Severe fear of being sick and catching illnesses. Help please.

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Quick background info: I’ve had emetophobia for about 7/8 years. I have digestive disorders that cause me to feel nauseous on a daily basis. I am a senior in high school but am home schooled so I don’t leave the house except for occasional grocery store trips and doctors appointments. I have generalized anxiety and panic disorder and have experienced depression as well. I’ve been to a few therapists and none have helped. I find that I can only help myself by taking my own action.   

Current issue: My emetophobia is getting much worse. I am afraid of leaving my house and exposing myself to illnesses and I live with three other people who could potentially introduce infections to the household. I am scared of being sick because I lose control and because it ruins anything i’m looking forward to in my life (which isn’t a lot, but I try and hold on to the things I am looking forward to like my birthday, Halloween, and Christmas time). I don’t want those experiences to be ruined by sickness. Since flu season is beginning, I am getting scared. If I could have anything in the world it would be to live a life free of all illness. I feel like I would be happy if that was the case. I don’t know what to do anymore. I am so worried and stressed all the time and my parents can’t take it anymore. Does anyone have suggestions? 

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  • Posted

    I am going through the exact same thing as you are, and I am the same age as you are. It is so difficult I know, and what's even worse is that I am forced to go out by my parents even though every time I do I panic and can't handle it. I have been seeing a therapist for a while now, I mean in some ways it's helping but some ways it's not, and it may be useful for you?

    This will sound ridiculous but I sort of envy you for being able to control your anxiety in the comfort of your own home, if I was you I would take comfort of the idea that despite how bad you are feeling, you can try to get better as and when you would like to, not in a trapped environment like school.

    I hope that you start to feel better soon, as do I me and anyone else who feels the same way. I know how difficult it is to be afraid of going out just in case you catch something, from someone just breathing a few metres away from you who might have a virus.

    I completely understand what you are going through, and It may be beneficial to talk to someone who is going through the same things as you, like a group you can join? I hope This helps

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    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply, I really appreciate it. I guess for you it's kind of a good thing that you're forced to go out and do things, unless of course it's making it worse. I truly hope you can get some releif soon. Thanks for the tips. 

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    • Posted

      I wish it was making me better to go out but it's probably making me worse, however it may be different for you or others. You're welcome, thank you, hope you get better soon!

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  • Posted

    After I go pneumonia earlier this year, I totally understand.. Have you gotten a flu shot this year? That would probably out your mind at ease knowing your body has an advantage on avoiding it.. My doctor has always told me stress weakens the immune system. So worrying about it is actually making you more likely to get sick.

    The thing about the flu, pneumonia, anything is that there are antibiotics to get rid of it. So you get the flu, what's the worst that can happen? You lay in bed, take your tamiflu and rest. Kind of sounds like a vacation when you think of it lol.

    Drink plenty of fluids, maybe ask your doctor for an over the counter vitamin recommendation to get your body ready for flu season. Your body needs to be around germs, otherwise it also makes your system more suseptible on days you do to out. Just calm!!

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  • Posted

    Anais, i know you'll probably want to kill me after saying this but please stop worrying about getting sick! I've been sick a lot of times during my life and im still alive

    I have generalized anxiety disorder as well! And felt like i was going to actually pass out today!! But lately ive been trying to learn how to think of some of these things logically. First of all, if you are worried that you will get pneumonia.. You look up the symptoms and you already know the symptoms since youre sooo obsessed with this problem. Once you know the symptoms.. Your mind could give you those symptoms because its sending negative signals to the areas of the body where the symptoms are supposed to happen. Which causes you to panic. The more you stress about an illness... The more likely you are going to get sick.. And thats not good.. This is why its important to relax and not worry so much.

    I have diabetes, cancer, autoimmune disorders, high cholesterol, hyptertension, and ADHD in my family. I have a higher risk of getting bone, skin, and breast cancer.. Im at high risk of getting diabetes.. And i have ADHD. But i try not to worry about those because its something that i cant control. I suggest you just try your best and live your life. Sometimes we get sick for the stupidest ish. Like change in seasons and everything.

    Also my advice to you is to eat as healthy as you can, drink lots of water, excersise, and listen to what your doc is telling you. If you dont agree with him or her go for a sexond opinion. Do not worry about getting sick. Stress can make you sick! And thats not what you want. And if you do get sick you CAN and WILL feel better its not the end of the world. I had the flu at one point. And i had to miss three days of school. But i took meds for it and felt much better. This was when i was 6 years old. I had a lot of digestive problems when i was young and i still do! Heartburn, and esophageal spasms which hurt like hell!

    To ease your mind about the flu.. Get a flu shot! This will help prevent or reduce your risk of influenza. As for other sicknesses.. The best way to reduce your risks is to just stay as healthy as possible. Some illnesses strike us and we just cant control it! ( what i mean by this is by family history ) The good news is that alot of these illnesses ARE treatable. And when you feel better you'll live a normal life. Make sure you take care of yourself..and you wont get sick. You're going to be fine ( coming from someone who feels like they're gonna drop dead everyday ) 🙃🙃🙃 hope you feel better soon ..

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