Help :(

I'm seventeen years old and have had emetophobia since the age of around 7. My fear is other people vomiting, i can't be around people who feel sick, who are being sick and i dont like traveling as some people are travel sick. Even the sound of someone with a nasty cough scares me and I just want to leave the room.

My biggest fear is not being able to look after my kids, as I want them in the future. it goes over and over costantly in my mind. I always think to myself 'what if i cant deal with the situation when they get ill', 'what if they vomit everywhere and I cant do anything about it'. It kills me to thnk that i couldnt look after my own children, it really upsets me. I do know that i want kids, just something extra to have in your life and to love.

I;ve just no idea what i'm going to do :(

Im sorry to anyone who found this story disturbing, i just want to know if anyone can help me.

Thankyou

xxx

Melissa93 Melissa93
18-21, F
13 Responses Mar 5, 2010

honestly, you pretty much just described my entire life story. i worry about that ALL THE TIME, how i wont be able to take care of my children if they get sick, and i just feel so hopeless. because thats what mothers are supposed to do, take care of their kids when they are ill and be with them. and i fear that my phobia will prevent me from that. i just wanted to share that to let you know that you are not the only one with this problem!

To all of the young writers on this blog-

I have suffered from Emetophobia my whole life, since as long as I can remember. I did all the typical things - not drinking, picking apart my food, never touching anything in public bathrooms. I once was in a car with a new boyfriend and his family and his sister said she felt car sick - I DEMANDED that they pull over and I jumped out on the side of the highway (how embarrassing). I didn't vomit for 17 years (from the time I was 7 until I was 24) and I thought that once I did, I would be cured - - no such luck. Even though I have gotten sick several times in the past decade and I always think to myself "that wasn't such a big deal, why and I ruining my life over this?" the fear always comes back.

I am 42 now and reading your blogs breaks my heart. I feel for you all because I see so much of myself in your words. It also makes me realize how much of my life I have spent obsessing over a bodily function. I think of all the sacrifices I made and all the things I gave up (summer camp, traveling, etc) for fear that someone would get sick.

I just wanted to tell you all that even thought I still battle this phobia, I am so so so much better. I don't know if it will ever go away completely and it is a struggle, but I have made steps forward. 2 1/2 years ago I had a little boy. I didn't have any morning sickness (not even a little tinge) and I worried about the same thing. How would I ever take care of him if he got sick. Last winter, he woke up in the middle of the night with the stomach bug and you know what? I totally handled it. The love you feel for your child trumps everything. Somehow, some way, all those years and years of intense fear fell away in the moment and I just did it. Now, even though I still have moments of panic and doubt about whether I will be able to handle it when it happens again (even though I have been through it), in my heart of hearts I know that I will step up. It is the only thing I know in my years and years of battling this phobia.

So here is what I am trying to say....

Please don't feel alone. I had this fear long before there was an internet. I thought I was the only person in the world who had this. You have a community of people to support and help you. Use them.

Also, do not let this fear prevent you from the single greatest joy in life. Find help - ask for help and don't be embarrassed, but DO NOT let it prevent you from having a child. You are all still so young and I think that instead of worrying about whether you'll be able to take care of your child years into the future, try instead to deal with what is in front of you now and take some steps towards dealing with the fear. I always say that all I try to do is chip away at the fear a little bit everyday - if you add a little bit every day into years, it adds up....

Good luck and remember you are not alone.

xo

This sounds just like me!! Im 16 years old and I am constantly thinking that people around me are going to throw up and it makes me feel sick!! Even the gross cough thing you said scares me too. Its hard to even be at school because i always think that I'm sick or I'm going to be sick. Everywhere i go i think about it and it literally is taking over my life! It really sucks.. because puking is the last thing i want to do!! And like you, i always think about my life later on; i want kids, but i don't think i could handle them when they are throwing up! This is always crossing my mind.. i overthink everything waaayy too much/: i just wish i didn't have this phobia!

xoxo hope things get better for you<3

I can relate to you a lot. I'm 18 and I've had this phobia throughout highschool. Its taking over my social and everyday life. Have you found anything that helps? Let me know. Thanks.

Hi Melissa. I sympathise totally with your situation, and share the same fear. I'm 33 and have two children of 3yrs and 5yrs. I too always knew I wanted to have children and am SO thankful that I didn't let the Emetophobia stop me from having a family. That's not to say that I didn't worry daily about how I would manage to look after them when they're sick. I have suffered with this fear for as long as I can remember. If I see someone bending over in the street, to me they are being sick. Every winter when the Norovirus hits the hospitals and schools I won't even pick up a newspaper that has the story about hospitals being shut due to sickness bugs on the front cover! I wash my hands with antibacterial handwash so much they get so sore and they bleed in the winter. Back in February of this year I took my little boy (3yrs) our of nursery for 10 days when I heard some of the children there had a tummy bug, and although my rational self told me I was being ridiculous and that children need to be exposed to all of these bugs to build their immunity, etc. I just couldn't take him in when I knew he'd probably catch it. I also stopped taking the children swimming through the winter when I knew tummy bugs were rife. That was what made me think I should go and talk to my GP about whether there was anything at all I could do to put an end to the constant worry.<br />
<br />
As a result of seeing the doctor (who didn't tell me I was crazy, as I'd predicted!I I arranged an initial (free) consultation with a local Hypnotherapist which was really helpful. She seems very confident that she can cure this fear with 3 x 1-hour sessions of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). Do look into it. Our phobia is a lot more common than I ever imagined. The lady I saw charges £45 per hour which is not cheap but if it could change my life and if it could be the difference between you deciding to have a family or not then £135 isn't really a big deal. I'm hoping to book the first of my 3 appointments next month. The other routes you could explore are CBT and Rapid Eye Movement De-sensitisation. I've heard that Emetophobia responds well to both these treatments, as well as NLP. Good luck. And if it's any help at all - when my children have been sick (which has only happened twice - once each) it is hideous but they're your children and you go into automatic pilot. You deal with it because you have to, and although I wanted to run out of the house and not look back when my daughter was sick, I didn't! (And I didn't catch it from her either!) My advice to you would be to search online for local Hypnotherapists and phone some up. See if they offer free initial consultations and take it from there.<br />
<br />
I never thought I'd be able to help anyone else in this position but since trying to discover a way to cure myself I feel so strongly that we shouldn't stew over this. However irrational our fear, it is a real fear that causes real panic and can mean we make different life choices to those we want to.<br />
<br />
Lou

Hi Melissa. I sympathise totally with your situation, and share the same fear. I'm 33 and have two children of 3yrs and 5yrs. I too always knew I wanted to have children and am SO thankful that I didn't let the Emetophobia stop me from having a family. That's not to say that I didn't worry daily about how I would manage to look after them when they're sick. I have suffered with this fear for as long as I can remember. If I see someone bending over in the street, to me they are being sick. Every winter when the Norovirus hits the hospitals and schools I won't even pick up a newspaper that has the story about hospitals being shut due to sickness bugs on the front cover! I wash my hands with antibacterial handwash so much they get so sore and they bleed in the winter. Back in February of this year I took my little boy (3yrs) our of nursery for 10 days when I heard some of the children there had a tummy bug, and although my rational self told me I was being ridiculous and that children need to be exposed to all of these bugs to build their immunity, etc. I just couldn't take him in when I knew he'd probably catch it. I also stopped taking the children swimming through the winter when I knew tummy bugs were rife. That was what made me think I should go and talk to my GP about whether there was anything at all I could do to put an end to the constant worry.<br />
<br />
As a result of seeing the doctor (who didn't tell me I was crazy, as I'd predicted!I I arranged an initial (free) consultation with a local Hypnotherapist which was really helpful. She seems very confident that she can cure this fear with 3 x 1-hour sessions of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming). Do look into it. Our phobia is a lot more common than I ever imagined. The lady I saw charges £45 per hour which is not cheap but if it could change my life and if it could be the difference between you deciding to have a family or not then £135 isn't really a big deal. I'm hoping to book the first of my 3 appointments next month. The other routes you could explore are CBT and Rapid Eye Movement De-sensitisation. I've heard that Emetophobia responds well to both these treatments, as well as NLP. Good luck. And if it's any help at all - when my children have been sick (which has only happened twice - once each) it is hideous but they're your children and you go into automatic pilot. You deal with it because you have to, and although I wanted to run out of the house and not look back when my daughter was sick, I didn't! (And I didn't catch it from her either!) My advice to you would be to search online for local Hypnotherapists and phone some up. See if they offer free initial consultations and take it from there. All the best. Lou<br />
<br />
I never thought I'd be able to help anyone else in this position but since trying to discover a way to cure myself I feel so strongly that we shouldn't stew over this. However irrational our fear, it is a real fear that causes real panic and can mean we make different life choices to those we want to.

I know EXACTLY what you mean I want kids too but i know that they are going to get sick and how in the heck can i help them if im covering my ears with my fingers wanting to run away..the sound of it freaks me out....but yea your not alone thought you might wanna know that

you should try! =D

i dont know.

Why don't you try going to some sort of phychologist or phychiatrist?

I just want to overcome this. I want to be able to look after my kids in the future and be there for them, how can i do that when I have this horrible phobia. I love kids, I really do. I just wish this would go so I could look after them. <br />
I understand were your coming from completely. Im here whenever you need to talk. :)<br />
xxx

I'm the same, my family and my best friend know and that's it. I did go to my GP once because my family thought I needed to, and I had some therapy but it didn't do loads to help. I always assume people'll be sick if they're even clearing their throat! I have to be so careful at 6th form as well. I agree, everyday I wish I had a normal life, because everybody else just doesn't know how to deal with it and I feel quite selfish saying it. I totally understand you saying you're embarrased though, i'm the same. xx

I know how you feel :(. I just want a normal life. My sister only had a tummy ache last night and i assumed she was going to throw up. Its just any illness, i think the worst. Thankyou so much for commenting. I just want to share experiences.<br />
I havn't told any GP or anyone about it, as i find it embarrasing and I havnt heard of a way to overcome it. My family know and they understand :)<br />
xxx

I can relate so much to this story.I'm 17 too and i'm even terrifed of people coughing as well, just in case they're sick with it. All I can say to you really is that not too worry too much as it only makes us worse. Have you been to your GP or anything or is there anyone you trust with it? I'm avaliable for a chat if you need one :) xx