't pleasant but I didn't die....obviously. :)
But I am mostly worried about getting sick in public. So I have a hard time eating out. But what I started to do is to tell myself that if I feel sick, I can always bring it home with me. I am pretty much only comfy eating with certain people. Which is bad cause my fiance's parents aren't part of that small group of people and I live with them now... and they love to eat around the table, so I guess I get to lose a little weight. :)
Anyway, I do understand. I also take xanax as needed. Miracle drug, yes, but addictive though.

06-30-2006, 03:38 PM
Fear of vomiting is very common. One of my best friends has this "phobia". It's so bad that sometimes she won't watch certain episodes of "house" (our favourite show) unless I have watched them and can give her sufficient notice when someone is going to throw up so she can close her eyes and cover her ears.

Anxiety and panic attacks are always a vicious circle, yours is just about vomiting. Others have it about going out, talking to people.... It's the fear of fear. You worry about having a panic attack, which causes you to worry about throwing up, or whatever your thing is, which causes you to worry more, etc etc. These are all classic symptoms of a panic/anxiety disorder.

07-09-2006, 11:58 AM
I'm new here and just came across this through google. I have a really big fear of throwing up too, I don't know when it started, or how it started. I haven't thrown up since I was 8 (I'm 17 now) and that last time it was just a drink that I threw up, and I didn't have a flu or anything it was just a random thing and it didn't even bug me I just went back to what I was doing after. So it's not like I had a traumatizing throw-up experience, but everytime after that when I have felt sick I flip out and try and lay down and drink water and just breathe. I've never been prescribed anything for this or seen a therapist for this, because I though it was normal. But maybe it isn't. Right now I'm being tested for some weir dbacteria in my stomach and I've felt sick for the past like, 5 months and it's really depressing me. I am on medication to supress stomach acid to help make the nausea go away but it doesn't last all the time, so I usually pop gravol's and go to bed. I don't really know what to do. I can't watch parts in movies or tv shows where there is throwing up, and I am almost crying here from reading so much about throwing up. Ugh! I am so happy to know that other people are afraid of it too. Not that it's good, just, I'm glad I'm not alone. I also freak myself out because I start thinking about my future and when I want to h ave children, will I get morning sickness? My mom didn't but that doesn't mean I won't either, and what if they get sick? What will happen?? I am freaking myself out and just needed to like.. rant I guess. Sorry for the random reply. But thanks for all of you writing about your fears it's helped me feel less weird. :)

07-10-2006, 03:49 PM
If you genuinely want to get rid of this phobia, you should see a therapist. They will probably do the same thing they do with all phobias (my friend did it for vomiting, but couldn't keep it up). It's called desensitisation. Basically they would slowly introduce you to your fear. They would probably start by showing you pictures of vomit, then pictures of people vomiting, then vomit sounds, then video of vomit, very very slowly until it no longer bothers you. Obviously this would be very difficult, but it works for tons of people. It just depends how bad you want to get over it.

07-18-2006, 07:24 PM
I also ran across this page thanks to google. I'm an 18 year old university freshman and I too have an intense fear of throwing up as well as the "sick" feeling as I describe it that comes with the vomiting. Not sure when/where/why it started. My symptoms: starts with nausea sensation which leads to pacing, dry mouth, panic attacks, and dread of having to vomit. I go out of my way to avoid watching vomiting on television and even stay away from someone who has had a stomach virus for weeks on end just to make sure I won't catch it. My symptoms also usually start at night time right after or before dinner and/or bed.

I haven't experienced vomiting much in the past really but the few time I have, I remember vividly. The most recent was about a year ago when I caught the stomach flu, and after the first few "bathroom sessions" I became desensitized to it and it didn't bother me as much for the remaining duration of the virus. But since then the fear has come back. I'm really confused, I don't know WHY it scares me so much, it just does.

As I'm writing this right now, I am having the nausea and probably will start my regular pacing routine and try to convince myself it's all in my head and nothing to worry about. Usually when I go to sleep and wake up in the morning the sensation is gone and I go on with my day without telling anyone about it. It also can disappear for a week or even a month and then come back and haunt me for several days in a row.

It feels good to know I'm not alone (not that I would wish this upon anyone but that people can relate) and I've probably said the same thing everyone else has :D but I wanted to add in my two cents. If anyone would kindly update their posts here and let me know if they belive any treatment works I would greatly appreciate it.

Thanks, Take Care :wave:

07-25-2006, 01:10 AM
Hi! I recently posted about how I get nauseous a lot and then went on to talk about my fear of throwing up. By chance, I ran across this forum that talks about the fear of throwing up as a panic disorder and realize I fit right into this category. For years I have had an intense fear of throwing up. When I get very nauseous, my heart starts to race, I get sweaty and just have what I call a full blown panic attack. I will do almost anything not to throw up, but of course there are certain times, like when you get a stomach virus, when it can't be avoided. Usually when this happens, I really panic the first one or two throw ups, but after a few times, I panic a little less, although I can't say I actually get used to it. Even after the virus is over, I go completely back into my fear of throwing up stage, where I get really crazy. If I should be around anyone that has thrown up, I start to panic, feeling they have a virus and I will be next. If anyone in my family throws up, I assume I will be next and start to panic to the point where I need to take a xanax. Of course sometimes my fears come true and within a few days I actually am the next one to throw up, but there have been times when I have escaped whatever the virus was I was exposed to. If one of my kids come home from school and tell me that a friend or classmate threw up, I immediately fear they will bring the germs in my house and I will throw up. Of course I worry about my family getting sick as well, but know my initial reaction will be I am going to get sick and throw up and that sets me off into a panic.

I am glad to read that I am not totally abnormal since I don't know too many people that react to being sick the way I am. When I had my gall bladder surgery a few years back, I remember waking up a little nauseous, even though I was told something was put into my IV to avoid that. Anyway, I was also told that a lot of people feel better after throwing up and I told the nurse there was no way that was going to make me feel better so I was eventually given ginger ale and crackers and I started to feel better. Just the thought of throwing up was making me really upset and even though I probably would have felt better faster, there was no way I was going to do that if I could avoid it.

A few of you mentioned xanax as a miracle drug and I have to agree. While it won't prevent a person from throwing up, it will help calm you so you don't get into a state of panic over the fear of it. The only problem I had a few months back when I had a throwing up stomach virus was I tried taking a xanax to help keep me calm when I was very nauesous and feared throwing up, but I did end up throwing up before the drug got absorbed into my system, so it really didn't help me much. Other than a situation like that, I do feel xanax is a wonderful drug for someone who suffers from panic attacks, and have never found it to be addictive, probably because I just never allowed myself to take it unless it was really necessary.

07-31-2006, 06:45 PM
Suzie I most certainly can relate to your issue!

I always knew that my fear of being sick was related to my anxiety, but I never knew that other people shared exactly what I experience!

I have suffered with anxiety problems all of my life (probably due to my mother who is both intensely anxious and bi-polar). Now I find that my anxiety and panic attacks are directly related to fear of vomiting. I am also someone who attempts to avoid all contact with someone who is ill and gets into an almost paralized state when someone in my family (Especially my bf!) gets a stomach flu. My question to you (and everybody!) is... I am considering going on some anti-anxiety medication for the first time. Did you find that your previous experiences on medication reduced your anxiety about the issue, or was it still as stressful as ever?? I really have no other reason to take meds and I would prefer not to if the real attempt at a cure is therapy, as "jeffster" suggests. I am getting to the point now that it is interfering with experiences that I love, such as travelling. As much as I am dying to travel the world and go to many exotic places, I know my fear of being ill will just make any attempt of such a trip too stressful on myself and my travel partner! Does medication help such a phobia?

Oh and also, I don't know if any of you have problems with eating. I'm 5'2" but only weigh about 47 kilos. Eating is a real struggle because I constantly worry that what i'm eating will make me ill, so i'd rather not eat. Which in turn makes me feel sick as well! My diet is horrible and consists mostly of basic things. Sometimes its embarassing and people actually pass comment. I don't know if medication would make this better either.

08-03-2006, 07:36 AM
My daughter is 8 years old she has a phobia of throwing up.Its terrible she has panic attacks all the time if her stomach hurts or her throat is tight because she is afraid of throwing up.At school if the stomach bug is going around she will have panic attacks and headaches and trys to avoid going to school.She saids she wishes she was normal and not like this.She started talking to a professional a month ago I hope it works I feel so bad for her.Anyone have children with this fear?

08-16-2006, 06:19 PM
my 8 year old son has the same problem. we are at are wits end with him and how to deal with it. they are talking about putting him on zoloft.

08-17-2006, 05:36 AM
Wow does your son have anxiety or panic attacks,My daughter does.If there is a stomach bug going around in school she doesnt want to go.The doctor are thinking of medicine for her.I am nervous about it.My daughter will be 9 in october,I really dont want her on meds.

08-17-2006, 06:21 PM
Yes it would seem that way. He complains that is throat is closing and he has a pain in between his ribs ALL the time. He has been seeing a therapist for 3 weeks and now they want him to have a Psy. eval., my husband is freaking because he does not want him on meds. They say if we dont gets this under control these are children that turn full blown OCD.

08-18-2006, 05:10 AM
Her therapist is trying to find a child phy for her.I really dont want her on meds.My daughter complains alot that she is short of breath and her throat is tight.My daughter has alot of anxiety issues.I just worry about school it affects her school work.My daughter also get nervouse tics.Sometimes its eye blinking or throat clearing.Does your son have anything like that?Its to bad these kids have to go through this ,my daughter always says she wants to be a normal kid,she doesn't want to worry all the time.

08-19-2006, 07:03 PM
Yeah we are worried because they start school on Wed. He does clear his throat all the time. I have started to read a great book that I found last night at the book store called Beyond Anxiety & Phobia by Edmund J. Bourne. It is good thus far. It teaches how to deal using cognitive-behavioral therapy. It also tells you the signs of "needing" medication. If you would like to email me personally please do so it is great to be able to talk to someone who is going through the same stuff and with a child that is about the same age. {REMOVED}

08-20-2006, 05:59 AM
It is nice to talk to someone thats going through the same thing,Do you have any other kids with the same problem?My name is Heather and my email is {REMOVED} we can talk more.I didnt get your email I think it didnt go through.

08-20-2006, 06:59 AM
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08-23-2006, 08:34 AM
To those of you with kids, I think you are great parents for trying to get your kids help and not just blowing it off. I wish my parents would have tried to get to the root of the problem when I was younger. I am 27 today and have had this phobia and anxiety since age 11. Of course, anxiety disorders weren't as commonplace then.

I started taking Lexapro about a year ago for anxiety, and it really works. Yes, it does help the phobia. Don't get me wrong, I am still afraid of vomiting, but I don't panic about it anymore (usually) and since the Lexapro helps me stay calm and feeling good, I don't have to think about it when I am out in public (my biggest fear also). Xanax is also my emergency lifesaver.

08-24-2006, 06:55 AM
Guys - i think what most of you are suffering from, is "emetophobia" (google it for more info!). I had no idea what it was, until about a year ago, when i started to do some research online to see what was going on with me. I too, can understand what most of you are going through. I am the act same way, and will go out of my way to avoid throwing up/getting sick (to avoiding eating out, avoiding certain foods) and most of all, avoiding ANYONE who has a stomach virus. I guess some of you know where I am coming from, but for those who don't - you have NO idea how much i have angered my co-workers and family for bugging them as to if they have a stomach bug, etc.

Actually, the reason why I found this thread today, was due to the fact that I called my doc yesterday, about setting up an appointment with a therapist, and I am looking forward to getting some treatment.

08-24-2006, 03:34 PM
Wow I did not know there was such a phobia until my 8 year old daughter started a year ago.Its really tough she is seeing a therapist we are trying to find more help for her.My heart goes out to all thats going through this.I am a 34 year old that had panic disorder since I was little and my parents blew it off.I will not do that to my child I will help her and get her through this.I wish everyone good luck.

08-28-2006, 10:13 PM
Hello to everyone!
I too have the same panic problems with throwing up, I have been this way for as long as I can remember. I'm 51 years old and it feels just as bad today as when I was younger. I need to have surgery but am putting it off just because I'm afraid I will be sick from the anesetic?(sp) I get so embarrassed telling anyone about my problem so I just avoid anything that I fear will make me sick. I hate this so bad, I would give anything to overcome this. Thanks for letting me share,

Help This Mom
09-07-2006, 11:47 PM
I am a mother of 3 beautiful children who deserve to be held and comforted when they are sick with a stomach bug. Instead of comforting them my heart races, blood pressure goes sky high and I start sweating bullets. If my husband is home he takes over while I try my hardest to breathe ( in a different room. ) If he is not home I do my best but my whole world freezes for the amount of time that I have to deal with it. I avoid people with the slightest tummy ache. My children constantly have hand sanitizer on their hands. I do not use shopping carts because of the possibility of a stomach bug on the cart so I use my stroller when I have my children at the store with me. I will even ask people questions like "how are all of you?" or "are you all doing great?" or "Are the kids outside playing?' I ask these questions before going over to someones house so that I don't have to come right out and ask if someone is sick. While we are at someones house if someone mentions that their tummy is hurting I make up an excuse to leave then I take my kids home and bathe them to get "the germ" off of them. It has taken over my life. I fear it daily especially during the winter months. I really want to get help for this but I can't afford it. I came to google to see if there was anyone else going through this phobia. I am so sorry that there are others who have this phobia but it's good to know that I'm not alone. Does anyone have any words of comfort? It would be greatly appreciated.
Especially because my youngest was sick tonight. Let's just say that my blood pressure is up.

09-08-2006, 06:08 AM
Sorry to hear that you have this phobia there is a name for it.Can I ask how long you have had this problem?My daughter is 8 and if you mention throw up she has a panic attack.She is seeing a therapist.Her school know so they will not talk about vomit around her.It is sad to she her go through this she is always afraid of chatching a stomach bug from a kid in class.Try to look it up on the web,there is something about it.Good luck

09-10-2006, 04:40 PM
It's called emetophobia. I suffer from it as well. There is a great website {REMOVED}. It has the greatest support forums I have ever run into for this phobia and it has helped me greatly over the last year. Not that I don't still deal with problems, but it helps....

09-14-2006, 10:38 AM
It is so interesting to find out that you all have this same problem, I have even told my doc about it and he thinks I'm nuts..... no pun intended. Ever since I was a small child I have had this fear, I'm 34 now and haven't thrown up since I was 13. How I have managed that- I have no clue,ativan-klonipin,clonidine,dramamine,phenergan,c ompazine, cold wash cloths on my forhead,etc..... I tried to ignore the signs that I had a anxiety dissorder for years and then 7 years ago I had a complete breakdown. I was a medication guinee pig for the first 3 1/2 yrs, it was a total nightmare, and still is. My Dr. has now just resolved himself to keeping me on a steady diet of Librium, Clonidine,(and Phenergan if I beg for it). {REMOVED} I really don'y even leave the house for fear of having a panic attack, and if someone asks me out to eat.... forget it- take out is just fine for me. I also can't bear to see anyone else get sick/or hear it. {REMOVED} Does anyone else have issues with depression along with the panic attacks? Mine is getting worse and worse, I need to get a job, but it is nearly impossible for me to go into the building where the interview is and usually end up getting back in my car and going back home to take a long nap just to get over the anxiety from ALMOST going into a situation that made me feel uncomfortable,anxious, & sick to my stomach. Any answers would be helpfull, thanks.

09-18-2006, 09:06 AM
Oh my gosh! Thank you so much to every one here. I came to this post because my daughter who is only 8 years old and has terrible panic attacks. Her fear is throwing up!!!! It is so bad that it effects her life. She asks me almost everyday, will this make me throw up?? Once a kid in her classroom last year threw up in the classroom and she was only worried about one thing the first day and that was him being in her class this year. I thought she was crazy and didn't understand but reading here tells me that there are other people going through the same thing. I mean she worries about this 24/7. Thank you for your help!!!

09-18-2006, 12:55 PM
Hello my new best friends....

I am so happy that this thread was started and that there are others like me. I usually post on the Acid reflux board since I have that. I try to avoid panic/anxiety boards but I am glad I came in here today.

I have had panic attacks over vomiting for a couple of years now. I hate it. I constantly vigilant about the food that I eat and keeping everyone germ free. I have 2 kids and I hate that I may be passing it on to them by my actions.

I never leave home without hand sanitizer & the disinfecting wipes.

I rarely eat anything that has the potential to carry bacteria that may cause food poisoning.

I tried at first to take meds but I had bad reactions, now I just suck it up and try not to let this stand in my way, somewhat.

For the ones who's kids are suffering from this, I am so sorry, how awful that a child has to deal with this. As adults we have a hard enough time dealing.

Best to you all,

09-21-2006, 09:05 PM
My 8-year-old daughter has this fear, too. It started at the end of school last year. She often saw kids throwing up in school or on the bus and now she is so scared it is going to happen to her. She is scared to ride the bus and she has a horrible time in the mornings especially. Mondays are the worst. I'm going to talk to her doctor about it next week.

10-05-2006, 09:35 PM
If you genuinely want to get rid of this phobia, you should see a therapist. They will probably do the same thing they do with all phobias (my friend did it for vomiting, but couldn't keep it up). It's called desensitisation. Basically they would slowly introduce you to your fear. They would probably start by showing you pictures of vomit, then pictures of people vomiting, then vomit sounds, then video of vomit, very very slowly until it no longer bothers you. Obviously this would be very difficult, but it works for tons of people. It just depends how bad you want to get over it.

Oh dear god! This post actually sent me running for my ativan. I think I'd die having to do that. I remember every classmate that did it and every time I saw it done in public.:dizzy:
I seriously have an issue and relieved to see I'm not alone.
lol, I can't believe my first or second post is on this issue.

10-09-2006, 05:34 PM
Wow, I had no idea so many people had my same problem. The fear of throwing up. It is awful!! I have had this problem since maybe the age of 9 or 10 yrs old. I am now 28 and I will avoid at all costs any contact with anyone who has or has had the stomach flu. I take dramamine, benadryl, anything to make myself feel better. I thought I was the only crazy one around with this phobia. I have also been putting off a possible surgery coming up due to the fear of being nauseas when I wake up from the anesthesia.

Is there a drug out there that can be taken to take away the nauseas feeling from the stomach virus? That would be a miracle drug.

10-13-2006, 01:48 PM
I got the stomach flu when I was 12 years old. After 1 week of waking up at midnight ever night, running to the restroom with the feeling of throwing up, every time I felt nervous or anxious I associated those feelings (heart racing, stomach fluttering, etc.) with throwing up. It turned into a phobia and I couldn't go to school or leave the house for almost an entire month. One day my parents finally made me get on the bus to go to school, butu I suffered from an anxiety attack and had to get off before it even left my neighborhood.

My mom took me to a psychiatrist but it only lasted for 2 sessions. She wasn't telling me anything I didn't already know. And thank god she didn't suggest desensitization! Those images would've been burned into my mind, feeding the "irrational" flames of my phobia.

The best advice came from my mom, who explained to me that it was an irrational fear that was mentally-based (in her words "it's all in your head") and I had to just keep telling myself that. Every time I felt nauseous or sick, I would just try to take deep breaths and calm myself down. And once the anxiety attack passed and I realized that I didn't get sick, it was positive reinforcement that I can handle these situations as they arise. It took me only 3 months for the phobia to be downgraded to "an anxiety." But it will take me a lifetime to fully get over it. I still won't ride rollercoasters or drink excess alcohol, and was really tested when I was diagnosed with Acid Reflux and had that severe nausea every night, but you get through it.

I'm 25 years old now and I still get anxious every now and then (and I can't stand seeing images of people throwing up in the movies!), but I can separate my anxiety from the real, physical symptoms of being sick. Time, life experiences, and gradual exposure are your best bets.

10-27-2006, 07:03 AM
I am SO relieved that others out there suffer the same as me. Well, I feel horrible for you all (I guess that didn't come out right, my first sentance??) but I don't feel so alone. At the slightest bit of nausea, I have to take something which I've begged my doctor for (I have GERD so I tell him I get nauseous) . I think this started back in grade school, I went to school with a boy that was sick literally EVERY day due to some condition, and always in front of me. Ever since then, it seems I've been horribly terrified about it, worse in recent years...plus my panic attack's are back, so that doesn't help. Thank you all for responding, I know I need to find a therapist for various reasons..but it's nice to know I'm not alone. Thank you.

11-12-2006, 05:46 PM
I am new to the board. I have read several of the posts and I dont feel so ashamed and alone anymore. I thought my fear of vomiting was such an irrational fear. I went to the library and got some books but they dont compare to actually dealing with real people who share the same problem. I also learned that this phobia is the 5th most common today. I have had my phobia every since I was about 9 or 10 years old. I am 35 now and I struggle with this on a daily basis. The worst part is now, my 9 year old daughter is struggling with it too. She has seen me too many times panic when she or my son gets sick and now she has the phobia.

My husband is the best though. He steps in and takes over when the kids are sick. The reason I started researching and found this website today is because my 5 year old son has been throwing up all day. He has had a little diarrhea as well. I have been trying to rationalize it in my head that he ate some bad apple dippers a McDonalds. No one else is sick and no one else ate the apples. Deep down, I feel he has a stomach bug and I feel so guilty and bad that I don't want to go anywhere near him. I helped my husband clean him up a couple of times but I couldn't take it any longer. I shut down. I kept thinking if I keep touching this stuff I am going to catch it. I acutally feel sick myself but I am chalking it up to just nerves. I could go on and on about this but I don't want my post to be a novel. I hope I can overcome this. It is such a miserabe existence.

11-19-2006, 11:38 AM
You are most definitely not alone.

I have had some form of this phobia since I was five years old. I had a bad stomach flu then, and something about it seems to have scarred me for life.

Last year, almost a year ago to the day, my toddler son was 17 months old and he got a bad stomach flu, and then my husband caught it, and my panic was so severe that my husband made me go into therapy. I did some cognitive behavioral therapy, and that was minimally helpful - by way of comparison, last year when my hubby and son were sick, I was so petrified that I went 5 days without eating and 2 without sleeping. (My hubby had gone to bed feeling fine and woke up feeling sick, so I had some irrational idea in my head that if I didn't sleep, I wouldn't wake up feeling sick. And I was just too scared to eat. What really didn't help was that the following week, two days after my son FINALLY got over it, I went to sleep and woke up feeling ill. I had a low fever and cramps and some loose stool, but never got anywhere near as sick as my husband and son did.) This year, when my hubby came home from work sick, I was able to do some breathing, some thought redirection, and was able to eat a small bowl of rice that night, and get a few hours sleep. I was still pretty freaked out, but not as badly. (He had food poisoning, as did 34 of his co-workers, from something they ate at the going-away party they had thrown for him at his job.)

I had been a member of another online group, that deals with this, but I hadn't visited their site since last winter. (With a toddler, stomach bugs aren't really a big concern during the summer, so I foolishly let my support system lapse.) Now, it's winter again, stomach bugs are running rampant amongst the toddler set, my anxiety levels are once again approaching sky high and went to my online group - they were gone! That's what I get for not checking in all summer.

I found this board last week when I was doing some research on avoiding the stomach bug. (Completely superfluous - I think last winter I visited and read about 3,000 different websites on avoiding and treating stomach bugs.) But I saw this board and bookmarked it.

Today, my hubby has gone off to a football game. I was planning on taking my son to the grocery store so that we can buy our turkey and the last of the things we need for our Thanksgiving dinner. Then he had a semi-loose stool, and about 10 minutes later, he had another one and I'm freaking. Mind you, other than two trips to the grocery store and Target last week, we've been home for the entire last week. I kept him away from other kids on purpose this year, because I so absolutely did not want to spend another Thanksgiving in the hospital. (Last year, he got violently ill the Monday before Thanksgiving, seemed to get a little better that Tuesday and Wednesday, in that he was eating, it was staying down and he just had a mild fever, and then he woke up on Thanksgiving morning sicker than he had been in the beginning. And with my hubby waking up sick that day too, all I could think to do was go to the hospital. It was a truly horrible Thanksgiving.) So, determined to avoid a repeat of that scene, I decided that we wouldn't go to any playgroups or parks this week. I even kept him home from his speech therapy. And on our trips to the store, I did my normal pre-cart sanitizing. (Yes, I carry anti-bacterial wipes with us all winter, and before I put him in a cart, I wipe EVERY part of the cart that he can get his hands on, then I sanitize his hands.)

I also tried some hypnotherapy this past spring, with a local hypnotherapist using a program tailored specifically for me and my issues. However, since I have no real childcare, I was only able to go for three sessions, so I don't think it did much good.

This is a horrible phobia to have. (Not that there are any "good" phobias to have, but you know what I mean.) People don't understand - they think you're being irrational, and they don't realize how insidious it is and how it can slowly creep into the rest of your life and make day to day living difficult. Before my son, it wasn't nearly so bad for me. Now, I've pretty much given up on eating seafood, I'm so terrified of food poisoning. (Mind you, I was 34 before I had my first bout of food poisoning, then, I got it 4 times in 8 months!) I'm stunting my son's social development, keeping him from interacting with other kids because I'm so afraid he'll catch a stomach bug. And I know it's bad and wrong and unfair to him, but I can't stop myself. And I watch him like a hawk, freak out if his eating habits change even a tiny bit...and on a day like today (this isn't the first time he's had a loose stool send me into a tailspin), I'll check his diaper every 10 minutes, just to see if the stool is getting looser and therefore indicative that he might actually be sick, and I'll take his temperature 5 times just because I want to be absolutely certain that there's no fever. And again, I know it must be giving him some sort of complex, but I can't stop. And as for myself, I think I've given myself an ulcer in the last year. Honestly. I used to have a pretty solid stomach. I had gastritis every now and again, if I ate too much greasy food for too long, but other than that, nothing. Now, as I said, if something's just the least bit off, I get food poisoning, and my diet is pretty bland now because most foods give me cramps. And I know it's all realted to the stress I'm carrying around about this. And while my husband doesn't actively make fun of me about it, I know he doesn't understand. Honestly, I don't think that the therapists really understand either. I'd love to find a therapist who is a recovered emet - they would really get it. But failing that, I'm happy with a strong community of emets supporting one another to deal more effectively with this condition. There are stories of people out there who did recover, so it can be done - we just have to keep trying and getting the help and support we need.

Anyway, just wanted to introduce myself, and do something to keep me from staring at my son while I wait for 2 hours to pass to see how he does. :)


03-13-2007, 07:58 AM
I'm glad to know I'm not alone with this fear. :D

I am only 1* years old and this fear has a huge impact on my life! It got really bad about a year ago. I can't even go to school anymore! So now I'm homeschooled. Whenever I go out somewhere in public, I get super nervous and I think I'm going to feel sick. Unfortunetly (is that how you spell it?), this stops me from leaving the house a lot.

So my relationships with my friends have obviously gone.. way down. I barely see them anymore. I'm too nervous to be around them! I don't know what's gotten into me.

Everytime somebody in my family is sick, I practically go crazy! Like litterally, I'll burst into tears. I'll start washing my hands A LOT and avoiding everything the sick person touches. I really hate it! I can't stand being this stressed.

Recently, I've been given "atavan" from my doctor, for my anxiety. It helps me calm down during these situations... but it doesn't really stop the worrying.

Oh well.

Good luck to everyone who suffers from this horrible fear! :)

03-14-2007, 07:01 PM
I know exactly how you feel. I am the same way and so is my 10yr old daughter. Ativan does help but like you said, it calms you down but it doesn't take away the fear. Good luck! If you want to talk more, I'm here.

03-17-2007, 04:31 AM
Hello fellow fearful...

Does anyone else's phobia seem to fluctuate? Mine is always there but the severity of my anxiety seems to go up and down a lot.

My therapist links my anxiety to control. Apparently if I accept the things I cannot control it makes it easier to beat the phobia.

I'm considering exposing myself to vomit to the point where I just hope to become immune to it (or the anxiety about it). Maybe this is the only way to truley overcome the fear. This is just a fantasie though... I know i'm not strong enough to make myself sick just yet!

03-21-2007, 09:18 PM
Yes, the intensity of my phobia definitely fluctuates. It's less overall in the summer, when there's less stomach flu going around. And if there's any chance at all that I or someone in my family has come into contact with someone with stomach flu, or that we've eaten something off, then the phobia skyrockets for a few weeks after that.


04-18-2007, 05:28 PM
Hello fellow suffer:
I know exactly how you feel. My phobia is so terrible that I am to a point that I fear going out in public and exposing my school-aged children to germs. It is so hard to feel good about yourself as a mom, when you want to run for the hills when you hear one of your children say I have a tummy ache or I think I am going to v... Just reading some of these posts this evening has made me a little anxious and I am starting to stress. This phobia is such a plague to me and to my now lack of career. It really does cause a mental disability. I am so glad to see that there are others that deal with this, only in the sense that I now know I am not alone or insane.

Good luck. I would love to hear more from you. By the way, I am a female. I accidentally posted male and just realized it.

04-26-2007, 06:24 PM
I read this post and was in absolute awe.

I wanted to share my story.

Ever since I was 5, I was scared of throwing up. The older I got, the worse it got. When I was 19, I started getting panic attacks over the fear, which in turn made me nauseus, which started the cycle all over again. I didn't eat anything except for saltine crackers for a year -- I was scared to eat -- I would get panic attacks, feel sick, and not eat. Everyone thought I was anorexic, but really I just didn't want to throw up. I was down to 85 lbs.

The cycle lasted for a year before I went to see a behavioral therapist. Over the course of 9 months, we calmed down the panic attacks (strictly by behavior pattern changes) and I was able to eat. It was a slow process though. I was able to eat again, however, I was still petrified of throwing up. I can't even explain the lengths I went to to make sure I never did. (They are ridiculous)

So here I sit, 26. I still deal with the occasional panic attack, but I'm more aware of the reasons. I am still afraid to throw up, but recently got the flu, and threw up -- for the first time in 15 years.

Let me tell you this: As I was getting sick -- I was laughing. It was nothing. All of the anguish and build up fear and terror of the act, and it was nothing. It made me laugh. And oddly enough, I was proud of myself.

Am I still scared? Sure thing. Wouldn't want it to happen again, however, next time it does, it won't be so bad.

05-06-2007, 05:04 PM
Im so glad i found this site or i should say my son found this site. He is 15 and is suffering from this disorder in a terrible way and I don't know what to do. He is letting it affect his soccer and school. He also never wants to leave the house. He is so upset with this whole thing and needs to find others to talk to to help him get this out of his head. He is truely a soccer star and can go very far with his talents but since we found out he has this disorder it has hindered his progress. Any help from fellow suffers will help. We great appreciate any help. Thank you for reading my story.:)

06-03-2007, 09:44 AM
This thread seems sort of inactive, but I'll give it a go.

I've been going through the same thing for a little over a year now (turning 20 this month). It started when a classmate threw up in class.. I felt ill myself a few days later, in public, but didn't throw up. In fact, I haven't since I was in middle school or something (and I notice most of you guys haven't actually thrown up either). After that, every time I went to school or a public place I'd start to feel afraid of throwing up, which in turn would make me nauseous - exactly what I wanted to avoid! Only God knows how I managed to get through with my exams last summer.. I was okay for a few months and into the first weeks of college, but then it started all over again.

I've been taking Zoloft for about two months and I'm in a better mood, but the panic attacks don't seem to go away. The only outdoor places where I don't get nauseous are my car (probably because I'm busy driving) and the park.. Or when walking down the street. As soon as I enter a building it starts again.. And suddenly disappears when I'm out. It can't be claustrophobia, I'm completely fine at home. I guess it's just a fear of being in public place I can't easily get out from (like the subway or a classroom). I've been better over the past few weeks, but I'm still not able to spend, say, 3 straight hours at university.

How are the rest of you doing? Any tips or suggestions on how I can make this go away sooner?

07-03-2007, 06:52 AM
"Ever since I was a small child I have had this fear, I'm 34 now and haven't thrown up since I was 13."

Are you serious? I'm 1* and i haven't thrown up since i was 6. i wondered how i managed that. i thought i made a record or something. and whenever i feel sick in school, i'll just become extremely quiet or approach a teacher to ask to go home. usually, i'll try to finds reasons not to go to school. i thought i was the only one who has this problem. i've never told anybody my problem because i thought that it was stupid. whenever i feel sick, i feel my heart beating really fast and i cannot concentrate on anything and feel like crying. i'm so glad that i'm not the only one who has this fear. i thought that no one has this problem, but now i know that i'm was so wrong.

09-04-2007, 06:36 PM
I don't know if I have this or not. You see I don't fear throwing up as much as the nausea that comes before it. For example back in the beginning of Aug. I was at a birthday party and I started to feel sick. I had a flu but in the end never threw up. Anyway I was sitting at the table and when I started to feel sick I did the same things I always find myself doing without realizing it. I would continuously move my feet, sometimes fast, put my hands up to my face sometimes my hair, and get up and walk around then sit again. I also cannot stand hearing or seeing anyone be sick. A few weeks ago my mother said she had a headache and then threw up in the car. Since then on vacation she said she had another headache and I freaked and would not sit by her and eventually I had to resort to riding in the trailer. I took a free test on the internet and found from there that I have a severe case of this. But who really knows about those things anyway. I have never told anyone and I don't know how to go about it. I mean what should I say? I am in college so I am at a rather awkward age to say the least. Could anyone tell me if I either have it or don't?

09-18-2007, 05:46 PM
I have this awful severe fear. Every day i have dizzy spells which my doctor, cardiologist and nutrisionist have all decided are lack of nutrion. EX. calcium, protein and sodium. My fear has been there for ever but i had had the stomach flu since i was in the 3rd grade and then i got in it 8th grade. I can tell you every little fact from what i was doing down to what i ate, watched on tv and what classes i went to that day. I relive my 3 stomach flu memories often and have panic attacks i think do to this. I want to get better so i can get thru school. eVERYDAy i wathc what i eat, what i do and make sure nothing is the same as that day. I dont eat fruit and i dont know why but i did drink orange juice and now i stopped since i had that on may 15th, the day of my last stomach flu. Myabe that is why i am "malnutrion" but i know i have this fear and most of my friends think im crazy. They tell my dizziness is in my head and honestly it might be but i dont kno if it is, i feel all panicky and think i might throw up this happens in flashes and mostly in heat. When my brother had the stomach flu i locked my self in my room and only came out to go to school, i wont go in his room now sicne that is where he was sick. He is a hypochondriac and claims he is sick often when he's not, but it still scares me. I'm afraid that someone will throw up around me and thats worse than me throwing up, its only happend 3 times and im still afraid of it ever happing again. I dont want to go to therapy, i dont have time and i dont really want my parents freaking out. any ways of helping me would be nice since i freak out in public and graduatng will be really fun, i almost fainted on the field last friday nigth at football games and havnt been on since. i felt shaky, lost all control of my legs, arms and everythign was spinning, now my biggest fear is throwing up from an anxiety attack and im not getting any better, i wont go near my friend in a car, because she gets car sick and i wont go near my best friend if she gets stomach flu. i cant watch any tv shows with that, and i have to ask teachers if there is any of that in the class movie. i really need help but i dont have time, any ideas on helping me get over this fear or at least stop the anxiety attacks, would be nice

09-20-2007, 04:32 AM
"i wondered how i managed that. i thought i made a record or something. and whenever i feel sick in school, i'll just become extremely quiet or approach a teacher to ask to go home. usually, i'll try to finds reasons not to go to school. i thought i was the only one who has this problem. i've never told anybody my problem because i thought that it was stupid. "

I have to agree i just would say my throat hurt if i knew anyone was sick with the stomach flu, in my life ive had it 4 times and that was enough, 3 of those times was before i was 10, years later i have a deep fear of this and i dont know what to do