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Phobia of getting sick, seeing someone getting sick, I want to get help?

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Old 12-03-2006, 07:57 PM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Massachusetts, USA
Posts: 126
shelovescliche HB User
Phobia of getting sick, seeing someone getting sick, I want to get help?

So, I've read the post on here about a fear of throwing up?

I've had the same thing for about six years. The phobia has absolutely PLAGUED me. I can't hear anyone even TALKING about being sick--it makes me nauseated. If someone is sick, I freak out and I won't let them near me (sometimes not even in the same room.) It's gotten to the point where I'm scared of SICK people, even if they just have a cold.

People don't understand why I'm so scared. We had to watch Supersize Me in school, and I knew that there was a part coming up where the guy got sick, and I was trying to get myself to sit there as kind of a "face your fear" type thing...but about one minute to the scene, I flipped out.

I nearly fainted running out of the room, and I sat in the hallway hyperventilating for ten minutes, sweating like crazy, shaking to the point of not being able to stand, heart racing, and EXTREMELY nauseated. I could see other people around me and people asked me if I was okay--I answered them, but I didn't really know what I was doing. It was like I was dreaming, all hazy and out of focus. Also, I honestly (don't ask me why, because I can't understand it) thought I was going to DIE.

Things like this happen when I'm confronted with anything having to do with being sick or throwing up or other people being sick. When I have a stomach virus, I have a panic attack everytime I know I'm going to throw up, which only makes it worse. I try to calm myself down but I CAN'T get it out of my head that I'm going to die.

I know it's completely irrational and everything, but nothing I do helps. I've been on anxiety medication to no avail, and I've talked to my therapist about it but he doesn't know what to do, because it's not an easy "face your fear" type thing.

Has anyone actually gotten over this? I've never known anyone else to have the same problem to the extent that I have--no one likes being sick, but I don't know anyone who has panic attacks because of it.

Is there anything you can do to get rid of something like this? It interrupts my life so severely, I'm desperate to get over it. But I don't know how. Obviously I can't watch a movie with it because I'll have another serious panic attack.

Any advice or experience would be great.

Last edited by ms_mod; 12-04-2006 at 08:48 AM.

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Old 01-20-2007, 09:22 AM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: new brunswick
Posts: 14
freckles1979 HB User
Re: Phobia of getting sick, seeing someone getting sick, I want to get help?

hello there,

What you have is called emetophobia...the fear of vomiting. Yes, I have it too and so does my best friend. If you do a search on google for that word, you will see that you are not the only one going through this, it is actually a very common fear.

I was at the same point as you, I couldnt watch movies that had poeple throwing up, I refused to be around anyone who said they felt sick, and I even had to give up my teaching career because i was scared kids would throw up in the classroom. I can say that I am much better now. Although I still panic when someone says they don't feel well, I can talk about it and even watch movies with it. I don't think about it much anymore. I still don't drink alcool because i'm to scared to get sick, but that's not a big loss.

So how did i do it.......well I did face my fears a bit more, like force myself to watch it on tv, force myself to talk about it. But what really did it was the weekend i got the flu and threw up at my bf's house.....a guy I had only been seing for 2 months, and it was a storm so I couldnt get home. The next day, when i recovered and realized I didnt die, I felt much better and my anxiety about throwing up diminished........

Have faith, you,re not alone, and it is a very hard phobia to face......but you will be ok with time. If you need someone to talk to who understands, i'm here

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