Emetephobia

(16 Posts)
anahata Sat 03-Sep-16 13:15:44

Hi

Posting here partly because of traffic, but also partly because am I simply being unreasonable?

I grew up with an older sister who is petrified of vomit. Even now, 30 years on, if her kids are ill, she will call our elderly parents.

That fear of vomit has unfortunately rubbed off to both me and her 7 year old daughter.

I was diagnosed late teens with multiple serious health issues. I've had countless numbers of major bowel, kidney and ovarian surgeries over the last 10 years. Sometimes at home I vomit from sheer pain levels. That frightened me to start with, but 10 years on I'm used to it now. I vomit massive amounts for many days after each surgery, to the point that if I have an op and am in hospital for a week, I usually lose over a stone.

I am exceptionally lucky in that I had private health care with my job, so I've always been in my own room in hospital. The last op last winter was slightly different as I had a week in a 4 bed intensive care unit, though for the last 3 days it was just me in it.

I don't care about me vomiting now. The idea of other people vomiting nearby terrifies me. Like more than surgery does.

I haven't flown for a few years because of it. I always had the knack of being seated close by to the projectile vomiting drunk passenger, on several flights back to back. Or the turbulent flights causing air sickness.

I'm terrified of the idea of being put on a big ward in hospital for this reason. I hate public transport because of it. I struggle to visit anyone in hospital because of it.

Does anyone else experience this? Please can anyone give me some productive advice?

Thank you for reading xx

Excited101 Sat 03-Sep-16 13:20:35

Look into this op www.emetophobia.co.uk/

tallulahturtle Sat 03-Sep-16 14:04:56

Hi, im emetophobic, its a horrible thing to suffer from and its impact can be massive. I too hate flying now and would need sedation to get me to stay in a hospital let along be on a ward. Luckily I don't have a maternal bone in my body but id never want kids as I wouldn't be able to handle them being ill nor would i want to pass my fear on. I don't know how you lot manage with ill kids.

CapricornCalling Sat 03-Sep-16 15:38:37

I have suffered emetophobia from a very young age It's horrible. I really sympathise OP.

MrsMonkeyBear Sat 03-Sep-16 17:20:52

I'm emetiphobic and it was very late onset with me. I wasn't diagnosed until my late 20s. I did 2 years on citalopram and anti sickness meds. I started CBT which helped me figure out coping mechanisms.

We did a lot of "What's the worst that could happen" scenarios, which I still use now. I only did 3 sessions when I found out I was pregnant. It really spurred on my determination to recover.

I wouldn't say I'm ever going to be cured but I'm definitely better. I can cope with my dd if she's poorly and I'm off the ads but still have emergency anti emetics in the house at all times.

CrohnicallyAspie Sat 03-Sep-16 17:42:26

I'm emetophobic but with quite a different presentation (probably because of my autism). I only panic at the point it happens (when I'm vomiting I honestly think I'm going to die). I can deal with DD fine. Anyone else I panic if I even think they're going to vomit, and if they do I have flashbacks etc for a while afterwards.

I'm on ADs for general anxiety but it has helped my phobia a little. I try really hard not to let it affect my life- I don't allow for any 'safety behaviours' as I know they perpetuate the phobia. And I only avoid situations where meeting vomit is 'quite likely' (eg hospitals, coach journeys) not just 'possible' (eg GPs surgery, shorter bus journeys)

stripes416 Sat 03-Sep-16 17:55:20

Hello, sorry to hear about what you've been going through. I had this really bad throughout college to the point I stopped leaving the house in fear I would catch a bug or see somebody poorly, I stopped eating everything except cereal in case I got food poisoning blush I was referred to counselling by my gp but didn't go as I was worried they would try to "cure" me by showing me pictures of vomit!

Over time I sort of just talked myself out of it and realised that there's nothing you can do to stop it, people get poorly and its uncontrollable and if you think about it, how often do you really see people actually be sick? I used to think every where I went it would happen but it's actually a rare thing to witness.. Although I do understand that your saying your worried about it in hospitals which would be more likely.. I think speaking to a professional would benefit you maybe some cbt or counselling sessions. I genuinely don't think you can ever fully stop having the phobia it will always be with you but hopefully you can get it controlled to the point where you can do things in life without having it in the back of your mind constantly

malloo Sat 03-Sep-16 18:00:47

Please give Rob Kelly 's book a try 'cure your emetophobia and thrive'. It's on amazon, not sure how to do a link here. It has made an amazing difference to my life. I wouldn't say I'm cured 100% but I can now live a normal life, before I really couldn't because my emeto phobia was so bad. It's a horrible thing to have. Good luck flowers

JinkxMonsoon Sat 03-Sep-16 18:06:52

Totally understand how you feel. I am much more phobic of other people vomiting than myself (I had a gastro bug for the first time in 25 years this year. It was horrible but I survived). If DH is sick due to alcohol or illness I panic and shake uncontrollably for ages. Doesn't help that he's one of these people that makes ungodly noises as he's vomiting.

bigboypants Sat 03-Sep-16 18:11:27

I have a friend with this, other people are quite dismissive of it, I didn't actually realise how bad it was when I first met her. It's not just actual vomiting with her though, she seems to have a spidey sense for any suspicious looking puddles/piles in the street that I never notice and starts to panic and gets very nervous around anyone coughing, particularly kids.

I have sent her text warnings in the past if I'm watching something on tv that I know she'll watch later and anyone vomits, she gets her husband to fast forward and tell her when it's over.

Massive sympathy for anyone who lives with this, I didn't realise it was common. My friend is the only person I've ever met who suffers with it.

TattiePants Sat 03-Sep-16 18:12:02

I can't offer any advice but I'm also emetophobic (didn't realise it had a name until reading about it on MN a couple of years ago). For me, it has gradually crept up over a number of years. Looking back my mum is mildly affected and that has rubbed off on me, I was also bulimic in my early 20's and had 40 weeks of morning sickness, all of which has added to it.

I was last on a plane 7 years ago and the thought of getting on one now - either in case I was seated next to someone vomiting or if I was sick - terrifies me. I won't go on a boat or any kind of fairground ride because I'm terrified I'll be sick or someone near me will be. If we go to a pub or concert I'm looking about for anyone who is drunk and could be sick. Recently we were camping with friends and one of their children was sick during the night and I had to avoid her the next day as I was terrified of her either being sick or passing it on to us.

Fortunately my children aren't very sickly so it's not something I have to cope with often and DH will always deal with it if he is there. I'm also ok with being sick myself as long as I am in private.

TattiePants Sat 03-Sep-16 18:15:46

Malloo off to add that book and a mooncup (another thread) to my Amazon order!

Tagetes Sat 03-Sep-16 18:17:46

I'm not emetophobic but I really can't understand why it's necessary to show people being so graphically sick in film and tv dramas nowadays. A bit of dry heaving is surely enough to indicate what's going to happen? It must be awful for emetophobes to caught off guard.

sticks2 Sat 03-Sep-16 18:21:48

Both my sons suffer from this. One fears seeing others vomit and the other is petrified of vomiting himself. He has to call feeling sick, feeling 'ill' as he can't even say the word.

There's an expert in it -Dr David Veale who's in London

Dapplegrey2 Sat 03-Sep-16 18:24:42

Targetes I've often wondered that. As an emetophobe the series The Wire which I would normally have enjoyed, was ruined by gratuitous vomiting scenes.
They don't show people on the loo (maybe they do, but I've never seen that) so why graphic vomiting scenes.

Crunchymum Sat 03-Sep-16 18:37:50

I'm emetephobic.

My phobia manifests itself in the fear of other people being sick (helps that I am very rarely ill). I am a panicky traveller will beg to sit away from kids on a plane for example as they are more likely to be travel sick and I never use coaches. I don't use public transport late at night (drunk people more likely to be sick) and we don't have a car.

That said I am not completely ruled by my phobia.

I have 2 kids and I can steel myself to to deal with them when they are sick - although they are young so touch wood not had any awful vomiting bugs yet

Day to day I cope fine but when I have an incident [recently a cyclist pulled over quite suddenly and projectile vomited as I walked past] it shakes me up and puts me off kilter for days.

If I hear someone we have been around is sick I go on a bleaching blitz - door handles, banisters, light switches, although I'm not a massive clean freak in general I do the loo daily though

I have hospital grade handwash for when we do get ill.

Hospital for me is an ordeal. Have thankfully only been when having the kids, plus a few trips to A&E over the years for said kids. I have actually yet to see anything awful in A&E but someone spewing in the waiting room would have me out the door.... I'd have to leave DP with the kids.

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