Feeling sick when eating in public?

Whenever I have to eat in public, I have the fear of getting sick and throwing u . This is not in all social situations, just ones where I have to eat. I get so scared that I might get sick that I actually cause myself stomach ache and nausea so that I am not able to eat. How do I control this as I'm going off to college soon and I'm scared it will only get worse.


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4 Replies

  • I'm sorry to hear you're struggling. I used to get this quite often, and I know it can make you feel really overwhelmed sometimes, but you can do little things to calm yourself.

    I often carry ginger candy in my bag because sucking on a sweet can sometimes help prepare you, and finger is really great for the physiological, digestive symptoms of anxiety.

    You can also try eating small things that you know for sure you really like and can handle, its okay to gradually build up to eating a full meal in public.

    If your anxiety is really high when you are out to eat, you can also try breathing and distraction exercises to stabilise. Try counting to 30, breathing calmly and deeply if you can, and thinking only of the numbers and your breath. when you reach 30, start again if you need to, until you feel calmer.

    And remember, everyone has to eat and look after themselves and you are not doing anything wrong in the slightest!

    Take care and good luck!

  • My god!! I thought I was alone in this battle. You are probably never going to read this but I have the same problem it's making me insane. I have had it for 7 months now. I really hope that your better now as I know this can be very frustrating and horrible issue. I really don't know what to do anymore. It's making my life to crumble. I am always so stressed because if am at home it's fine I never feel sick. But anywhere else I eat I feel super anxious and I think the food going to make me throw up or something. And even if I don't think about it or try it's always there behind my mind. This is really a punishment for me.

  • I had exactly the same fear as I have such a bad phobia of being sick in public. This lasted up until December last year which was when I started to feel better. I paid for therapy, had all sorts of things, CBT etc and nothing worked unfortunately because exactly the same as you, I just physically couldn't eat because I was so anxious and already felt nauseous because of it. I'm really sorry to hear you're suffering from the same thing, it is so horrible and makes social situations so difficult, I got to the point where I couldn't go in public regardless of whether I was eating or not, just in case I was sick.

    In August 2014 I finally decided nothing would work apart from medication after missing out on a family holiday because of this (I was to scared to take medication in case it made me sick). I went to th doctors and got some sertraline 50mg, I took 25mg for a week then moved up to 50mg, now nearly a year later I'm on 100mg daily, and take domperidone before eating to stop me feeling sick if I do. It is the best decision I have ever made, I've got my life back, have a job, can eat in public and am so so much happier, I would recommend sertraline to anyone, it takes a little while to work but the wait it so worth it.

    I'm sorry I can't give better advice other than medication but I know exactly how you're feeling and it is so awful. I would definitely also recommend domperidone and starting to eat small amounts in public first and build your way up.

    Hope you feel better soon,

    LAN xxx

  • Do you have a fear of vomiting, or just doing it in public?

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