Still suffering from panic attacks due to my claustrophobia and emetophobia

Although, I've been through 3 years of counselling I'm still finding my phobias hard to deal with. The frequency of my panic attacks have decreased but the severity of panic is a lot worse. I have got to the point where I make myself feel sick as I feel I can't get out of somewhere, not brilliant at school and in exams... I just want to cry out and see if ANYONE can help in some shape or form. To make matters worse, I'm also worrying about flying in the summer so I would appreciate any help. Thank you

Beth x

5 Replies

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  • HI Beth x Sorry to hear you are still having some problems x 3 yeas of counselling is a long time . Its it straight forward counselling or a therapy you have had such as cbt? There is a lot of therapies available and it could be that maybe you need to look into a different one to try to help an get to the root of your problem. It is obviously helping in some small ways as you say they are less frequent even though unfortunately for you they appear to be worse xx Flying is a hard one and I would suggest again it could be that more specialist help in that area maybe needed or a visit to your gp to talk about other help available x Donver

  • Well it's a bit of both, but it's not a specialist counselling. I have recently gone to a new Councellor as my other one retired and I'm finding her more helpful as she is a Dr in psychology and understands a lot more of how the brain works. I'm 17 going on 18 in my final year of A levels, so a big year with rather a lot of pressure!! I think I will talk to my Councellor about the flying thing and see if she can give advice of what to do and what help that would be useful

    Thanks for your help also! :) x

  • Ah I see, its hard with some counselling as we don't get to the root so in this case It could be worthwhile having a different approach sometimes a new voice can tell the story in a whole new light. Hopefully this new one will be the change needed x At your age its a very stressful time so its good you are getting some help. Yes have a word with the flying thing it could be that you are thinking of your other problems and transferring them x No prob sorry could,nt be more help x Donver

  • Hi Beth, I'm 21 and I've got emetophobia too so I can totally understand how you feel. I'm sorry you're having a hard time, it really is a tough phobia to have. People who are afraid of heights can avoid heights but it seems like sickness is everywhere. I feel like I'm afraid of everything - door handles, food, people, buses, planes, etc. I'm the same as you, I get so panicked that I make myself feel sick and convince myself that I'll be sick too. It's a horrible cycle but the thing about us emetophobes is that we're sick statistically less than normal people!

    Is your school aware of your mental health? You might be able to register for extra time when you sit exams or they might have something else in place for people with your condition. I'm at uni so I can appreciate how hard studying is with these phobias. I've got an Inclusive Learning Plan in place which means they make an allowance for me in things like presentations and seminars when my anxiety is at a high.

    It's really brave that you're getting help though. I've had this phobia for at least 10 years and I'm only just doing something about it now. My family haven't been supportive of me, they think i'm just "silly" but I've got a great boyfriend who really takes care of me. Don't let anyone make you feel bad for your illness, surround yourself with people that care and understand because that will be a huge help to you.

    As for the flying, I'm sure you won't be sick and I'm sure no one else will be sick too. It's a worry I have every time but objectively, no one has ever been sick on a plane that I've been on and I've flown a lot. Also it's a myth that the recycled air causes sickness. Read this article for reassurance abcnews.go.com/2020/Health/... :) Good luck, I hope you feel better soon! xx

  • Hi Pearle!

    Thank you for your reply, It has reassured me a lot, it's nice to talk to someone who has had experiences like this.

    My school know about this and teachers do help me out a lot especially in the exam hall. It's just I really could do with getting rid of the phobia as it stops me from doing so many things!

    I will be going to Uni in September hopefully! I'm really worried about that too because I don't know who to tell about my phobia to make arrangements such as sitting at the back of a lecture theatre and being able to slip out if I need to.

    Could you describe to me in more detail what the Inclusive Learning Plan is? It sounds like a good idea for when I go to uni.

    I do know how you feel too though, at first my parents thought I was being stupid and I had enough and went to see my counsellor and gradually they have accepted it but I still think they are unable to understand what I go through.

    Thank you for the article on flying, it was very useful. I did have a bad experience on a flight though as there was a little girl in front of me who had travel sickness and was being sick every half an hour for 4 hours on the way there and on the way home so that has knocked my confidence a bit. Just a matter of time and patience to gain it again!

    Thanks again

    Beth xx

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