Hello all. This probably sounds like a bit of a weird one, but has anyone else experienced gagging/retching due to anxiety/worry? I have suffered from social anxiety (and mild depression) for the past 15 years. I have always been a worrier with a lack of self confidence (but a pro at hiding it!) and for the most part I have learned to deal with the majority of my symptoms through self help, counselling and medication (I have recently started a new 20mg course of Citalopram). But the one thing that has always remained constant over the years, and is the complete bane of my social life, is gagging/retching when I am nervous or worrying. Even though I have to deal with it, it has at times been a real burden and affected certain aspects of my life massively. The main reason for this is a vicious circle I tend to get myself into. When I feel nervous or anxious about something I will cough and start to get the feelings of gagging in my throat. Of course if I am about to do something social (i.e. go into a meeting or an interview, the cinema, or I am somewhere public) I immediately begin panicking about gagging and being sick in public, which makes the symptoms even worse. I uncontrollably gag/retch and cough. The main issue with this is that I find I cannot do certain social things, especially get on tubes, buses and planes because I automatically start to worry about gagging and making a fool of myself in public, which will actually start the physical retching and coughing. Of course this usually then ensures a panic attack about the whole thing, so to avoid this I tend to not do these things. I was recently asked to go to France on a business trip, but the thought of getting on a plane on my own with the inevitable process of my nervous gagging was far too much so I made an excuse. Another recent event was attending a martial arts course one Saturday. I was so nervous about it that I was 30 mins late due to retching. I am rarely sick, but I do retch quite violently at times and it can last for quite some time. I’ve tried things like sucking sweets, chewing gum, drinking water etc... but as it’s a psychological thing that is triggering something physical I am not sure how to stop this. I was wondering if anyone else had experienced such an odd aspect of social anxiety/panic?
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