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Messages By: hunny7784

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September 5, 2005, 8:03 am CDT

Emetophobia

 I am a 21 year old emetophobic, and have been this way since I was in 2nd grade.  I am not sure what exactly triggered this fear but I do remember a time before that when I was not afraid of vomit.  I am relieved in a sense, to know that there is someone out there who also experiences what I experience.  It completely takes over my life, and I do not go a day without thinking about whether I'm going to be sick or not.  My fear definitely accelerates in more foreign surroundings and that is when more anxiety takes flight.  The worst time is when a family member gets sick however.  It completely consumes every breath of me.  My habits take a turn for the worst so as to avoid the contagious germs.  I also have this immense sense of guilt for people who vomit because to me, it is the worst feeling in the world.  I have no idea how to go about curing this phobia because it doesn't seem like there are specialists out there who know how I am feeling.  You really don't know what a phobia is like until you have to constatnly deal with one...I'm sure all of you can relate to that. 
 
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September 5, 2005, 7:43 pm CDT

To my fellow emetophobics

 I am extremely relieved to hear your stories and comforted to know that there are people out there like me.  I have felt like I was alone for such a long time, drawing people away because the fear consumed my life.  I have done much research on this and at 21 years of age I feel like I know a lot about our phobia.  Did you know that the majority of emetophobics don't actually throw up?  We have this subconscious part of our brain that fights off the action of vomiting.  Also, I have actually hyperventalated and almost passed out because I was so nauseus before.  Has this ever happened to anyone else?  I hear a lot about everyone being afraid of vomiting in front of people but that isn't my major fear.  My fear is of other people vomiting and "catching" the germs so I get sick....then my fear turns into me getting sick.  I think if contagion was eliminated from the equation, I would be able to cope with anxiety easier....because then I could start trying to face vomit itself.  I once took care of someone who was drunk and vomiting because I knew they weren't contagious.  Of course I was crying through it all but at least I got through it and can say I did...it was a huge step for me....don't know if I could do it anytime again soon though.  Anyway, is there anyone out there with a success story to lead me in the right direction?  I am so sick of being controlled by a fear.  Do help us!  Thanks!
 
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September 7, 2005, 2:45 pm CDT

Just a note

Quote From: lwongf

I am 18 yrs old and I've been living with this fear since 2nd grade.  I just watched the dr. phil show on phobias and I can completely relate to what Carey is going through.  I don't know why I came to have this fear and it is comforting to know other people can relate.  I've had the anxiety worse and a little better through out the years, almost in waves.   When I have a bad experience with someone throwing up the worrying comes back strong.  At a real bad point I couldn't go to school, maybe 1 or 2 days at most.  I would get so anxious, sometimes in class I'd have to just walk out.  I ate very little during this period and my weight got as low as 92 lbs (I'm 5'2''). I even had a coach ask me if I had an eating disorder.  I'm ashamed to tell my parents and often when I would panic I'd just say I didn't feel good and went through countless medical tests because they thought something was wrong.  To make that long story short I ended up going to psychiatrist/psychologist and taking antidepressents.  None of those really helped and I just found as I didn't have any "vomiting experiences", the worrying subsided and I've been able to lead a relatively normal life right now, able to eat, go out, ride planes etc.  although the worrying is always in the back of my head.  I'm worried I will relapse into that bad of a situation as I'm going off to college and have a whole life ahead of me.  I can only resign my self to deal with the situations as they come.  Like I said it's comforting to read other similar stories and I add mine to the many. :)
 Just wanted to let you know that I completely see a mirror image of you in me.  I was scared of college too and yes there were many people vomiting over alcohol but I think that might help you get over it more.  It's going to be hard at first I imagine, as it was for me, but I can say that it did help knowing that they weren't contagious.  Going to college alone is a huge step for you and all emetophobics.....the best thing to do is not let it control us more than it already has....the intensity of the control obviously varies among each individual but the fear alone affects us all in the smallest ways.  As a senior in college I can tell you that you will be just fine.  Your experiences and fears you may encounter will definitely help you in the long run, whether you may beieve it at the time or not.  Keep an open mind, open heart, and open can of lysol around :)  I wish you the best of luck in your journey through college!  Take care!
 

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