Hi everyone, my name is Lexie. I am brand new to this site I suffer from generalized anxiety disorder. I am also emetophobic. As a kid I was always a worrier. I had many problems with worrying about getting in trouble, or not having a partner/group for projects. These worries consumed all my time. If I stopped worrying and was at peace I would suddenly remember that I had something to worry about and go right back to worrying.
I was very healthy. I only had season allergies. No severe illnesses and no chronic conditions. At the age of 12 I woke up one morning and couldn't get back to sleep. A few hours later I vomitted. I thought I had the flu so I went back to sleep. A few hours later I woke up and felt like nothing had ever happened. A few days later the same thing happened again. This time it happened 3 days in a row. Eventually I would feel this way almost every day. I went to the doctor who presceibed anti-emetics.
To make a long story short I was treated for acid reflux, hormonal imblances, and just general dyspepsia. Despite all these treatments and many tests I was not feeling any different. At one point my doctor had suggested stress, but we dismissed that since i got some reflief from the ant-acids. I was on ant-acids and digestive aids all through high school. At the age of 22 I was in university, had been on many treatments, repeated a lot of the medical tests and still got no results. I went back to my doctor to bring this topic up again. She suggested anxiety and gave me a few tips and tricks to help. The next few months I used a mixture of digestive aids and relaxation.
Right after my last doctor's visit one of my friends at work ended up being diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. I could see alot of similarities between the two of us and started taking my diagnosis more seriously. About a year ago she went through a very rough patch and was talking to me about it. I finally got up the courage to tell her that I also have anxiety. I really thought she was going to cry. She was so happy that she didnt have to suffer by herself anymore. We became eachother's support system after our initial discussion. This brought us a lot closer together. If one of us is struggling we always message eachother. I became a lot more open to the idea of treating my sef for an anxiety disorder.
This past May, I graduated from university with a BA in Psychology. In between job hunting and adjusting to life without school, I decided that this would be a good time to get help. I went back to my doctor and was given questionnaires. I was also started on medication and given a referral for group therapy. I was on the meds for 2 months before starting therapy (long waiting list). I had noticed subtle changes. My stomach was feeling better and I was generally less anxious (but still extremely anxious).
I met with a psychologist who runs various therapy groups on an outpatient basis at the local hospital. She suggested the intensive group. It runs 5 days a week for 12 weeks. They had space available for the week after that. I decided that this was the only time in my life where I would have the time to do something like this. I took the offer and started with the group the following week. Right away, I felt at home. Everyone in the group was very welcoming. Although I was one of the youngest members I could relate to everyone's stories. I knew I had made the right decision.
I am now finishing my 3rd week. I have already made progress. I feel like I have known these people all my life. It is hard waking up first thing in the morning when I'm used to sleeping in. Its also very difficult to talk about problems five days a week. Its both mentally and physically exhausting, but it feels good. Sometimes I get triggered by soemthing someone says or a topic that we are covering. After being triggered, recognizing this and sharing with others, I feel so much better. I am really hoping that I am able to use the 12 weeks well and am very optimistic.
I will give regular updates on my progress as time goes on. If anyone wants to talk ever, I am here. You can add me as a friens, message me, or whatever. I look forward to getting to know the community here.
A bit about myself as an introduction
I am writing these diary entries as it helps me a lot with coping, but also incase it will help anybody else who is wishing to relate or offer advice.
I suffer primarly from emetaphobia, panic disorder, panic attacks and anxiety disorder.
i also suffer from a type of social disorder, and ocd and other phobias such as needles.
I have been having help since the age of 6 and am developing to cope better with day to day life..
I have overcome anerexia, partly needles due to CBT, depression and small daily tasks i have been unable to do in the past such as public transport.
I am currently 21 years old and am completing a degree in university, i do not live at home but i am with my partner who is the most amazing person in the world and i love him dearly.
so this is a little about me
feel free to get in touch, i am more than happy to talk to people over chat :) and listen to anybody who would like to talk x
Welcome to part 2 of this unique blog series about tackling Emetophobia. One of the things that seems to be quite common with people suffering anxieties is they seem to have alot of mental turmoil about what is going on. It can seem you just don’t know what to do, do I do this, do I do that. So I guess it’s not surprising you can find yourself getting overwhelmed by it all. Being overwhelmed seems to stem from the fact that parts of you are pulling you in different directions. It’s like being on a crossroads, and part of you says turn left, and the other part says turn right.
So let’s look at something we can do to reduce this mental agitation we experience.
Before we do this process let’s just explain a little bit about how this works. The process is called Parts Therapy, and as the name suggests, it looks at the part of you that is holding onto your fear of being sick, and the other part of you that wants to be free from your fear of being sick. The part of you that holds onto your fear of being sick is known as the ‘Original Part’, and this part has a positive reason why it is holding onto the fear. The part of you that wants to be free from your fear of being sick is called the ‘Positive Part’. Great now we have set the basics down, let’s get stuck in...
Step 1: Take a few deep breaths and just get yourself into a relaxed state of hypnosis. Quickest way to do that is focus on taking some really strong deep breaths in and out. This is yoga style breathing, and by breathing deeply in expanding your whole chest, and then exhaling bringing your stomach inwards is a very good style of breathing to get used to.
Step 2: Think about the problem you have, in this case your fear of being sick. Notice how there is some agitation around the issue, part of you wants to hold onto this thought or issue, and the other part wants to be free from this issue. Just acknowledge that now..
Step 3: Silently ask the ‘Original Part’ of your belief ‘What are you trying to do to help me?’ Just keep asking that question and notice if an answer gets stirred up. Don’t force it, or agitate yourself here, we are just exploring what this belief is doing to help us. Ask the belief ‘What are you trying to do to help me??’ Just notice any response you get. That’s it..
Step 4: When you think you have some kind of answer, ask the ‘Positive Part’ that part of the belief that wants to move forwards, 3 things it could do to help solve the concern that the ‘Original Part’ came up with. Again, don’t get agitated by it, just have some fun and enjoy this journey of exploration.
Step 5: Check that the ‘Original Part’ is okay with the three things and that there is agreement there.
Step 6: When you are satisfied that the ‘Original Part’ is happy with the 3 new ways to solve the problem, then ask the ‘Original Part’ this question: ‘If you take on board these three new ways to solve this issue, will you leave me alone?’ See what comes up and just keep asking the same question until the ‘Original Part’ (That part that is holding onto the fear of being sick) is happy to leave you alone and let you move forward.
Thank you for reading and I wish you a wonderful day wherever you are in the world.
Hey guys welcome to this special 4 part all about Emetophobia, the Fear of Being Sick. Now I should say from the outset that this condition affects people in many different ways, and this post can’t tackle this issue in the detail it really needs, that is far better done face to face with someone like myself who is a professional therapist. However through these 4 specific posts I thought I would give it my best shot and so feel free to post below and let me know your thoughts:)
Emetophobia causes the sufferer to feel paranoid about being sick in public, or even seeing someone be sick. This leads to sufferers taking excessive action and avoiding certain places, or not eating certain foods for fear that it might cause them to be sick. It also can cause various levels of anxiety depending on how bad the situation is. Some people might be fearful of getting ill, and the two conditions are very much interlinked in some ways. The fear of being ill and contracting some kind of illness can also cause that particular individual to take excessive action. Everytime winter comes they fear that they are going to get ill, or they have to continually check that they are okay and get re-assurance from those close to them or from Doctors.
Dr Larina Kase mentions that Emetophobia is the 6th biggest fear around. The fact remains there are many sufferers out there who find the concept of being sick or seeing someone be sick a terrifying experience. Often it seems that traditional methods of therapy don’t always benefit the client or yield the results they expected. So is there something we can do to help reduce this seemingly irrational fear?? Well, I passionately believe there is. I am a big fan of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and I firmly believe that for a fear to exist there must have been a series of events that occurred for it to be there in the first place. This fear of being sick in my opinion is a learned experience. You have learnt to react in this way, and to make things worse you have some kind of story or reasons why you have these feelings and thoughts.
Now this is encouraging in my opinion, if you learnt to react in some way, then surely you can unlearn can’t you?? It stands to reason doesn’t it?? So lets look at this first exercise you can do..
1) Take a sheet of paper and write down all the thoughts you have about being sick. Write down all your fears, all the reasons how it occurs when it occurs and just keep writing those beliefs you have. It might be you have to check that your okay the whole time, it might be that a certain place or situation terrifies you in that you believe it will make you feel sick. Just write it all out. When you do this process you are actually offloading all the mental agitation that is stored in your mind.
2) Now write the opposite positive belief next to that negative belief you have. For example lets say you wrote down: ‘If I’m sick people will think I’m disgusting’ so just write the opposite more positive belief such as ‘If I’m sick people will ask if I’m okay, and help me get better’. Just put a positive spin on it, and feel how it would feel if that new belief were real. This is a super clever way to re-wire your mind into accepting a better quality belief and thought process.
3) When you have done that, ask yourself this question: ‘What is the worst thing that can happen to me if I’m sick in public, or if I see someone being sick’. Whatever gets stirred up just write that down on a sheet of paper. After you have written this all down, just see if it really is that big of an issue. In the scheme of things, is this a life threatening condition you have. Chances are it probably isn’t, and if you're not sure, have you been to the doctors and consulted a professional on their thoughts about the condition you have. What did they say?? If they told you, you are okay and that you are physically fit, then there is nothing to worry about, right. I know alot of Emetophobia sufferers need that re-assurance from the doctor, but then they also don’t believe the doctor when they say everything is okay. Don’t worry about that yet, we’ll tackle that in part 2 of this series..
4) Now we have explored the negative part, let’s hop along to the positive part. That part of you that could be free from this belief. I’m willing to guess, that there has been a time in your life when you have been fit and well. Even people who are ill the whole time, have days when they are well don’t they?? So imagine, just for this moment if you were totally free from this condition. Think about and write down all the things you would do under the following headings.
*What would you feel like?
*What would you do?
*What new beliefs and thoughts would you have?
*What would you think about the condition you had? So on this question you're looking from a healthy mindset, and almost getting the notion that it was not really a big a deal as what you thought at the time. There have been times in your life when you have overcome big and seemingly impossible problems, and at the time it was big and scary, yet when you broke through those thoughts and feelings, it just didn’t seem to matter so much anymore. Pretty clever stuff hey!!
5) Now what I want you to do is get an intension for every day. intentions are like mini goals that we have. When we train our mind to think and act differently we are more likely to make change in our lives. However there is a catch to this. Our minds are protective mechanisms that want to protect us, and it will resist any change we do, so we must make a strong and determined decision to move forwards. I encourage you to really make that committment with yourself, don’t stop, don’t be intimidated by your thoughts. These are just beliefs you have stored in your mind, mistakenly believing that they are protecting you and serving you well, when in fact they are not. These thoughts haven’t harmed you in any way so far, so why would they harm you now, they can’t and they wont!!
7) An intension should be worded in a positive way. Something at first that is simple and easy to achieve. For example why not have an intension that every day you are going to feel happy in spite of what is happening. Now remember, you must be okay with that negative picture. Just ask yourself, ‘Could I be okay with me having this fear of being sick’ Why not. Who said you couldn’t be okay with it, and that is as easy as just watching those old beliefs play in your mind, and just watching those concerns just float away. This is a really fast way to get okay with your fear. Could I just be okay with what I feel and how I feel?? Could I be okay with all this fear I have?? Why not, life is a decision, what do you decide to do?? Whose thoughts are they?? Who do these beliefs belong too? They belong to you, don’t they..
In part 2 I’m going to show you a bran new process that I’ve not talked about before, and is something I use with my exclusive private clientele, want to know more, then tune in for the next blog post..
For useful resources to help you out see below, always make sure you do your own research and consult with a doctor before beginning any new form of treatment and especially if you have any doubts. Let me know what your thoughts are??
Oh and here's a cool video for you as well. I like this person's explanation of treating Emetophobia.
For my blog post and video on intentions click below on the word intentions:
This book below has been getting some very favourable reviews on Amazon UK, so it's worth checking out. I haven't read it myself, so if you do get it let us know your thoughts on it.
Artistically, I've always thrived off confrontation and rejection.
It makes me want to prove my worth and prove people wrong.
In my mind, things are fine until I wake up and realize that I have a physical body that has limits. And honestly, that wasn't all that bad, having limits.
I've always been afraid of vomiting ever since I was little. I'd be shaking and sweating with the effort of keeping it, of staying in control. When I went to university things abated. I was able to eat out and eat until I was full. Towards the end of my second year I woke up feeling ill. I was too hot, then too cold and so very thirsty. I got out of bed to get some water, fell on the floor and vomited bile on the hardwood. I got up to go to the bathroom to clean myself up, but I got stuck at the doorway. I couldn't hear or see. Everything was dark and sound was muted as if I was underwater. Apparently I was moaning because my parents came out of their room and saw me standing, pale and drenched in sweat.
They thought it'd be okay after a while, but I was still shaking and vomiting horribly and shitting the fluids out of my body. No water would stay down. They drove me to the ER and I was vomiting more in the car. I was fine there for a bit. My blood pressure was dangerously low and wouldn't get to normal no matter how many bags of saline they gave me. They sent me home after five hours after running blood and urine tests. They didn't know what was wrong.
This happened again, about eight months later, but without the hospitalization. Now I'm afraid whenever I wake up in the middle of the night, or when there's too much saliva in my mouth, when I'm too warm. Everything seems to be a symptom of sickness and I don't know what to do. Most days I'm uncomfortable leaving my house, but I do it anyway, treating it like a ritual.