Terrible emetophobia/OCD :(

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Hello everyone sad

Feeling so depressed recently with my emetophobia, more now than I have in a while as my sister was sick all night when she was at Uni and is back now until Sunday sad My heart was racing and I kept feeling so panicky. I told my dad awhile ago about the phobia and very luckily he was so reassuring and went to Boots and bought some hand foam and Vitamin C Immune system boosting tablets...my mum on the other hand is not so understanding sad I love my family to pieces but she just really doesn't understand how frightening living with emetophobia really is sad I've been scared of sick for a very long time, but back in 2011 I must have had a dodgy McDonalds and was very unwell - still hants me to this day sad I just need some sort of help, I can't live like this anymore, I am paranoid all the time, my hands are red and dry from my constant hand washing and I feel so unloved because i'm embarrassed of this phobia sad No one in my life understands me, and I know alot of other emetophobia sufferers will (as there are so many of us!) Someone please help me and reassure me that i'm not on my own sad Just need to hear someone else's point of view and any things that helped you sad

​Hope whoever is reading this is alright <3>

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  • Posted

    Amy, I perfectly understand as I suffered from this myself when I was your age. As you rightly say, it's not at all uncommon, particularly among young people. I still remember the panic if I started to feel nauseated.

    In my case I just grew out of it. Like you, I also took sensible steps to avoid situations where I'd be likely to vomit. In my case, this meant adjusting my diet to avoid the frequent attacks of intestinal obstruction (with severe vomiting) I used to get as a young woman. These days (in my 70s) I can cope with vomiting reasonably well, but I suspect that's mainly because it hardly ever happens. Just three times in the last 20 years as far as I recall. And that's worth bearing in mind too. If you eat and drink (especially alcohol) sensibly, vomiting is unlikely to be a large part of your life, is it? I'm no food fanatic but personally I wouldn't touch the average fast food joint - including McD - with a barge pole!

    However, you seem to have a more severe case than I had, especially if you're washing your hands obsessively. I suspect you're still quite young. Is there a counsellor at school you can talk to about this? Another option would be Child Line (google them, I can't post a link here as this site doesn't allow it). You don't have to be a young child suffering from abuse to use their services, they have a help line which is available to young people of all ages, and with all kinds of problems.

    The fallback position would be your GP, but I hesitate to suggest this, as some GPs are too ready either to dismiss people like you with no help at all or to simply reach for the prescription pad. I don't think it would be a good idea to get hooked on antidepressants or anti-anxiety meds at your age. The ideal would be to try and get yourself referred for CBT - cognitive behavioural therapy - if your GP would agree to this.

    I think the likeliest outcome is that you will simply outgrow this, as the majority of us do - though there are adult sufferers too. But don't hesitate to seek help, especially if the hand-washing problem is escalating.

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    • Posted

      Hi Lily,

      ​Thankyou so much for getting back to me. I appreciate your advice so much smile Reassuring to know that sometimes it is possible to grow out of it - especially when having children of your own to take care of when they're ill. And I completely agree with the McDonalds - I haven't eaten there ever since! There are good days and bad days, as i'm sure you would understand too, and some days I think "Everything will be fine" and then something happens which is a huge knockback sad And yes, I am 17 currently studying Beauty Therapy at college, so that's a good idea about asking to see if there are any counsellors to talk to. I have used ChildLine before about friendship problems a few years ago, and that was very helpful so I will look into that aswell on days when I don't feel as happy.

      ​Completely agree with the GP situation too, I do feel like forums and online programmes help so much with dealing with it too - which makes me feel reassured. I think in the future if it still persists I will look into therapy especially if it gets too hard to deal with.

      Thankyou so much for your advice and just having the time to talk to me smile

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