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Emetophobia And Anxiety - Anyone Suffer From This

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Old 08-24-2006, 07:50 PM   #1
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Mississauga, Ontario Canada
Posts: 94
horseygirl14 HB User
Emetophobia And Anxiety - Anyone Suffer From This

Hi everyone. I am a 39 year old female who suffers from emetophobia (fear of throwing up). I guess I've been this way my whole life but didn't know that it actually had a name. I've been able to manage but over the last year and half or so it's gotten worse. So much so that I've been suffering from anxiety attacks, have lost a lot of weight and have had a hard time eating. I work full time and don't eat much during the day except when I get home. I've started seeing a counsellor but haven't got too far with that. I feel nauseous and unwell most of the time. My dr. prescriped 10 mg of cipralex but I can't bring myself to take it because of the possible nausea side effects. I feel nauseous most of the time as it is.

I've been very stressed out. I have a husband who works shift work, 3 kids age 9, 7 and 4 and a half. My youngest has some minor health problems - eczema, asthma, a peanut allergy and he just got glasses. My husband has had a few health concerns over the past few years as well.

Can anyone offer any advice? Thanks for any input.

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Old 08-24-2006, 09:44 PM   #2
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Ontario, Canada
Posts: 76
(s)aint HB User
Re: Emetophobia And Anxiety - Anyone Suffer From This

Unfortunately, I don't really have any advice for you as I suffer from emetophobia and anxiety as well. I also feel unwell on most days and often drink carbonated drinks and plain food(ie bread and crackers) to help keep my stomach calm. I totally know how you feel and it really does suck. I think that counselling is what will help you overall, and that you should definitely continuing going and hopefully your counselor can help you find some relief from this phobia.
I was also very hesitant to start any medications, but it worked out okay. My nausea did increase for about 2 days, but after that I felt MUCH better and am nauseated less often than before. Most of my nausea is from having a nervous stomach due to the anxiety, so taking a medication can help. If you feel ready to take meds, start it off very slowly. Instead of taking 10mg, take 5mg for about a week, then ease your way up to 10mg. It will help your body adjust better and you'll experience less side effects this way.

and on a totally unrelated note, I live a few hours away from you! It IS a small world afterall...

Old 09-01-2006, 07:42 PM   #3
Join Date: May 2006
Location: Mississauga, Ontario Canada
Posts: 94
horseygirl14 HB User
Re: Emetophobia And Anxiety - Anyone Suffer From This

Thanks for replying back. I really appreciate it. Do you take cipralex or something different? How long did it take before you noticed a difference once you started taking the medication?

I've been feeling a little better lately. Trying all kinds of natural things to calm down. I listen to soothing water cd's and drink sleepytime tea. I've gotten back to horses which I love and haven't been involved with since my first child was born. I've been eating biobest yogurt with probiotics to try and calm my stomach and that seems to be helping too along with trying to stay away from the sweets and junk food (which I love).

The kids are starting school next week so who knows if that will add or decrease my stress level since they've been home all summer. We'll just have to wait and see.

Thanks again.

Old 05-09-2012, 01:28 AM   #4
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Join Date: May 2012
Location: Aurora, CO. USA
Posts: 2
nanahachifan HB User
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!

Old 01-06-2013, 07:29 PM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Jackson,MI United States
Posts: 1
millsalissam HB User
Re: Emetophobia And Anxiety - Anyone Suffer From This

I can relate as well. I recently turned 21 and I have suffered from this since I was little but the last 7 years it has gotten worse. My family doctor sent me to a gastroenterologist because for some reason I always had the nauseated feeling the week before my period and the week after it plus whenever I was under stress, so he did a ultrasound and an upper GI. These tests showed that I had an irritated spot where the stomach went into the smaller intestine, so he said it sounded like it was IBS. He also had me go to the gynecologist to put me on birth control to see if the combination of the anti-anxiety meds and the birth control pills would help. At that time he said that because I was under stress in high school and that I have IBS and anxiety the IBS kicks in causing me to feel nauseated and then vicious cycle starts with having nausea problems and I start to panic because I freak out that I might throw up from the nausea. He first had prescribed paxil and that made me gain weight like crazy so trying to get off that and onto wellbutrin wasn't fun because my body was use to the paxil that it made me feel nauseated, so I had to take xanax when I started to feel crappy until I got use to the wellbutrin. Now on a daily basis I take wellbutrin in the morning along with trinessa 28 day pills (birth control) and amitriptyline at night, and I have the xanax along with zofran and phenergan (ani-nausea pills) for whenever I start panicking because the IBS flares up causing me to be nauseated. I'm embarrassed to say this, but sometimes if I am really having a hard time getting to sleep because I'm having one of my "episodes", I have my mom take me for a car ride because it was soothing and distracting to me that I calmed down and let the medicine start working. I recently found out that I am really sensitive to soaps, certain laundry detergent, and cheap toilet paper because they cause me to get urinary tract infections easily without knowing it because it doesn't always have that burning feeling when I pee for some reason, and this causes me to be nauseated sometimes and triggers me to start to freak out. I hate the winter season because I feel like I have become obsessed with worrying if I am going to get the stomach flu. This causes me to have days where I feel blah because I am stressed out over that worry. My mom is the same way as I am but not as severe. We have a ritual using hand sanitizer whenever we eat out because of being in public along with any store we go to. I also have problems when I go to get on ******** and I read people's posts about them or their kids "getting sick". It does suck that even though my mom hates anything to do with throwing up, she tells me to calm down and that I'm not going to throw up because it is just your nerves, or that I haven't been around anybody that has been sick...I hate when people say that because I feel like they have no clue how hard it is to calm down during one of these attacks because they really aren't in my shoes dealing with it. I had a huge panic attack in December to where I felt like I was going to pass out, so I ended up going into the emergency room. When I was there the nurse asked if I wanted to talk to someone about going to see a therapist and a psychologist to help learn how to cope with this phobia, so now I go weekly to a therapist and she has family that have IBS and other stomach/digestive disorders, so she can relate to my problems. She has told me to get on forums like this to read about other people's stories to help me have people to talk to about it and possibly get ideas of how to cope with anxiety, IBS, and this phobia.

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