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Nausea caused by stress & Emetophobia?

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Old 11-17-2000, 02:42 PM   #1
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Rumford, RI, USA
Posts: 6
Everest63 HB User
Nausea caused by stress & Emetophobia?

My story is rather involved, but I will try to keep it condensed. In 1981 when I was in boarding school I came down nausea one night. I thought it might be something I ate or possibly the stomache flu. I did not get sick, but felt very uneasy. It came and went throughout the day and nights and lasted 7 weeks! My stomache felt fine. It was almost as if it was not really nausea, but some form of anxiety that mirrored nausea. My mother at the time had ALS and was getting sicker and sicker as the months went on. I was very concerned for her. I thought about her a lot and prayed that she would get better. ALS is a terminal illness. I hoped they would find a cure soon. I saw a doctor about my problem. I had all sorts of tests performed and all came back negative. My digestive system was fine.
In 1985 I got it again and it lasted 10 months. Symptoms were just like before. My mother had died from ALS the year before and my girlfriend of 3 1/2 years broke up with me. We were attending the same college out of state in Texas. She started dating another guy. I saw another doctor and had the same tests as before. All negative. I saw a psychologist a few times and it appeared to help a lot. It went away gradually soon after.
The one I am experiencing now has lasted 2 years. It started one night after my wife and I had a very instense argument about our financial situation which was very bad then and only slightly better now. Our finances are always on my mind. It is very stressful.
I think my anxiety and (pseudo?)nausea has been caused by intense worrying. I never vomit. It starts at around 4:00PM every day and goes away at around 11:00PM before bedtime. I sleep fine. It can arrive even when I am extremely happy and not worrying about anything. Almost as if my subconscious triggers it to start. I also suffer from Emetophobia (fear of vomiting). So, when I get nauseous(?), the Emetophobia kicks in and magnifies the whole situation. My doctor knows my whole history about this. When I asked him last month if he could refer me to a psychologist, he said it would do me no good, a psychologist would not be able to help me.

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Old 11-18-2000, 11:31 PM   #2
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: San Francisco CA US
Posts: 152
Kathrin HB User
Re: Nausea caused by stress & Emetophobia?

WHY did he say a psychologist could not help you? there are good therapies against phobias! You should really try to talk to somebody.


Old 11-19-2000, 12:40 PM   #3
Join Date: Nov 2000
Location: Valley, WA USA
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PatG HB User
Re: Nausea caused by stress & Emetophobia?

My husband is a 52 year old man with PTSD from Vietnam. Due to stress, he has suffered from the following for over 20 years. When his anxiety flares up the following symptoms begin: severe anxiety to extreme nausea without vomiting to cramping of entire digestive system, pyloric spasm, irritable bowel (colon has hemorrhoids), cannot eat or drink as esophagus spasms, cannot sleep, light headedness with possible passing out, depression, acid flow into stomach and up to throat, burning in prior ulcer area, along with chronic pain in foot from it being crushed and pain in hip area where doctor harvested bone for foot, and upper back pain due to carrying a 100# backpack in Nam as he was a front line combat medic. This is a terrible situation for he and I, as he almost died once. Does this sound familiar to what goes on with you due to stress? Are you just getting to the nausea part or do you sense more could or does start to happen in your digestive system? What condition did your mom have and what exactly were her symptoms? You sort of sound like my husband, but only with the nausea part. Just had to offer you this info, along with my questions to you. Pat G

Old 11-23-2000, 12:36 PM   #4
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Nan HB User
Re: Nausea caused by stress & Emetophobia?

Hello Andy,
My name is Anna and I too have severe emetophobia. I am 19 and have had different kinds of anxiety almost my whole life. I think I have always been very disturbed by the experience of vomiting but it didn't become an obsession until I developed panic disorder and agoraphobia at age 13. Since that time, my fear of vomiting and consequential nausea and irritable bowel syndrome have all become much worse. I experience the same kind of nausea as you although I never throw up. The last time I did it was in April as the result of taking a contraceptive can be sure I never tried that again <IMG SRC=""> The time before that was when I was 10! I never do it, which I have heard is often the case with people with emetophobia. I am in therapy now for this fear and my panic disorder, depression, and agoraphobia. I have found that it is very difficult to treat the fear of vomiting. It is quite elusive. However, when your anxiety level is brought down in general, you will not experience all that nausea. I took antidepressants for two years for this and found that they helped a great deal with the digestive problems, although when I did get nauseous, I was still just as afraid. I would highly recommend cognitive behavioral therapy. I really think it would help you. Well, I am just writing to tell you that you are not alone. There are many of us out there who understand what you are going through. If it is any consolation, my grandmother, uncle, and sister all had this fear at times in their lives, and it went away on its own as they sorted through other issues in their lives that were plaguing them. A large part of this fear is the perceived need for control, and my sister and Uncle in particular have told me that I will only be free of the fear when I am willing to give up my false sense of control over something that is impossible to control. I have faith that I will someday regain control over my life and this fear. I am taking steps to overcoming it as often as I am able. I wish you the best of luck in dealing with this and encourage you to please email me if you want to talk to someone who understands... my email is [email protected] ~Anna

Old 01-04-2001, 09:34 AM   #5
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: Ithaca, NY -- Tompkins
Posts: 1
JudyAnn HB User
Re: Nausea caused by stress & Emetophobia?


I have had problems with Anxiety/Panic Attacks for years. Recently, however, I had gone several years without any problems until the last few months when apparently my nerves became sensitized again and I had a major panic attack one night. It has been a hard road back but I think I'm almost there. My main problem at this time is my stomach. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one whose nerves upset there stomach. To understand my nerves I read the books by Dr. Claire Weeks, "Hope and Help for Your Nerves" and Peace from Nervous Suffering". They are the best books on the market. You should be able to get a copy in your local library or get a new copy from I recommend these books to you so you will at least be able to understand what's going on with your nerves and with your stomach and maybe by practicing what Dr. Weeks has to say will indeed help your stomach without medication. I'm still hoping that if I keep myself calm and collected (by using suggestions in these books) maybe my stomach will indeed heal itself. It is indeed better!!! I, too, have exactly the same stomach problems that you do. It usually starts sometime during the day and when I go to bed I feel better and sleep fine. I was once diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. You might want to read up on that also.

I recommend to anyone who has bad nerves to read these books. It helps you to understand whats going on with your body and your nerves.

Read them!! Let me know what you think.


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