I'm turning 21 next month and I've been suffering from emetophobia (fear of vomit/vomiting) for as long as I can remember. As a child, it wasn't such a huge issue but the older I get and the more I learn about illnesses, the worst my phobia gets. It's been particularly bad for the past 2/3 years after a particularly stressful time in my life.
I feel sick every single day. I struggle eating (especially certain foods) so I've lost a couple of stone. I struggle sleeping, I struggle with pretty much everything. I hate crowds, I hate outside, I hate eating out, I hate touching door handles, etc etc etc. It really holds me back in life - socially, professionally, academically, and more.
The phobia in turn causes extreme anxiety. I feel like a huge let down because I'm scared of leaving my house to see friends or family just in case i'm sick, they're sick or someone is sick and I just hate having to pretend that I'm okay all the time. But I don't want people to think I'm lying, or seeking attention, and I don't want them to just get sick of me complaining that "i'm scared and I don't feel well."
I'm scared of buses and trains and just any public place where people could be sick. Slowly but surely I'm becoming isolated from the people I care about. When the anxiety sets in, I feel more sick and struggle to breathe so it's a horrible vicious circle.
I feel so helpless, as if life is never going to improve. I want to be as normal as my other 21 year old friends who can go out partying and drinking but of course - drinking and alcohol terrifies me. I'm scared I'll never be able to have a baby because of morning sickness but also everyone knows that babies throw up all the time. I just want one day where I don't have to feel ill.
My parents don't care and aren't really interested anyway. I was abused as a child and they're alcoholics. So again, the fact they consume huge amounts of alcohol is really scary to me. I have a great boyfriend though and he helps in the ways he can but it would be so great to know other people who are struggling and people who truly understand what it's like. So my question really is, can anyone relate to this?