OCD, Food Anxiety, Panic Attacks, Anxiety, Low Self - Esteem and Depression

Hello everyone that may read this! I made a post over a year ago about my panic attacks, general anxiety and emetaphobia (phobia of sick) and stuff like that, and i just want to ask for some advice/update about things that have happened since. I think i had just left school when i wrote the previous post, and i am in my second year at college now. Since that last post, (you can see that here: healthunlocked.com/anxietys...

Anyway, since that last post, the panic attacks and anxiety got much worse. I would say i have been to the doctors maybe 30+ times since then, about the same problems, but they will not refer me to CAHMs or give me any medication to help. So i decided to try and use things that were over the counter and natural remedies to try and reduce/ help the anxiety/panic. I have bought numerous tubs of the MohDoh natural dough with essential oils that is supposed to help because the oils are absorbed through your skin whilst playing with the dough, and obviously breathed in, and the colour is supposed to calm the mind. I purchase the 'Unwind' variety each time, because it says it helps reduce anxiety and stress. The scents/oils that are included in it off the top of my head are lavender, geranium, rosewood etc. The smell is very calming but doesn't really help. I also tried taking 'Kalms' for a long while, and for some reason came off them, i may try them again as my anxiety has become unbearable. When i started college in september 2013, i had panic attacks every day on the bus to college, an my anxiety was horrendous, especially in the winter, as i have emetaphobia. Thats when my food anxiety related OCD sort of developed. I can remember the exact moment it got really bad but i will give you some background information first. In november there was a stomach bug (Norovirus) going round my college and that is when i first started to be like "im not going to eat this with my hands unless i have washed my hands 30 seconds ago" and it got a lot worse when i did some research and disovered that antibacterial hand gel does not kill norovirus, because norovirus is a virus, hence not bacteria. Anyway back to the moment when it got as bad as it is today. Decemember 2013, there was another stomach bug going round my friends class, and she mentioned how the lecturers had commented on how bad it was. This gave me crippling anxiety and at that moment i remember thinking "im not going to ever touch food with my hands again, because the norovirus particles have to be swallowed to infect you, so if you never touch food with your hands you will never get it." and well that is how i am today, nearly a whole year later. it has got progressively worse, to the point that i eat everything with a knife and fork, even biscuits etc, and if i can't eat it without using my hands (such as if we are out and we get packet sandwiches) i will simply not eat, or choose something that is in a packet that i can constantly hold so that i do not have to touch the food. Restaraunts are a nightmare, i hate if someone brushes against my cutlery and have to swap with someone elses or get a new set from the waitress. I get thoughts like "if you eat this with your hands, you will get sick" "if mum uses her hands to touch that before i eat it, i will get sick" there have been hundreds of times that i have been in tears because i am not happy with how food has been prepared etc, and it is mentally exhausting. Still, the doctor will not refer me to CAHMs and this is now taking over my whole life. I feel so down and low about myself and often sob hysterically thinking "why me, why cant i just be normal?" i was just wondering if anyone has any tips, because i cannot take or deal with this anymore.


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15 Replies

  • Hi para and welcome back :-) sorry to hear you've gotten worse. I've never had a fear of being sick...always thought if I'm sick it's my bodies way of getting rid of things it doesn't want so I don't understand this fear. I do understand anxiety though. If you were sick what would happen? Is it a fear of choking on it and it causing harm to you? There's a lot of ways to catch many things not just from touching with your hands.... Most anxiety is an irrational fear brought on by a situation from our past...:-( I hope you get some good ideas!

  • i dont know! i haven't been sick in 6 years, to be honest i don't even know what feeling sick feels like, let alone if i was to feel like im actually going to be sick, i think my body has blocked out all association with anything to do with it! and i know there is many ways to catch different things, but all im concerned about is norovirus, and i know for a fact the particles of the virus have to be ingested to infect you! i dont care about getting colds, flus, virus' etc :)

  • Thanks for replying so quick :-) so has something happened to someone you know with norovirus? Just wondering why that specifically? Is it just because it makes you sick lots?

  • yeah, because of the sick!

  • Sorry I can't really help on this one...my health anxiety is just "what if something bad happens to me"

  • fair enough :)

  • I've got this too the fear of sick, have you has CBT? I just finished my therapy sessions and I do feel so much better, it's not for everyone but it's def worth a try. I been where you are and felt exact same y me. The real question is why not me you can beat this if your determined enough and if you feel your gp isn't doing enough get a new one.. Wish u the best

  • nope I've been trying to get CBT but no doctor will refer me x

  • Hi.hope this message finds you safe and well.Have you tried another gp at your surgery..explaining the impact your illness is having on your life?there are some terrible doctors out there.sounds like cbt,mindfulness would help.you need to get the help now as your young.there are many herbal remedies out there but are only so effective.if u use any stimulants..coffee,nicotine etc then try to cut back or stop...it increases overthinking worrying etc.take care.

    Keep in touch

  • I've actually moved across the couney and been to 2 or 3 gps down here and it's exactly the same, and i dont smoke, drink or do drugs, don't drink caffeine, no overly fizzy sugary drinks as the sugar rush sets off my panic attacks too

  • sorry thats meant to say country

  • Hi thanks for reply..just read your first post...saw that you were out son place and a panic attack kicked in and you were able to step aside...do some deep breathing (meditation) and basically 'ground' yourself to the 'here and now' which tends to be thrown aside when overthinking,anxiety etc kick in.the practice of bringing yourself into the hear and now and not the past or future..what ifs etc is mindfulness.i am on a course with the charity combat stress for veterans with ptsd.we learn alot about breathing exercises,mindfulness etc.it may sound a bit simple but is incredibly successful.you can research on internet..good book with relax cd is mindfulness.finding peace in a frantic world.im sure meditation would help.remember mind and body are interlinked and if either is not well it affects the other.consider speaking to mental health charities..mind etc.there is help out there.you seem keen,intelligent to sort out your problem..sooo keep in the now world and practice breathing x

  • I kind of understand. I also have germ fear but i think i understand where mine comes from. My dad has always been a health inspector and stories ive heard of the disgusting factories farms and restaurants hes visited is yuk. I also have ocd and anxiety so that doesnt help. Ive been brought up never to eat salads etc out of the home only things my dsd would give the all clear to. My knowledge of this and my routine are one big circle. However like you if someone i know gets sick i panic. My main problem is fear of catching colds and flu. I cstch so many viruses each year its not even funny and i get soo sick with them. Your right gel doesnt kill the sick bugs only hot water and soap will wash them away. You really need to write to the practise manager at your doctors explaining your situation and how you need help if its in writting they might take it more seriously x

  • Oh my it's me I get I'll just listening to people who are ill ,

    I wash my hands so many times in a day and I won't eat with my hands unless I have used hand gel ,I have a lot of illnesses and pick up everything but the strange thing is when I am ill eg cold virus ect I am very calm ,

    I stay in bed but on a normal day I can not stay in bed as I am scared of being alone in the day I have my front door open winter or summer not worried who comes in as long as I can get out xi am an old bird of 70 and have had anxiety since I was a baby due to my mum being very nervous during the war !!!!

  • Whoa! I was just browsing the net about OCD on not touching food and I came across your post. The post you wrote literally could have been written by me because we are EXACTLY the same. I too have had severe emetophobia since I was a kid and I too developed OCD of not touching my food about a year ago when I read the same thing you did about ingesting it. So, I now refuse to touch my food in any way and if I see someone touch my food, I will stress for days about it, just waiting to get sick. It's a horrible thing and I am at a loss on how to make it better too. When I hear it is going around I'm crippled with fear and I just wanna stay inside the house. Going in a crowded store is hell for me and everytime someone coughs I about have a mini panic attack! People don't understand and its hard feeling like you're alone in it. I try to explain to people by saying... Imagine there's a zombie outbreak. Like, you walk into target and you KNOW there's zombies mixed in the crowd. The fear they would feel knowing a zombie was nearby and that they were doomed is the level we feel knowing there is probably sick people near us. Anyway, I never comment on random Posts but I just had to let you know, you're definitely not alone and I really hope that yours gets much better as well as mine! I will probably never check this site again so if you wanna message me feel free on Facebook: sarah Hausman, in Yucaipa, Ca.

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