Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Emetophobia taking over

  1. #1

    Emetophobia taking over

    Hi All,

    It's been awhile since I've had to post on here, but I'm having a new spike with my anxiety, and this is such an amazing community I'm hoping I can get any advice from people who find themselves in a similar situation, and also offer any reassurance or comfort to those in a similar boat.

    Recently, I've developed a strong case of emetophobia. This was entirely unexpected (but isn't it always?), as I've never been much of a person prone to stomach problems (gives me anxiety to type that as I feel as if it's marking me to be the next target of a stomach bug ), and when I've had to throw up in the past, while it hasn't been fun by any means, it hasn't been traumatizing.

    For reasons too complicated to go into in one post, I've developed a lot of shame and guilt associated with throwing up, which has manifested itself into strong emetophobia. I am CONSTANTLY scanning and checking myself for symptoms, and eating food or going out for a drink has become a nightmare. Every meal I calculate when food poisoning would hit, and and then the anxiety cycle starts, especially if it falls during a time I would be at work, out, or in any public place. I still get anxious if I don't have plans that night and will just be at home, but it is less so. Now we have the winter stomach bug going around my office, and I'm on high alert. Washing my hands frequently, googling how long it takes for symptoms to last, getting nervous walking into meetings with someone who had it in the past couple of weeks, etc.

    Where my mind goes when the anxiety hits is the image of me getting the sudden urge to throw up when in the middle of a public space, and then just having it happen (not having enough time to run to the bathroom). This hits especially hard in Ubers or train rides home where I can't easily get out, but also hits just when I'm hanging out with friends because I worry about what would happen if I suddenly got sick when with them (they would of course do nothing but be supportive and kind, but that's not the way anxiety brain works does it?)

    The wonderfully ironic thing is that with all of this anxiety, I am literally worrying myself sick. IBS symptoms kicked up a few months ago, and on a daily basis I feel nauseous and queasy, and sometimes feel the huge sudden urge to vomit when I feel trapped. All of these go away once my mind is distracted, so clearly they're all symptoms of anxiety.

    This is all exacerbated by a couple of big events. In a few weeks I'm turning 30 and have planned a trip down to New Orleans with a group of friends. I started planing the trip before the emetophobia kicked in, and I'm petrified now. Also coming up is a theater show with my Mom that we have been planning for a long time and she is so excited about. And the biggest one that really started this whole thing is that next year my brother asked me to be his "Best Maid of Honor" (I'm his little sister) in his wedding. Instead of being excited about all of these, I just keep thinking about what if I get food poisoning or have the stomach bug during it? What if I puke in the middle of the ceremony or the show with my mom and ruin the experience for everyone? Or for the trip to NOLA, what if my anxiety doesn't dissipate by then and I spend the entire time being worried about getting food poisoning from all the delicious food we want to try, and I can't get out of my head enough to enjoy the trip?

    I don't know exactly what I'm looking for with this post, and I'm sorry it's so long. I guess I'm just reaching out to see if anyone else is in the same boat? Or have you been here in the past and have any tips for how to make it through this? I'm also here to help reassure anyone who is in a similar vain or needs to talk. I have an excellent therapist and he's helping me with exposure therapy with this, but this feels so overwhelming and unlike anything I've ever experienced before. I feel so lost and helpless, and I guess I'm mostly just reaching out.
    Last edited by leanderson2012; 19-02-20 at 19:59.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    , , United Kingdom.
    Posts
    44,189

    Re: Emetophobia taking over

    Hi

    This is just a courtesy reply to let you know that your post was moved from its original place to a sub-forum that is more relevant to your issue.

    This is nothing personal - it just enables us to keep posts about the same problems in the relevant forums so other members with any experience with the issues can find them more easily.

    Please also read this post:

    http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/showthread.php?t=213239
    __________________
    Nicola

    ďDon't be afraid of death; be afraid of an unlived life. You don't have to live forever, you just have to live.Ē - Natalie Babbitt

    Please help keep NMP running and donate to the running costs: http://www.nomorepanic.co.uk/donate




  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2016
    Posts
    2,854

    Re: Emetophobia taking over

    Hello,
    Iím so sorry youíre going through this.
    I donít have a lot of advice as I have emetophobia too, but mine really focuses on my child - I fear her being sick! I think itís the lack of control thing.

    So that being said, you have 3 big events coming up and they must be quite stressful - although very enjoyable, youíll have a lot on your shoulders and is it possible that your anxiety is focusing itself on emetophobia as an outlet for the worry?

    Perhaps if you start some planning lists for the events, maybe keep a journal to track your thoughts, then maybe itíll help to alleviate the stress a bit. On top of that, have you tried mindfulness? It might be a help in al of your situations.

    You are at a wonderful point of your life - I really loved my 30ís! And it would be such a shame to miss out on all the good opportunities, events and food. I lost a lot of my 20ís to my fear of being sick on a train or passing out in a supermarket. I stopped socialising and lost a lot of my friends. The ones that I still have 20 years later weíre so patient.

    Anyway, I digress!
    Youíre not alone, itís a really common phobia- I mean, who wants to be sick? But itís not going to suddenly creep up on you, youíll be ok. Enjoy these fabulous events - how wonderful that youíre such an important part of your brothers wedding! Iíd be a bit stressed too, but so would ďnormalĒ people.

  4. #4

    Re: Emetophobia taking over

    Thank you, Scass. I'm sorry that you have to deal with this too, especially when it's with your daughter! I can imagine it must be a lot more difficult when you're worried about your child. But she's lucky to have you.

    That's an excellent point about the anxiety latching onto emetophobia. My therapist thinks it stems from me putting pressure on myself to be perfect during these evens, so I think you're probably spot on. Mindfulness is a great suggestion too.

    It's refreshing to hear that you felt the same way and have been able to regain some control over your life. I feel completely overrun by this; it's unlike anything I've experienced before and my fear is that this is how things will be forever now. It seems very intense and real.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,076

    Re: Emetophobia taking over

    I could of written this myself. Although Iím a little younger than yourself and my emetophobia has been lifelong.

    The only thing thatís really helped me is having my doctor prescribe some antiemetics. I did use them quite heavily to start with sort of as a crutch to get me through the stressful things but knowing that I shouldnít be able to be sick while taking them made me much more comfortable. Especially for my best friends wedding (I was his best woman too!) and I had a lot of anxiety about standing up with him in the ceremony and then for the speech too. It was a wonderful day and Iím so proud of being able to be there for him though. They helped me with my own wedding too.

    Over the last few months however Iíve actually only taken less than a handful of them with nausea associated with my cycle and not a single one in over a month now. Even with going and getting a tattoo a couple of days ago! I think they gave me back the sense of control I was lacking, and knowing that they are always there to take if I need them has meant that I actually donít need them anymore and Iím not so worried about it.

    Iím still emetophobic and I imagine I probably always will be by this point but Iím eating well, even take out food. And Iím not counting days or hours from food/going out waiting for symptoms to come in.

    Positive vibes,

    Mouse


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    __________________
    The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

    But I have promises to keep,

    And miles to go before I sleep. - Robert Frost

  6. #6

    Re: Emetophobia taking over

    That's amazing, Midnight-mouse, well done! I can't imagine eating take out food without a lot of anxiety and count downs right now, so that's amazing that you've been able to get to that point, that's huge for somebody with emetophobia!! And being able to reduce needing the anti-nausea medicine, that shows real progress. It's really refreshing to hear stories of people who experience this, but have been able to find a way to still enjoy life (and food, drinks, events, etc).

    I think that's a good suggestion for the antiemetics. I've also considered taking CBD gummies (now that they're legal where I live!) on these bigger occasions to just give me the knowledge that it's even less likely that I'll throw up. I think for the wedding especially that will be helpful. I guess I was kind of worried of becoming reliant on them, but your case is a clear case that they can be helpful and productive, and not turn into a crutch.

    Today I find myself completely focused on another health related issue related to the unexpected death of a friend earlier this year due to a very rare illness. Unsurprisingly, I have had no stomach issues today, which is a nice break, but instead suddenly am showing all early warning signs of that illness instead. Funny how that works out .

    I think a big part of the recovery for this seems to be just accepting the fact that it will happen again, and when it does, it won't be as bad as I think it is. And how often does food poisoning or the stomach flu really happen? I envy my friends and coworkers who get the stomach flu/food poisoning, or have partners/roommates who have the stomach flu, and just accept it as gross and upsetting, but momentary part of life that does not define you as a person.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,076

    Re: Emetophobia taking over

    Quote Originally Posted by leanderson2012 View Post
    That's amazing, Midnight-mouse, well done! I can't imagine eating take out food without a lot of anxiety and count downs right now, so that's amazing that you've been able to get to that point, that's huge for somebody with emetophobia!! And being able to reduce needing the anti-nausea medicine, that shows real progress. It's really refreshing to hear stories of people who experience this, but have been able to find a way to still enjoy life (and food, drinks, events, etc).

    I think that's a good suggestion for the antiemetics. I've also considered taking CBD gummies (now that they're legal where I live!) on these bigger occasions to just give me the knowledge that it's even less likely that I'll throw up. I think for the wedding especially that will be helpful. I guess I was kind of worried of becoming reliant on them, but your case is a clear case that they can be helpful and productive, and not turn into a crutch.

    Today I find myself completely focused on another health related issue related to the unexpected death of a friend earlier this year due to a very rare illness. Unsurprisingly, I have had no stomach issues today, which is a nice break, but instead suddenly am showing all early warning signs of that illness instead. Funny how that works out .

    I think a big part of the recovery for this seems to be just accepting the fact that it will happen again, and when it does, it won't be as bad as I think it is. And how often does food poisoning or the stomach flu really happen? I envy my friends and coworkers who get the stomach flu/food poisoning, or have partners/roommates who have the stomach flu, and just accept it as gross and upsetting, but momentary part of life that does not define you as a person.
    It would of been easy to fall into being too comfortable just relying on antiemetic, in fact I have a friend with the same phobia that does take them multiple times a day every day. I had to be strict with myself after a while.

    As for how often it happens really, I havenít had a stomach bug thatís made me vomit in easily 15+ years even when I wasnít at all being careful and going to a very large school. My husband hasnít had one in 7 years either. Much to my displeasure (and OCD) his hand hygiene and food safety is a far shout from my own. So realistically itís not something we should be worried about too much but even with all the logical thinking in the world, thatís not how phobias tend to operate.

    We can work on things though, my biggest achievement was starting to eat take away chicken curry again last year, from the local Indian takeaway and not panicking or counting out the hours. More recently Iíve been able to relax a lot more after being out in public and not doing a 72 hour count down convinced I had picked up a stomach bug. It is possible, it takes a good amount of mental determination.

    Iíve supported my mum when sheís had gastritis attacks that cause her to vomit, even if every atom of my being wants to run. But it is one of the reasons Iíve chosen to not have children, that and many others completely unrelated to my phobias and mental illnesses mind you!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    __________________
    The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

    But I have promises to keep,

    And miles to go before I sleep. - Robert Frost

  8. #8

    Re: Emetophobia taking over

    That's amazing!! I really don't know how I would handle somebody getting sick around me. Of course I would want to help them, but just as you put it, every atom of me would want to run.

    We have a stomach bug going around the office right now and I'm totally panicking. But I'm trying to face the fears - bagels and breakfast spread was put out today and I am going to force myself to have some of it. I know my coworkers aren't licking all the donuts and bagels that are laid out, everyone is just grabbing what they want and that's it, but I'm still panicking. But I'm going to try to go for it to face this fear. Wish me luck

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2017
    Posts
    1,076

    Re: Emetophobia taking over

    Quote Originally Posted by leanderson2012 View Post
    That's amazing!! I really don't know how I would handle somebody getting sick around me. Of course I would want to help them, but just as you put it, every atom of me would want to run.

    We have a stomach bug going around the office right now and I'm totally panicking. But I'm trying to face the fears - bagels and breakfast spread was put out today and I am going to force myself to have some of it. I know my coworkers aren't licking all the donuts and bagels that are laid out, everyone is just grabbing what they want and that's it, but I'm still panicking. But I'm going to try to go for it to face this fear. Wish me luck
    You will be fine, in fact stomach bugs arenít easily spread by saliva at all. Itís hands mainly, as long as everyone touches only what they eat (most adults do) then itís perfectly fine. Enjoy your donut/bagel! These fears shouldnít limit our lives everyday when the Ďworst possibleí would only make a couple days a little miserable before we felt better!


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
    __________________
    The woods are lovely, dark and deep,

    But I have promises to keep,

    And miles to go before I sleep. - Robert Frost

  10. #10

    Re: Emetophobia taking over

    Thank you!! I went for it and got my bagel (who would have thought that would be considered to be such an accomplishment?!) I'm going to try to embrace the fact that it's done and I'm proud of myself for facing this fear, and there's nothing else I can do at this point. If I get it, as you said, it will just be a few days of grossness and I'll be back to normal. Trying to repeat this as much as possible and keep the panic at bay. Deep breaths

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Thread Information

Users Browsing this Thread

There are currently 1 users browsing this thread. (0 members and 1 guests)

Similar Threads

  1. Stopped taking my Propranolol suddenly/Bad at taking medication.
    By halseys-mic in forum Propranolol / Inderal
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 27-08-16, 23:28
  2. How long to leave before taking citalopram after taking 5htp?
    By Calvin86 in forum Citalopram / Celexa
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 08-02-16, 17:40
  3. My Emetophobia is taking over my life
    By maeanna in forum Emetophobia
    Replies: 13
    Last Post: 20-07-09, 23:30

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •