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Thread: Emetophobia/Eating disorder

  1. #1

    Unhappy Emetophobia/Eating disorder

    Hi im 24 years old and have suffered from emetophobia on and off since i was about 8 years old. I have had sessions of counselling and have tried medication before and none of these have helped. unfortunately this is all my GP will offer me. I am looking to see a therapist or have a treatment that will really help me overcome this finally or at least reduce the control it has over my life.

    My phobia has recently developed into what i would consider an eating disorder. I am so fearful of getting food poisoning or picking up a virus that there is virtually nothing i will eat. i sometimes go unto 10 hours with no food because i can't choose what to have or i don't consider the environment I'm in clean enough to comfortably eat in. for example today at work i bought a peanut butter sandwich with me to eat, i just needed somewhere to sit and eat it (i can't eat while walking around or outside because there might be people close to me) but the staff room was full of people and they had hot food that smelt and it made me feel nauseous so i had to leave. but by then it was too late, i felt sick and started to panic and then simply couldn't eat. i waited till i got home and had a proper meal then but by this time i felt dizzy and achey from lack of food after 10 hours.

    I find myself always checking the seals on products and i avoid anything with potential to harm so i don't eat meat, rice, fish, bean sprouts, a lot of cheesy things. its exhausting. I just want to know how i explain this to my GP?! Im not an anorexic and have no body image issues, in fact i hate how thin i am now because its just a reminder that i only look this way because I'm so fearful. I'm only 5'2 and weigh below 7 stone now.
    I am sick of just being put on waiting lists and waiting 3 months to even talk to someone about it, because usually by the time an appointment comes around i have calmed down a bit and have some control. its when I'm fully out of control like now that i desperately need help. Im scared that soon i won't be able to leave the house or go to work or eat at all. This is no quality of life. Im such a happy person normally but this has turned me into a recluse.

    Im willing to pay for treatment at this point, I would love to have a therapist who could help me through this. can anyone recommend treatment for this in the UK London and Greater London preferably.

    And also if anyone has any idea of how i can explain this to my job. I work in Boots as a makeup and beauty advisor. my manager knows my phobia and he knows what to do if he sees me panic. sometimes however i feel like i shouldn't be at work in the state I'm in. Like if i haven't eaten for a while and am weak or if I'm having a really bad day or week. Is it reasonable to call in sick for mental illness or will i end up getting fired? Today i should have gone home but i persevered until i felt faint.

    I would really appreciate some advice and some reassurance
    Desperate to get better,
    Mr Pom (rosie)

  2. #2

    Re: Emetophobia/Eating disorder

    it is really interesting reading these posts from you two.
    The funny thing is I often thought about if I wasn't afraid of vomiting I think I would have become or even tried bulimia.
    The reason behind this is because as a teenager I also had a fear of gaining weight, I was always just under weight but still was scared of gaining weight.
    I didn't eat that much as a teenager.
    When I was 20 I was diagnosed with IBS because I felt sick every time I ate so I just didn't eat that much at all in the fear of feeling sick, I was quite under weight then and actually didn't like it and wish I could put on some weight back then.
    However I always was a nauseous person, feeling sick all the time and had a fear of actually being sick and thought feeling hungry was safer for me.
    For general anxiety I was put on a medication called seroquel and the nauseated feeling went away and I actually ate a lot and put on quite a bit of weight.
    Still didn't like the idea of vomiting but never recorded feeling sick at all while I was on seroquel.
    I did partake in laxative abuse in a minor way though because I couldn't control my appetite and was concerned about my weight gain.
    However I have stopped my seroquel and now the anxiety and nausea has come back, I am kind of happy because I will probably lose some weight but I also am scared of vomiting.
    I often thought that if I wasn't scared of vomiting I probably would engage in self induced vomiting especially after eating a lot of junk food but because vomiting actually terrifies me I have never had the courage to do this myself.
    I often thought if I was a little bit anorexic at high school but I was functioning alright and rather healthy only slightly underweight so I never actually thought about it.
    But I do feel that because I have a fear of vomiting it has saved me from developing an eating disorder as such.
    By the way I didn't even know what emetophobia was until I cam across an FML post on my Facebook and someone mentioned it in the comments.
    But I had a fear of vomiting and seeing others vomit ever since I was a young child I remember scenarios where I had screamed and panicked when I saw someone vomit or if I got sick myself.
    I still go to great lengths now not to vomit myself when I feel really sick and often have a whole heap of anti nausea meds and carry some everywhere I go.
    But yes reading your posts has made me think about this and it could actually be the case, even though my BMI is in the healthy range now but I sitll feel fat and would like to lose some but then eating disorders is not always because you want to lose weight.

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