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Anxiety This forum is for seeking advice on anxiety and stress related issues.

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  (#1 (permalink)) Old
angel5087 Offline
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Severe Emetophobia - October 18th 2014, 09:28 PM

I have really bad emetophobia, for those who don't know, that a fear of vomiting. Its always been a serious problem for me, however now that its about to be flu season where I live I swear I might lose my sanity. I need to conquer this, and fast. The slightest feeling anywhere in my body makes me think I might puke. Literally anywhere. I also have started to wash my hands with way too much soap, for way to long, with water so hot it burns my hands but I keep washing them anywhere. People keep thinking I have sun burn on my hands, and they are incredibly dry. How on earth can I kick this emetophobia?
   
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Re: Severe Emetophobia - October 19th 2014, 05:18 PM

Hi Angel,

Have you considered talking to a professional about this? I had and still have emetophobia and saw a counselor to work on conquering this. For me, it was a fear of myself vomiting, not seeing other people vomit. So, I convinced myself that this was a natural bodily defense function. Everybody does it and it's healthy for the body to get rid of bad germs this way. If somebody vomits, do you get nauseous? Try to think logically about it. The person is throwing up because they are ill. You will not get whatever they have just from seeing them vomit. Did something happen in your past that made this fear develop? I highly recommend looking into things with a counselor. It can be very helpful.



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Re: Severe Emetophobia - October 19th 2014, 10:41 PM

The only way to get over a fear is to have it head on. I'd suggest getting some fake vomit from a gag shop and having a close friend work with you on it using the fake vomit.
I used to have a fear of heights until I got put in a wilderness treatment program. They forced me to rappel from a 80foot cliff. I haven't looked back since. Now I can't get enough of rock climbing.


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  (#4 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Severe Emetophobia - October 19th 2014, 10:49 PM

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Originally Posted by ImprovisedStarlight View Post
Hi Angel,

Have you considered talking to a professional about this?
I actually have, but I am under 18 and would need a parents permission to go, and neither of them want me to go, so I basically have to conquer it on my own
   
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Re: Severe Emetophobia - October 19th 2014, 11:07 PM

Hi Angel and welcome to TeenHelp!

I also have an extreme fear of vomit so I can definitely relate to you. I've gotten better over the years with increased exposure to sick family members as well as being sick myself a few times.

I agree with Kat - something in your past may have made you develop this fear as this happens with most fears like this. Can you think of anything? I'm sorry to hear that your parents don't want you to see a therapist, but that doesn't mean you have to do this alone. Perhaps you can sit down with your parents and explain that you would like to work through this fear you have and you would be interested in seeing a professional for help. A professional will likely do some exposure therapy which includes things like kneeling by or spitting in the toilet. If they still don't want you to see someone, can you speak to your school counselor? They might be able to help you convince your parents to let you see a professional.

When my fear was more severe, I barely ate because I was afraid I would get sick. And, like you, I associated any negative feeling in my body with the potential of vomiting. Sometimes the anxiety you have can make you feel sick even though you are not. I suggest taking deep breaths and keeping distracted. I read somewhere that people who are afraid of vomit are actually unlikely to vomit, but likely to get sick in another way. But if you do get sick, vomit is a bodily process like Kat said.

There's nothing wrong with washing your hands! Since they're irritated I suggest putting some moisturizer on at nighttime before you go to bed. You can also wear gloves over your hands so the lotion stays.

I'm here if you'd like to chat and take care!


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  (#6 (permalink)) Old
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Re: Severe Emetophobia - October 20th 2014, 06:42 PM

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Originally Posted by Cassiopeia. View Post
Hi Angel and welcome to TeenHelp!

I also have an extreme fear of vomit so I can definitely relate to you. I've gotten better over the years with increased exposure to sick family members as well as being sick myself a few times.

I agree with Kat - something in your past may have made you develop this fear as this happens with most fears like this. Can you think of anything? I'm sorry to hear that your parents don't want you to see a therapist, but that doesn't mean you have to do this alone. Perhaps you can sit down with your parents and explain that you would like to work through this fear you have and you would be interested in seeing a professional for help. A professional will likely do some exposure therapy which includes things like kneeling by or spitting in the toilet. If they still don't want you to see someone, can you speak to your school counselor? They might be able to help you convince your parents to let you see a professional.

When my fear was more severe, I barely ate because I was afraid I would get sick. And, like you, I associated any negative feeling in my body with the potential of vomiting. Sometimes the anxiety you have can make you feel sick even though you are not. I suggest taking deep breaths and keeping distracted. I read somewhere that people who are afraid of vomit are actually unlikely to vomit, but likely to get sick in another way. But if you do get sick, vomit is a bodily process like Kat said.

There's nothing wrong with washing your hands! Since they're irritated I suggest putting some moisturizer on at nighttime before you go to bed. You can also wear gloves over your hands so the lotion stays.

I'm here if you'd like to chat and take care!
All I can remember is that my whole life I've had a fear of vomiting, more so than the average person, its just in the past year or so its gotten severe. I know that this phobia has caused me to set a lot of "rules" to avoid me puking, in which almost all of them are related to past experiences with vomiting. And, I can't see a school counselor because I'm homeschooled, which brings me right back to the parents thing. I've been asking them for years to take me to a therapist, but it hasn't happened yet
   
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Re: Severe Emetophobia - October 20th 2014, 07:18 PM

I completely understand, I used to have a set of rules to prevent me from vomiting as well; all of which surrounded by my own episodes of being ill. My fear isn't as severe anymore, in the past few years it's gotten better as I've gotten older. I'm not exactly sure how I let go of my rules. But, eventually I just began telling myself things like, "I can eat this and it will not cause me to vomit. My body needs food and it'll be okay." Sometimes if you say it aloud or in your head you can reinforce it enough so you'll eventually believe it.

This fear is a lot like panic disorder in that we have a reminder of our fear and then we over analyze it which causes us to protect ourselves. Since you cannot currently see a counselor I suggest researching some articles so you can slowly begin to overcome your fear. The fact that you're allowing yourself to use the word "vomit" is a good sign. You could print some articles about the treatment of this phobia and show those to your parents. I don't condone lying, but maybe you can ask your parents to see your doctor and you can talk to him or her about this fear. Your doctor might be able to help convince your parents to get you some counseling.

Feel free to send me a message if you need anything.


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Re: Severe Emetophobia - October 21st 2014, 02:29 AM

When I had more severe emetophobia, I would avoid eating until lunch and would take anti-nausea meds (meant for chemo patients/pregnant women) to cope. I can understand your want to have a crutch to help you get through tough times. All I can really suggest is to gradually rely on the crutch less, whatever that may be. It'll come naturally- like for me, I'd forget to take a pill and then realize, "Hey, that's awesome, I made it through the day without anything!"

Also, remember that unless you have some sort of rare condition, *you* will only vomit from having an illness or food poisoning. Your body won't just force you to vomit you know? There has to be a reason and if you're not sick, then you won't vomit. Rest assured that the typical person will only vomit a few handful of times in their lifetime. Much less than having the sniffles if I do say so myself. Also, whenever I have a stomach bug, vomiting makes me feel better instantly. It's just a way of your body helping itself, which is good :-)



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Re: Severe Emetophobia - October 21st 2014, 03:00 AM

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Originally Posted by Cassiopeia. View Post
This fear is a lot like panic disorder in that we have a reminder of our fear and then we over analyze it which causes us to protect ourselves. Since you cannot currently see a counselor I suggest researching some articles so you can slowly begin to overcome your fear. The fact that you're allowing yourself to use the word "vomit" is a good sign.
I actually do have frequent panic attacks, though I'm pretty sure its not related to my emetophobia. I also did go through a phase where I wouldn't say the word vomit out of fear, although I've outgrown it, if someone else says the word vomit and I'm not expecting it, it does cause a great deal of anxiety.
   
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Re: Severe Emetophobia - October 21st 2014, 03:01 AM

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Originally Posted by ImprovisedStarlight View Post
When I had more severe emetophobia, I would avoid eating until lunch and would take anti-nausea meds (meant for chemo patients/pregnant women) to cope.
Yeah, I take a lot of nausea meds to help my anxiety to, and sometimes antacids and stuff like that, basically any stomach medication. I don't enjoy medicine, in fact I've always hated it, but it seems to ease the anxiety.
   
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Re: Severe Emetophobia - October 24th 2014, 02:35 AM

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if someone else says the word vomit and I'm not expecting it, it does cause a great deal of anxiety.
This sounds so much like me. My heart skips a beat and I feel very anxious when I hear the word vomit or any of its variations, or see someone who looks nauseated in case they do throw up. I actually used to be afraid of being near small children (because they get sick often) and even people standing above and behind me when I was sitting in case they for some reason vomit spontaneously.
A lot of times people don't understand it...they think "yeah, it's gross" but I guess they don't really understand for some people it's less of just a gross thing and more of a nightmare thing. I can relate to you though.
It's gotten soo much better for me than like 3 years ago. With a fear like this, I think it's better to deal with it slowly. If you want to help yourself getting over it, there's some small things you can do to help yourself get over it.
What I did was slowly expose myself to it online so I wouldn't be so afraid in real life. I think it would help if you googled stories about vomiting to get used to the idea. This is one thing I did. Not gruesome stories, just little stories people put online about an embarrassing experience with it or something. The next step is looking at fake vomit...like in cartoons or comics. If you feel brave, you can google real vomit. For some reason cat/dog throw up is slightly better than human to me.
The goal of this is to get to the point in each step where you get used to it and don't panic...wait until your heart stops fluttering and you stop feeling anxious to move on to the next step. I'm still working on this.
I don't know if it will help you but I wanted to share because it helped me. Sorry for the long post! Good luck
   
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