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I Cant Deal With This Fear Anymore

I have been afraid of throwing up since I could remember, but it never really affected my life until i was 17, I have no idea why - I havent thrown up since I was 13 & I'm 20 now. So why did it affect me at 17 hardcore? I didnt experience anything to make it so crazy, but since that moment, I have not stopped thinking about it. Everytime I feel sick, I literally have an anxiety/panic attack. Its not like how some people explain their attacks where they feel "anxious" and get frustrated. I'm talking, I shake, I sweat, I get the chills, My mouth gets dry, my heart literally POUNDS out of my chest, I pray constantly, I tell everyone to pray for me too, I drink little sips water & chew gum (it actually helps), but all I revolve my life around is thinking "what if I get sick?" etc. If someone throws up from being drunk, it bothers me- BUT it doesnt bother me as much just because I know its not contagious. But if someone tells me they feel like their going to throw up or they did because their sick, the moment I hear that, I start to feel sick myself. Even though I know that I'm not & everyone tells me I'm fine, I cant get it through my head. I cant sleep at night because thats all that goes through my head, so therefore I'm now an insomniac. I dont sleep until my eyes are rolling in the back of my head. I cant eat meat or things that can have food poisoning in restaurants. I over cook my meat to the point that it tastes like rubber, I check experation dates on EVERYTHING, I dont take medicine because I'm afraid of side affects. I get the worst cramps when I'm on my period, but I dont like taking anything. I know that there is nothing physically wrong with me, but I ALWAYS feel sick, but I know its all in my head. Emetephobia has taken over not only MY life, but everyones life around me because I'm always bothering people about it & its gotten to the point where I cant even go out of my house, or hug relatives or ANYTHING for that matter. It has turned me into an insomniac, its given me panic attacks & anxiety hardcore 24/7, it makes me get disturbing thoughts in my head, it stresses me out, it gives me OCD (for example: if i dont knock on wood, I might throw up so i better knock) ITS CRAZY. I am literally going insane & i definetly cant live my life like this anymore. I need to find help, as much as EVERYONE tells me "its all in your head", I cant accept the fact that its just my mind playing games with me But I constantly feel sick, think about being sick & worry.. I cry about it all the time & reading other peoples stories about it make me cry too just knowing someone else is out there suffering just as badly as me. I dont understand how something so small can affect my life so largely and I havent even done it in years!! HELP ME BEFORE I GO INSANE, lol. ;]

trixiee trixiee 18-21, F 69 Responses Jan 16, 2010

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I want help too I've been dealing with it since i was about 6 I'm now turning 19 in a month trying to get my life together but it controls me so much I feel like i can't live my life and I make the people I love go insane. I'm to embarrassed to talk about it in therapy so I never get help.I've developed an eating disorder from it, ocd about everything my mind tells me I have to do stuff a certain way to prevent it from happening. Sometimes I listen and it feels so good but most of the time it controls every move I take. I just bother my mom with it but now its ruining her life too. It got worse with in the past 3 years. I go through days where I don't want to eat anything or get up off the couch or bed. I leave work early and school. I started taking meds that made me to high to care about my constant fear, but even taking the meds took me a long time cause I'm scared of the side effects. Now that I was forced off the meds I'm scared to deal with it. This website made me feel so much better though I now know i'm not alone thank you guys for opening up. I know how hard it is.

I've had it since I was 7 and I went on a road trip and I threw up... I was so terrified to eat that my mama would say she would feed me threw rubes. It was when I came back when my fear got worst but I would always ask my mom " hey mom will I throw up if my stomach hurts?" And she would respond with no. But I would ask her so many question every night that she bought a tape recorder and taped her voice saying " you won't get sick sweetie" she told me to play it every night. My mom then got cancer and the chemo would make her sick when I was 11 she would be so sick and I would be scared and my dad would be with her in the bathroom while I blocked my ears so much I would make my ears bleed. It was then when I was twelve and I threw up cuz I ate sausage and ever since I would stay up at night until I was starving and only then I would go to sleep. I would lie down because I would be scared to have a an indigestion and I would stay up till around 5 until I was sure I was hungry. It is always on my mind and I'm ashamed to tell my friends because they might think of me differently. I never eat anything fried because I'm scared of getting sick. It's so bad that i lost 30 pounds Cuz of it. Sometimes I get panic attacks where I feel like I'm going to vomit so I go insane doing the craziest things to try and distract myself. I'm so scared to get sick and I need someone just like me so I can talk to you just send me a message so we can talk... I'm slowly getting threw this but I need someone just like me....

I am exactly like you. I never found people that suffered the same phobia as me. I know exactly how you feel. If you need anyone to talk to id be glad to help

People, I believe I used to kind of have this, like 4 years ago. I remmember hating going and eating out with friends because I could never finish my food (even if I knew I loved it, cuz I do love food), and I used to get all those sintoms because I was afraid of vomiting in public. I remmember feeling my face getting ice cold, my vision got yellowish and fading like what you feel when you're going to pass out, and sometimes, even burping and almost puking in front of them.

I believe I overcomed this, when I started to eat out in different places with my friends EVERY DAY of the week, for two-three years druing high-school. Trust me, half year in, the only thing I would think about was devouring this delicious food in front of me as fast as possible while it's still hot. And so it went. I really got to enjoy the food instead of ''force feeding'' myself and wasting the money. I think only 'practice' will take any kind of anxiety away. We just gotta be brave and willing to do it. It's such a stupid 'fear'.

I do still have a bit of this only when I drink alcohol in very public/social occasions, it caused me to actually puke like 3-4 times, but I always managed to get away from people before puking my guts of loool.


I have the same problem and honestly reading all your comments just gets me more anxious. everyone says it's just in your head and it really is just in your head. Try to think about other things, listen to music. Hope all of you overcome your fear.

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I'm going through the exact same thing ... I'm only 16 and I can't handle the anxiety from it , I can't help feeling it only gets worse

We are twins, I have EXACTLY the same symptoms as you, I feel like I'm going crazy, and have been dealing with it since a child. I am now 40.

Oh my goodness girly you sound JUST like me. I know this post is a little dates but if you check it and your still out there please know your not alone!!! I hate my life most days bc of this terrible fear. I drive my family crazy with it. I try to ignore it but I can't. It consumes my every thought. I'm solider able everyday and the worst part is I cannot eat!! I try so hard but I'm so scared I'll just throw up if I put anything in my stomach. Have you found solice yet??!!

People think I'm a laid back idiot :( I didn't create this account though, my brother did :( i suffer very badly from emetophobia - I'll give some tips for you emetophobia out there
- eat dry crackers, drink water, or chew gum.
- DONT ask if your going to get sick no matter what, it just feeds the worry but we want to starve it.
- get distracted and sing and dance with besties or family- or if your alone put on your fave movie or crank up the lone PARTAY!
- fall asleep, I sleep through stress serriously
- have a nice long shower!!!! no don't get out because you may throw up
- tell yourself, I'm GOING to be okay, serriously, what's gonna happen if I throw up ANYWAYZ?
- tell yourself a joke

Omg every single thing you said and I mean everything I do the same thing. I haven't thrown up since I was in the 6th grade and I am almost 20 years old. I'm always worrying if I'm gonna get sick and throw up and if I know someone else is sick I freak out and I get worried that I'm gonna get it. Also if someone was to throw up in front of me I would literally freak out and run. Idk what to do and I know I need to get the help because I'm a mother and I know at some point my son is going to end up throwing up and I'm going to have to take care of him. It's just nice seeing that I'm not the only one going through this and that I'm not weird.

Although I feel completely alone, I kno that there are ppl that are like me. It's crazy. I wish this didn't exist.

My fear of the big V started when I was around 3-4. My dad was a single father, mom, never in the picture. So it was him and I 24/7, which I loved he's the best! But every night before he tucked me into bed I would ask "am I gonna throw up tonight dada?" Then he would ask me what I had to eat that day, and I would tell him. He always said no you'll be fine boogie. But as a kid I would wake in the middle of the night sick and V in the bed because I couldn't make it in the bathroom. I would cry and cry because the pain of V would make me feel like I couldn't breathe. I remember being in elementary school and one of my class mates would be out sick, and I'd PRAY they wouldn't come to school the next day either, just to ensure they had an extra day to become "uninfected". But sure enough there they would be the next day at school and I would do everything in my power not to get near them, touch what they've touched walked behind them ANYTHING. I am so panicked that it is already November. Flu season is about to sky rocket. I HATE this time of year, I constantly think everything is infested with the v flu germ. If I am near someone who looks tired or something I will go out of my way to avoid any contact with them. It is so embarrassing to have this phobia, I am even embarrassed to talk to my therapist about it. I know it's my mind playing with me but I just don't know how to change my mind to think differently. I cannot live like this anymore I hate this. I can't even enjoy the winter time because v bug is all I think about. If I feel the slightest off I cry and cry and when I do it releases some of the pressure of the anxiety and actually makes me feel "normal". I don't know what to do with myself. I don't want to live like this anymore, it's terrible. But I'm glad to know I am not alone in this struggle.

I am only 12 and I have been afraid of being ill so much. I cant even remember when I wasnt. Right now, writing this I feel sick, I know I am not but I still feel sick, I keep gurgling in my throat which I know is normal and my belly is gurgling which I know is because its hungry. I drive my family insane, I was bad until I went to a doctor session and it helped me SO MUCH NO JOKE. I thought I would be ok from then on so I stopped my appointments with him, worst decision ever. My life is constantly feeling sick. I hardly eat I will always inspect my food ie chicken when put infront of me and if its not completely white I will throw it away even though chicken can be a bit pink. Now I am crying because I can't get to sleep because its my bithday tomorrow and I feel ill because I am excited and my belly is gurgling like crazy and I think its because I am ill. I want to die I would rather die than be sick tbh. But I cant because of my mum and dad. I hate life so much. Its taking over my life. I dont even cry when I am sick so I dont know why im like this x. Please help me. Please. Praying for all of you.

OMG , all of you keep telling my story over and over again. I had bad childhood experiences with throwing up and I am now 43 and its worse than ever. I use disinfecting wipes to clean every single thing on my desk every morning when I get to work, I do it again after I get back from lunch. If I even start to feel like I may throw up, I start downing alka seltzer. If someone has the flu or even says they feel sick, I leave work, go home and start disinfecting everything and then I do the dreaded waiting thing, waiting to see if I am going to catch it. I will go days and days without eating if I think I have been exposed to any germs. I over cook all my meats to ensure no bacteria lingers. I wash my hands at least 10 times a day or more, they are so raw all the time. Its a horrible way to live. I wont fly as the turbulance makes your stomach go nuts, I wont go on rides at parks for the same reason. It has destroyed my life. I have lost jobs over this. I hope someday they come up with something to help us. Your all in my prayers, I hope someday we can all find a way to live like normal people.

It's amazing to me that there are so many of us suffering from this and where is the help? the cure? There has to be one!! I am 42 and live with this every day of my life but its worse during "flu" season. In the summer I'm a different person. There has to be help out there but where is it??????

This is literally my life. I'm 15 and I've had this god forsaken phobia for as long as I can remember. it's always effected my life. I cant eat out, ill only eat food my mother has prepared and don't even get me started with the stomach flu. Every time I hear or read the word "stomach" I get chills. I feel so alone with this phobia l because know one I know has it. But I wouldnt wish it on my worst enemy! It hell! I go everyday thinking "am I going to throw up today?" "Should I eat this?" "Is that person sick?" Its awful. Ive lost ten pounds in 2 months (which is not normal for my age) because I wouldnt eat anything but salad. But recently where I live, theres been an outbreak of food poisoning in lettuce. OF ALL THINGS IT HAS TO BE LETTUCE. I constantly think about scenarios of people throwing up an I freak out. I have an anxiety attack whenever I feel nauseous as well! Some days I just wont eat because I think "if I dont eat, I cant throw up" its awful. This phobia is like being afraid of your self. And being scared to eat. Its taken a toll an my mental and physical health and its awful! I need help!

I started balling my eyes out in the middle of this, My heart aches just thinking that other people out there suffer as badly as I do. You basically explained my life as well, except, I cant go out in public to eat, Sometimes I don't eat for weeks because im afraid my food will get caught in my throat and my only resource is to throw it up. Im so anxious to go anywhere, emeto kicks in and then anxiety and then OCD and im pretty much a wreck at that point. Its awful, I sit and cry all night sometimes, I used to be suicidal over this, but I've changed my thoughts and my ways, I still don't know If my life will ever change or if ill be stuck like this forever, which terrifies me to the extreme! Like you said, everyone says its "all in our heads" but in our minds.. ITS NOT!, Its real and its there like a ticking time bomb waiting to go off any minute but your not sure when and the suspense just gets worse and worse till you panic so badly you black out and wake up in the hospital. Its a horrid life to live... it really is. In fact I hate it! If I didn't have my mom to live for... I would of killed myself a long time go. But I know that isn't the right way to do it.. but sometimes its all I can think about. Which ends up also sending me into a panic attack. Im in the middle of an emeto/anxiety attack right now, im trying to find alternatives to get my mind off of it all. Im so stressed with it although my life has been great the past few weeks. I know that someday we can learn how to cope and deal with our very real fears and live a happy life, but .. it isn't going to happen overnight and it will take a hell of a long time before we can all say were actually feeling normal. But for everyone out there reading this who suffers from suicidal thoughts, depression, cutting, emeto, panic or anxiety attacks etc. Know that you are not alone as much as you feel you are... your not. There many people going through the same things and same thoughts you are, but your so caught up in your fears and disabilities that you don't realize it. And I promise you, someday... thing will look up and youll be able to look someone straight in the face and tell then your made it and your happy with your life. Just believe in your self.

It's like your explaining my life!!!! I do all of that. But my I'm driving my family crazy so they finally put me on Zoloft. (Side effects *dead*) I'm starting off take a low dose then slowly increasing and I have no side effects (*knock on wood*) lol. I love winter only because I like the weather. But I also HATE winter because of norovirus. An app that helps me is called "Instapray" it's a prayer app where you type a prayer and people all over the world pray with you. But good news! If you wash your hands, don't put your hands in your mouth, and don't eat uncooked meat, it's IMPOSSIBLE to get sick. Good luck. And just know that you're not alone.

I know EXACTLY how u feel. I am ALWAYS thinking about being sick! Constantly! I have always had this fear but these past months have been terrible, I am lying in bed right now, thinking I am going to b sick, my story is identical to yours only I am 12, I have so much of my life to enjoy but I can't becuase I am constantly worrying about it! If anyone can help please do! xxxxx :(

I'm so glad to find others like me I have always had emetophobia from quite a young age but the symptoms of anxiety are getting worse the older I am getting, I am now 28 and when I was 18 first signs of anxiety started I suffered for a year with having panic attacks everyday then started cbt using energy tapping which seemed to work and I was pretty much cured for a long time until recently when my son started nursery at a year old hrs now 18 months and the past 6 months I felt like I'm going insane every twinge in my stomach sets me off every time we are in public in groups of people I'm convinced I'm going to catch a bug and be sick every week my son comes home from nursery I worry he's caught a bug and going to pass it on to me I'm at a stage where I'm ready to take my so out of nursery and never leave house as its making me very depressed but I know it no way to live, currently I'm in therapy again but it's much harder this time as feel like I'm in a black hole and can't get out. May I add I'm nota sick person I have only vomited 4 times in my whole life.

Wow, I had no idea other people had this. Your story is almost identical to mine, except mine started wayyy before 17. But I do the whole ritual things (like knocking on wood, ect.) It's insane. I've read where anti-anxiety medications would help alleviate some of the effects, but I don't agree with them (no offense!!) and don't really want to end up on one. I'm so embarrassed about it, and even my husband doesn't really understand the full of effect of it. I mean, he gets that I don't like it, but says "you need to build a bridge" and doesn't really get that it's "real"? I guess.. and I started to think it wasn't either until this website. Anyway, I'm going to sign up on here.. and I'll let you know if I come up with something other than medications or hypnosis to help! Goodluck .

Oh wow this sounds like me a few months ago!! I also do the touch wood thing, and other little silly obsessive things. I feel better knowing I'm not alone.
But I have been better with the panick attacks, I have started taking a drug called Lexapro, depending on the person I had little to no side effects! Got to stick it out a few weeks then it will kick in! And it'll be worth it :) well that's what happened for me!

Also have you heard of anti-metics? I am on one called 'Largactil' it stops you from being and feeling sick. It makes me feel better knowing I can take it. And also is used for anxiety so you can get your doctor to prescribe it :) hope all is well xo


My fear is almost the same but I'm not afraid myself of throwing up, its people around me. I have always had issues with vomit of people around me but only in the past 6 months has it really escalated BAD... My son (4) threw up a bit in our van one day - I wasn't even in the van that day I was at work, but just that thought has now put me in a panic and I will barely drive anywhere in the van with him for fear he's going to throw up. Its taking a huge toll on my life both with my son and husband. If we go anywhere that is further than a 15 min drive, I have to take my own vehicle and have my son go with my husband. My son got sick in the summer last year, and I ran away up to the second floor of the house and couldn't go back down - my husband looked after him. I couldn't move, I couldn't breathe, I started therpy recently but it was a waste of time, all it did was teach me relaxation methods which we all know do not help. I am wondering if anyone out there has issues not with themselves vomiting, but with others around them?

When I hear someone say they feel sick or they threw up, I'm instantly feeling sick to my stomach and worried that i will catch it and give it to my son.... for some reason I just feel very anxious when I think about my son throwing up..... I just need some people to talk with for support.

Hi, I have way bad anxiety about people around me throwing up. If my husband says he feels nauseous, I want to sprint out the door immediately. When I was growing up, if my siblings got sick I would lock myself in my room and open all the windows, even in the middle of winter. I love amusement parks but always get anxious because other people throw up on rides. I can't even think about my future children getting sick because it makes me want to not have children. I need to talk to people who know how I feel, because everyone around me looks at me like I'm crazy when I worry about other people throwing up!

mines not as bad as that, but when i hear someone feels ill, i just dont wanna be alone, i feel like i want to cry, i would even try to sleep out if someone in my family has the stomach bug. one time i slept over my grans one night, my best friends two nighhts and when my mum said to come back i refused. i felt so bad and a bit homesick. its not me though. its my head. i know it is. i check the date on everything too, even if it expires today, i wouldnt eat or drink it. hopefully we can get in touch and talk when we feel like this. i need someone here for me and so do you. x

I have severe emetophobia and I am on lexapro for it and it has no side effects that involve vomiting nausea or stomach pain

Me too I am on lexapro the fear is still there but I am able to manage it a lot better, and the panick attacks are nearly non existent. :) I recommend it!

I have the same exact problem!.. It all starting last month when I got the stomach flu and threw up twice. I had fear of throwing up when I was a kid but I didn't really have THIS much fear as I do now. Every time I think about throwing up I start feeling like there's something in the back of my throat. I start having panic attacks and my heart starts beating fast as if I can throw up at anytime. I lose my appetite at times and just hate this feeling so much... But what we all have to know is that IT'S ALL IN OUR HEADS. What I personally do that always makes me feel at ease is playing games on my iPad or iPhone that keeps my mind from thinking about throwing up. For me it works 90% of the time. If you have a smartphone, download some apps that will keep you thinking and take your mind off things. When you're at work or school and starting thinking about throwing up and anxiety, take out your phone and start playing some apps. It is all in our minds so if our minds are busy doing something else we will feel much better.

I suffered from this when I was 8 ad got help, which solved it. But I'm 16 now, and for some reason, it's coming back. It's ruining my nights, even just getting a cold, i get scared that I'm gonna throw up. I know it's just in my head, so i try to remember that, but sometimes it's hard. Try reading, something to get your mind off of it. Don't do electronics, that makes it worse. Just relax your body, and think happy thoughts.

This is so sad :( I feel exactly the same way and it's truly complete and utter torture. I feel so sad that everyone here has to suffer with this. I wouldn't wish it on anyone. It is such a bad fear. It consumes my life. I feel so badly, and while it is comforting to know I'm not alone, it is sad that none of us are able to overcome it or come up with a solution. Has anyone ever overcome this? I'm so hopeless I really believe I will die with this fear. :'(

I know exactly how you feel.
Only recently have I come down with this phobia but it's already taking over my life... It all started at the beginning of last year when my boyfriend came down with the stomach flu and was sick in front of me... That night I was so certain I was going to come down with it I started taking domperidome an anti sickness tablet to try and prevent it... And that night was the first time I had ever experienced a panic attack I was never sick as the tablet had stopped that from happening... But I felt sick to the point where I couldn't sleep as my fear was just so strong... And im still suffering from it now.... Although my phobia is becoming easier to deal with as im going through a type of therapy called cbt (cognitive behavioural therapy)... Now this kind of therapy looks at the thought process of the mind... How one thought causes this massive fear and then they will get you to assess this thought and basically make you realize how silly this fear is by helping you to rationalize it... For example at ny last session I learned that people need to be sick... It's our way of dealing with a stomach issue... Horses and rabbits cannot vomit... Therefore if they were to get a stomach issue something bad they could very easily die... Where as we will be sick a few times and then it will be over....
I hope this has helped... I really do know how you feel... And I couldn't imagine living with this fear for as long as a lot of people here have done...
Take care :)

I thought I was the only person! I deal with this everyday, hoping that one day someday something is going to click, an it's all going to go away. I've been like this since 8 and it went away for 4 years and recently came back. I'm 14 now and I struggle with this everyday till the time I go to bed. I think I actually forgot what it feels like to live normally withouut thinking about throwing up. My parents are tired of it because it happens every single day. When something hurts I automatically thing I'm going to throw up, my heart starts to pound, my head starts to pound and I freak out.I want to get over this because I miss living normally and this has prevented me doing things I really want to do.

I started feeling that way and I'm only 12 u don't know what to do I'm not sick but I've been up for nights worrying about throwing up and I just burst out crying for no reason my parents think its worries but its not . I try to sleep but then I get a puking feeling. I don't know what to do anymore I'm just upsetting myself and I don't even wanna go to school. My dad is getting upset cause we go through this sickness / worry thing every day and its not my fault I can't help it. If I get a throwup feeling il stop everything start drinking water (makes mouth dry though) il walk around my house pacing and I feel like I'm not gonna feel better until I puke and I shake and stuff for hours too! Please some advice!

I am exactly the same way maybe even worse lol!, mine started at age 5 and I'm 31 now and it has not gotten easier over the years just harder actually, unfortunate as that sounds, the older I get the more I find out or know if that makes sense, and because of it developed more and more weird regimines and things I won't do and things I avoid, it's to the point that now my anxiety over this and being afraid to vomit is what happens when I have anxiety attacks over it, I start dry heaving and gagging but don't actually vomit, it is HORRIBLE!!!! I have prayed so many times that id give an arm or leg to never vomit again or wouldn't mind erasing my memory even losing all the good memories to lose this phobia! I feel for you I'm right there with you!