AIBU to wish this stupid phobia would go away?

(32 Posts)
MySmallToeNail Sat 04-Jan-14 20:06:00

Have a severe phobia about being sick that impacts on my whole life. I have a very restricted diet now, due to being scared of 'unsafe' foods and as for this time of year with the 'sick bug', I hate even going out. I get so stressed when having to go to see people in hospital - have a poorly MIL - and have panic attacks if I see someone be ill on tv - even if it is on a soap and not real!!
Hate how pathetic this makes me feel sad

autumnsmum Sat 04-Jan-14 20:08:49

I'm the same I'm terrified being around sick. .its not stupid it's fear many people have

greenbananas Sat 04-Jan-14 20:10:07

Phobias are weird and nearly always a bit irrational. That's the nature of the beast! - so don't blame yourself.

Are there any particular foods or situations that genuinely make you sick? (am thinking intolerance and such like)

SomethingkindaOod Sat 04-Jan-14 20:10:42

Didn't want to leave you unanswered, just had a search because I was sure I saw something in active convos and I was right, there's an Emetophobes thread in the mental health section, quite a big one as well.
thanks for you! it must be horrible to deal with x

SomethingkindaOod Sat 04-Jan-14 20:11:40

X posted, sorry blush

YANBU to wish it would fuck off, but YABU to feel pathetic. Emetophobia is reasonably common, I believe. My sister has it, but not as badly as you. There are lots of sufferers on here, so please don't feel alone! Someone will be able to point you in the direction of practical help, I'm sure.

CrohnicallySick Sat 04-Jan-14 20:12:29

Have you been to the doctors? I also suffer with emetophobia, though not to the extent you do. Anyway, I took fluoxetine for depression a while back, and as a bonus my emetophobia vastly reduced (fluoxetine/Prozac is also licenced as an anti anxiety med). My DD was sick yesterday and I not only stayed in the room, I did all the cleaning!

So I would say, go to the doctors, start a med but also CBT- cognitive behaviour therapy- which will help modify your thoughts so you aren't as scared.

And the good news is, being less scared doesn't mean you're more likely to be sick! (I know that was a worry of mine)

And it's not pathetic, it's one of the most common phobias out there, just one that isn't talked about very much.

Killinascullion Sat 04-Jan-14 20:12:33

Go and see a good hypnotherapist. They're usually very successful treating most phobias.

You shouldn't have to live your life in fear.

greenbananas Sat 04-Jan-14 20:12:44

Following on from my last post, a fear of sick is not particularly irrational really. When not taken to extremes, it has some survival value - and so is probably inbuilt in all of us to some extent.

Dolallytats Sat 04-Jan-14 20:12:52

I'm like that too. My head says I'm being silly, but I can't bring myself to be sensible about these things.

Agoraphobic as well.....yay, go me!! confusedblush

Selks Sat 04-Jan-14 20:13:49

Use that hatred of the phobia as a source of strength in getting better OP...CBT is recommended treatment, have you tried it?

MySmallToeNail Sat 04-Jan-14 20:20:25

Thank you for your kind comments smile I have tried hypnotherapy, but my mind seemed to be too strong to let it work, sadly. I have also been to my GP about it and have seen a psychologist, had CBT, had meds and counselling. Have had it since the birth of my oldest DC, who is now nearly 25. I don't have any food intolerances that I know of, but I now only eat fruit, veg, pasta and rice ( if I cook it and eat it straight away!). Can't eat meat, fish, eggs and a whole other list of things that I have associated with feeling ill at some point.

BrownSauceSandwich Sat 04-Jan-14 20:21:36

What Crohnicallysick said... Phobias are often a manifestation of other stress/anxiety. If you can reduce sources of stress in your life, get more exercise, get counselling, hypnotherapy or CBT for general stress or depression, or medication if you need that, you might find the phobia resolves (or improves) all on its own.

Taking measures to not throw up is not addressing the real problem, and may build up other health and wellbeing problems. See your doctor and make sure try know how this is affecting your behaviour.

Halloweenjunkie Sat 04-Jan-14 20:25:09

I am exactly the same. I've suffered from emetophobia all my life. Got to the point a few years ago where it was impacting my work and day to day life as I was having panic attacks. I went to the doctors and was sent on a CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) course. It changed my life. I'm not cured, but I am so much better than I was. Winter time is always tough because the stomach bugs are doing the rounds. Get yourself to the GP and ask for help. Ask to be referred for CBT. I was terrified that exposure therapy would mean that I would have to make myself sick - not the case at all, it was just about talking about my feelings. Please don't be afraid or embarrassed to seek help. It's a really common phobia, it's just not one that is talked about often

CrohnicallySick Sat 04-Jan-14 21:02:02

I see you've tried a lot of things, have you tried them in combination? Sometimes meds can reduce the anxiety just enough to allow one of the other approaches to work. And you might need to try a few different meds to find one that works for you.

MySmallToeNail Sat 04-Jan-14 21:13:30

Thank you chron, I will take on board yours and all of the other advice. Willing to try anything now as feel so pathetic that I can't eat out, drink alcohol, eat 'normally' and hate the panic attacks too. Having had this for so many years, I am tired of it now.
Thank you all for taking the time to reply. This is my first post on here ever and was a bit nervous smile

Daisycat22 Sun 05-Jan-14 00:12:22

Oh god.....I have this too, had it all my life and it affects everything I do and even developed into agoraphobia years ago.

I have tried CBT, counselling but I can't take any meds as sickness is a possible side effect!

I've recently contracted a stomach bug (not been sick in years) and it has made me 100 x worse.

Sorry my post isn't helpful, just wanted to share with youblush

MySmallToeNail Sun 05-Jan-14 12:29:45

Thank you Daisycat, it makes me feel better to know I am not the only person with this- I don't know anyone else who has it x

Boaty Sun 05-Jan-14 12:34:37

Another one here...even seeing it on tv gives me the shakes and I KNOW it is fake..
My DS aged 4 had to clean the car out many years ago when he was sick, I couldn't go near the car!

MySmallToeNail Sun 05-Jan-14 12:42:19

Oh boaty, that kind of thing happened to me too. Felt so guilty when my DC were ill and crying for me and I had to just call to them through the door sad

TheCrumpetQueen Sun 05-Jan-14 12:42:22

I have it too, since before I can remember. Impacted my life a lot - got horrible panic attacks, had to quit uni, never travelled with school, never ate out etc but then got CBT and it greatly reduced the anxiety over it.

I have a ds now and when he was sick I rushed to him and cleaned it up (not looking directly at it though smile ) still very scared of being sick myself though

I hope yours settles x

MySmallToeNail Sun 05-Jan-14 12:44:04

Thank you Crumpet smile I hope you continue to manage it smile

Boaty Sun 05-Jan-14 12:49:38

Poor table manners makes me feel ill...I then get panicky...DC learnt very young to eat nicely..
If I am ill I dread feeling/being sick. I then panic.
I think it actually started when I was poorly as a child and then my DGF triggered a reaction with his awful table manners. I was sick. Then every time we had a meal I was on edge over feeling sick.

TheCrumpetQueen Sun 05-Jan-14 14:31:32

It's such a vicious cycle because you feel anxious about feeling sick, which then leads to nausea because you're anxious - leads to more panic!

If you fight the anxiety, it lessens every time. If you don't stand up to it (run away etc) the anxiety grows and wins

Balaboosta Sun 05-Jan-14 14:58:10

I really really feel your pain cos I have this too! Cbt did little for me but mindfulness meditation has been transformative. Google a site called "what mediation really is", find a course and take it from there. If you are in London, there's a place in kings cross called Rigpa and they run courses, new ones starting at the moment.

MySmallToeNail Sun 05-Jan-14 16:12:45

Thank you Balaboosta smile sadly, I live too far away from London but will see if there is anywhere closer to me x

chocolatemademefat Sun 05-Jan-14 22:42:56

YANBU. I used to have a real fear of being sick - went through a seven year period managing to avoid it. I had to spend a long time in hospital and due to the nature of my illness I was vomiting every day. For me I think it was fear of the unknown.
I still dread being sick and hate seeing - or hearing - other people throwing up but if it needs to happen it will despite taking precautions.
Hope you can get some help with this.

LimitedEditionLady Sun 05-Jan-14 23:38:03

I have a different anxiety but ive never sought help,what i have done is faced it slowly but surely in little steps.Its kind of that I have shown myself and my mind that I am being irritational by doing what it is im anxious about.Its not been easy by any means but you can do it x

Bodypopper Sun 05-Jan-14 23:41:43

You are not silly or pathetic at all. Phobias are vile.

paddyclampo Sun 05-Jan-14 23:51:56

I have this too although not as badly as you OP. I've got quite a bit better than I used to be, eg I can eat out but would never order prawns or chicken which I consider to be high risk. I can cope now if someone is sick for a reason such as being drunk or pregnant but any mention of stomach bugs esp the n***virus (can't even say it) sends me running for cover.

I guess I'm lucky in that other than making me avoid crowded places around Christmas it doesn't affect my life, but I would never travel to somewhere like Egypt or India for fear of getting ill

autumnsmum Tue 07-Jan-14 11:41:50

I'm like previous poster I can cope with travel or morning sickness for example but infectious stomach bugs terrify me

bbcessex Tue 07-Jan-14 12:52:24

Aw, I really feel for you OP. I have a friend who've I've known since I was a teenager; she has exactly this phobia and it really restricted her entire life until she had CBT.

She'd tried lots of therapy and meds over the years, but the last lot of CBT seemed to really do the trick; probably a combination of really clicking with the therapist, plus finally being in the right 'mind-set' to move on. She wouldn't/couldn't agree to try for children because of the (possible) morning sickness, and now she has two!

I haven't suffered from this phobia, but I did have a previous debilitating one... I also benefited hugely from CBT, along wit hthe focus on (eg) 'what really would be so terrible if you were sick'? 'What would actually happen'? So what? etc.

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