emetophobia

Are there any sufferers from emetophobia on here, who also tend to suffer from general anxiety too, but know that the emtophobia is at the root of the problem? I find it so isolating to be given advice on general anxiety which does not of course address the unique situation facing true emetophobes. I get support from two very good websites, one of which has an excellent forum, but when trying to seek NHS treatment there are very few therapists who truly understand emetophobia. They therefore try to treat me in the same way as general anxiety, which of course does not work! SO frustrating!

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  • HI funkychicken. I too suffer anxiety that stems from emetophobia. I must admit for most of my life I just tried to manage on my own but last year my partner and I decided to take a year out and travel the world which is very exciting but my emetophobia and anxiety sky rocketed! I spoke to my GP who put me in touch with an nhs counseling service and prescribed me citalopram. I reacted horribly to the citalopram and stopped them after 3 weeks. I tried seeing a hypnotherapist which was great - I had to pay quite a lot of money but underwent a course called changing limiting beliefs and it was well worth it. There was actually very little hypnotherapy involved. I definitely found, like you, that doctors don't really know what to do with you when you say you battle with emetophobia - drugs seem to be the first port of call. The end result for me is that the doctor has prescribed me anti-emetics and whilst I am still anxious about my travels, the hypnotherapy course has given me confidence in myself to get through the difficult times. I have seen lots of people on this site recommend CBT which I have never tried but might be worth a look? Keep looking for someone who understands the problem and can help - I strongly recommend the hypnotherapy route but you can buy the book changing limiting beliefs on amazon and work through it yourself (it's by Rob Kelly). Good luck! x

  • Thanks, I will try the book. I have had NHS help, but so few people really understand emetophobia that it gets to be really frustrating and depressing. Well done for travelling when you knew it would put your fears to the test in a big way!

  • My doctor told me to face my emetophobia "problem" head on by shoving my fingers down my throat, then sent me to a psychologist to get CBT where he tried showing me photos of vom** and asking me how this makes me feel. That's when I realised that I was completely on my own.

  • Clearly your doctor hasn't got a clue about the best methods of treating emetophobia. He is obviously not familiar with the theory that "flooding" someone with extreme anxiety usually traumatises them further.

    So few people really understand emetophobia that it gets to be really frustrating and depressing trying to find NHS help, and private help is SO expensive it is out of my reach.

  • Hi there. I would say that emetophobia rules my life. Every time I go on a journey (even a short one) I worry about it, although it usually turns out fine, but the anxiety is always there.I think, "well that was all right, but what about next time?" It has got that I can't even go on a short bus ride without getting the sicky feeling. Luckily, I enjoy walking but that's not always practical! My friend tells me I just need to make more short, regular journeys and then it will become 'normal' in my mind and I suppose she is right. I'm going to a big gig in London next week and not only am I worried about the train journey up there and the tube across London, but also the size of the venue and general excitement/anticipation that I know will take hold and threaten to takeover the whole thing for me.

    A few years ago I was prescribed citalopram, I took the first one but I got myself into a state about it, so brought on the 'side effects' through panicking about them, and haven't been back on that or any other medication since. I think I feel that I should be able to 'think' myself out of this way of reacting to everything, without the need for pills. Later I had phone counselling which helped for a while, but I soon fell back into my old ways. I'm not sure where to turn really. You have my sympathies xx

  • Thanks for your reply. I know emetophobia is very common, but sadly it is also little understood and difficult to treat. General anxiety treatments do not usually work for this problem, as it's of a different nature and the trigger for the fear is being carried around inside of us all the time!

  • Just wanted to report back from my London trip which went really well. Sure, I was a bit anxious on a couple of the trains, but somehow I coped. As for the gig itself, I had been worried because I wasn't sure where our seats would be (I usually go for an aisle seat given the choice), but as it turned out we were slap bang in the middle of a row and I was fine! The show was excellent and I felt proud of myself in the end for not having spoilt it for either myself or my daughter by having to 'escape'.

    I now feel that I could easily do this sort of thing again, but it will have to be soon or else the anxieties will creep in again!

  • Well done! I am very far away from being able to do what you did, but maybe one day..........

    It's great when you have had a good experience that can be built upon, gives you so much more confidence for next time.

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