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EMETOPHOBIA!!! That's my biggest phobia!

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Old 11-13-2007, 10:50 AM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: United States
Posts: 55
ocdsux108 HB User
EMETOPHOBIA!!! That's my biggest phobia!

EMETOPHOBIA!!! That's my biggest phobia! It is terrible & soooo hard to explain to people who don't get it! I've had people tell me "nobody likes to throw up". Well, frankly, it's way more severe than that! I would rather have pneumonia or anything else than a stomach sickness. Sometimes, I think that I'm going nuts because I am not normal & can't eat like everyone else...only "safe foods". I lost alot of weight until I got pregnant...gained weight (to everyone's surprise) & now am just severely anemic, B-12 deficient & weak & tired 24hrs a day! I'd rather stay like this than eat something that MIGHT make me throw up! Sad but true! Does anyone know of a truly helpful therapy? I've been in anxiety clinics with my own Emet counselor & I'm back to square one! Desenitization didn't work for me at all!!!

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Old 12-04-2007, 04:50 PM   #2
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: North Carolina
Posts: 1
syd1234 HB User
Unhappy EMETOPHOBIA!!! That's my biggest phobia!

Hi, I am frequently having panic attacks specifically when I think I am going to throw up. Just reading some of these posts are making me nauseous. I dont know what to do. I try to tell my parents about my problem. I have been researching Emetophobia and I have all of the symptoms when I feel like I am about to vomit: heart racing, sweaty palms, panic attacks, and nausea. I feel really light-headed and I pace around the room constantly.My parents wont believe me and say that I am just being "over dramatic". I know it is more that just being dramatic. Ever since I was little and was at church this kid ran around throwing up and wouldnt was disgusting(sorry if I am making you sick by reading this... I know I would) and I was kind of scarred after that.
Anyway... I dont mean to rag on it's just all of you know what I am going through. There is no one to turn to because like I said, no one believes me enough to get me help. They said that no one likes throwing up.
When someone in my house or is around me that has a stomach ache, I get as far away from them as possible. I wont eat for days, and I will lock myself in my room and wont come out until a week later. Please help! It makes me feel so much better that I am not the only one!

Last edited by ms_mod; 12-05-2007 at 07:56 AM.

Old 12-04-2007, 08:07 PM   #3
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Castle Rock, CO, 80104
Posts: 1
mims HB User
EMETOPHOBIA!!! That's my biggest phobia!

Wow. . . There are no words to describe how relieved I am to know that I am not the only one. I know that my reply is going to be long(sorry), but to be able to express what I have been going through with people who can understand how it feels is, well it's been much needed! Don't get me wrong, I have some great people in my life who support me but nonetheless they can't truly sympathize. My fear of you know what started when I was about 7 or so. Every night after I would go to bed I would come back upstairs to tell my parents that I didn't feel good, more specifically my throat felt funny and that my stomache hurt. From the time I was 14 until I was 24 I managed to not you know what. I had all sorts of tricks and "habits" to keep me safe. I consider myself a very logical person but when it comes to this, logic is overshadowed by fear. When it finally happened last year it was the result from drinking a little bit to much. I spent most of my so far short adult life avoiding drunken states due to the fear of what results would occur but I guess after going so long without getting sick I felt sort of invencible. It wasn't as bad as I had built it up to be,but then it happened again a couple of weeks later and this time it lasted a good 12 hours or so. Fastforward to a couple of months later and it happened again! This time it was much worse. My husband had to take me to the urgent care because I was so dehydrated and out of it. Wether or not it was food poisoning or the dreaded stomache flu, it revived my phobia all over and this time it crept into every corner of my life with a vivid hold over my every thought and action. As I have read through everyone's messages I have found myself laughing at the similarities between them and my own story. Everything from not ever eating the same food I ate that day to throwing away the clothes I wore when it happened. As time went on I started to develope OCD behaviors, and really wierd ones to boot. To this day I won't park in a parking lot facing south because that was the direction I was parked when I drove home from work the night I got sick. I HAVE to eat tortilla chips and Milk Dud's every night before I go to bed along with water out of my designated night time cups. When anyone around me acts funny or out of character I automatically assume that it is because they have the stomach flu and I get as far away from them as possible and proceed to have a 3 day panic attack. I wash my hands so much that they are cracked and bleeding and I like so many of you will only eat "safe" foods that are less likely to contain food poisoning. Here's the fun part. . . last year while all of this was going on I was repeatively getting an upset lower stomache. Immodium became my best friend and I lost a whopping 15 pounds(and at 5'4" going from 116 to 101 was not good). As I prepared to walk down the aisle to my future husband to be all I could think of was how unhealthy I looked with my bones popping out and my sunken-in eyes and cheeks. I finally went to a gastonologist and have been on the road to what we think might be Celiac disease Who know's, maybe after a life full of wheat, it had made me feel sick all the time thus making me scared of you know what. I have made great strides over the past six months in gaining control over my fear but I still have flares. I work retail so being around the general public all day is a struggle within itself. I still freak out every time my stomache grumbles,or I get unusually gassy, or my loved ones have stomache issues. But there are a few things I can suggest to all of you. Find an activity that requires alot of attention to detail. For instance I have taken up bead work. Taking my mind off the fear through redirected focus is great! Second, I believe our fear results from not being able to live in the here and now. We are constantly taking what has happened into the past and projecting it into the future. Start with small exercises like walking down the street. Instead of thinking about where you have just come from and where you are about to go, think about how your feet feel against the ground, the light around you, the sounds of the street. I am seeking a good therapist and am going to try to stay off meds if possible but who knows? I hope to have children some day and the thought of moring sickness and my cildren getting sick makes my palms sweat and my heart race, but I continue to find strength in my faith and support from boards like this one. I will keep all of you in my prayers and we are ALL going to make it, ok? Keep your chins up!

Last edited by ms_mod; 12-05-2007 at 07:56 AM.

Old 12-23-2007, 11:09 AM   #4
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: san diego, california, u.s.
Posts: 1
mtj2 HB User
Re: EMETOPHOBIA!!! That's my biggest phobia!

i am so relieved to know that others have this same phobia. i just found out what is was called. i have had this phobia since i was 6. it is alot worse than people think. i was diagnosed with OCD but really it is emetophbia. i think that vomiting is the most digusting thing ever and i avoid it at all costs. if i even see it i have a panic attack and feel like i need to shower immediatly even if i am far away from it. it is really bad.

Old 04-16-2008, 03:11 AM   #5
Senior Member
Join Date: Mar 2008
Location: NZ
Posts: 140
mary63 HB Usermary63 HB User
Re: EMETOPHOBIA!!! That's my biggest phobia!

Hi guys- interesting that we all got our phobia as young kids- i remember hearing my sister throwing up and trying so hard to block my ears <BECAUSE> i was got really bad when i had an anxiety attack in class when i was 13- ran out of class feeling sick. For the next 3 or so years i never ate breakfast or lunch on school days or on buses or whatever...used to eat my lunch after school- pretty wierd but no-one noticed so of course it was my wee private phobia. When i had my daughter it was hard.. i would stand over her like the grim reaper when she felt sick... poor thing..much easier now that she is older. HOpe she doesn't get the same <PROBLEM> I have a thing about cars parked on sides of roads- thinking someone is throwing up..somehow it horrifies me but i am also morbidly obsessed with it...!!!I agree with the last poster- definitely keeping occupied helps. Also i have a good supply of anti-nausea meds!
I am amazed that there are others out there- i never ever knew that it was something other people had. not an easy thing to desensitize against thats for sure...

Last edited by ms_mod; 04-16-2008 at 06:57 AM. Reason: Please always use whole words in your posts. There are some who have to translate this board into their native language.

Old 05-07-2008, 05:42 AM   #6
Senior Veteran
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: australia
Posts: 581
Trixibel HB User
Re: EMETOPHOBIA!!! That's my biggest phobia!

This board is amazing. I never even knew this thing had a name. I was so bad when I was eleven that I used to look in the mirror before bed every night to see if I had any symptoms that might mean I was going to throw up. I didn't really get the phobia until I was 9 and one night my brother spent the whole night throwing up out of his bedroom window. I was going through a very anxious time then, so maybe it just exacerbated it all. Anyway i was terrified of it until about the age of 16 when I got sick after drinking too much and then I was better. I still don't like it but I can hold the bowl for my kids and stroke their hair and clean up afterwards and it doesn't phase me like it used to. So there's hope for you all. I have a different phobia now. When you think people parked on the side of the road are throwing up I think they're having heart attacks.

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