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Author Topic: Emetephobia is ruining my life!  (Read 251 times)

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Offline emmmmaaaa

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Emetephobia is ruining my life!
« on: March 28, 2014, 09:04:09 PM »
Hi! I had a really horrible day because I have emetephobia (the fear of vomiting) and obsessive compulsive disorder (I've had both since kindergarten, and I'm a high school freshman now) and I just feel really really upset, almost like I'm about to have a breakdown. I've had a really hard time getting to school because I'm SO afraid, and I feel sick every morning before school and during school. My anxiety has been exremely high since October (partly because of the transition to high school, partly because I started Zoloft which I'm now off of for anxiety which kept me in my house for 2 weeks straight) and I feel really worn out and I'm so tired from fighting it. I'm normally really happy go lucky and nothing gets me down, but it's been 4 straight months of constant anxiety and due to my anxiety I've quit basketball (my favorite sport), and I haven't hung out with my friends in forever despite their best efforts. The people at my high school are so unhelpful and they just tell me to go back to class because my fear isn't real, which doesn't help, because I know it's not real! I cried for the first time ever in school today, and I literally couldn't stop crying, and I'm so embarrassed because I don't know why I was crying and why I was making such a big deal! I just feel really lost in myself and confused, like I feel like I've lost sight of what path I was on and all my motivation is lacking, because my grades dropped from high honor roll to mid 80s because I'm missing so much school. My parents have really been trying to help me but they're stressed too, so we've been getting in fights a lot recently and they've threatened to call the cops, send me away and send me to hospitals which only heightens my anxiety. I'm really not a bad kid and I would never ever disrespect anyone, but everyone's been perceiving my fear of school as truancy and it's making me so upset. I just really need help getting my life back on track, but my parents keep telling me that there's no one to help me anymore but myself, which makes me so anxious too. :( I'm in CBT therapy right now and I tried meds, but they made me so sick. I'm sorry that I'm writing so much I just feel like I'm at my breaking point and it's so scary :( I just don't want to have a breakdown because I have 40 of my friends and my favorite band coming over tomorrow for my birthday but I'm so not in the mood anymore because of what happened today :( Any suggestions? I received a 504 plan in January, but it's only made things worse. My high school is anything but accommodating, they chase me around, and they don't let me stay out of class to take a breather, let alone do they ever ask me why I'm anxious and what they can do to help. I don't expect them to pity me, I'd just appreciate it if they could be there when I need them, like it was in middle school, when my anxiety was considerably better due to the fact that the psychologist, nurse, and guidance counselors were so understanding and supportive. Thanks to anyone who reads/replies!
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OCD // Emetephobia // Hypochondria //

Offline ellish

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Re: Emetephobia is ruining my life!
« Reply #1 on: April 06, 2014, 02:53:21 PM »
Emma, what you're going through sounds absolutely terrible. This is supposed to be one of the most fun times of your life, and you're not able to enjoy it because of your anxiety. I truly empathize, and hope that you can get better. One thing I can say is this illness is NOT worth ruining your grades, social life, or high school experience over - I promise. So you have to keep fighting. I wish I knew of some concrete way to help you fix it (being an anxious person and emetophobe myself), but all I have is what is in the process of working for me, so I will share.

I'm 30, so have been dealing with this for quite some time, and missing out on things because of my fears. The funny thing about getting older is, you do start to realize that you don't have all the time in the world to do things. So while I'm still anxious and phobic, I also get angry at these feelings when they happen, and at myself for allowing them to. I get angry thinking that I can't go to a party or a bar or concert because I'm afraid someone might be sick. And the funny thing is, this anger actually helps me! When I really put in perspective what I am missing out on due to the fear, I am so angry at that thought of missing out on life that end up forcing myself to participate (even for just a little while). I'll go to a beer festival early instead of late (since people will be less likely to be trashed! lol) - but I will go. I'll go to the gym even if I'm feeling a little nauseous...but will take it easy until the anxiety subsides and I know I'm better. And you know what? Even if the worst happens and I'm exposed to a stressful situation, it's rare, not that bad, and overall I'm glad I went.

One other tactic that has been helpful...the worst case scenario. Especially in terms of the phobia, I've found that really thinking through, step by step, what you would do IF the worst happened has been extremely helpful. For example, if I'm afraid of getting sick...what has happened other times that I've actually had stomach flu or gotten sick? it has been unpleasant for sure, but I SURVIVED. I managed in the situation. I remember when I had salmonella that while I was literally in the process of getting sick, I wasn't anxious - I was actually thinking how amazing it was that our bodies could propel stuff out of us with such force lol (a little graphic but I found it amusing looking back). Thinking about these past experiences and the reality of them (vs. the fear we normally consider) has helped me calm down, even if I'm still terrified to get the stomach flu or something.  If someone else gets sick? We can usually leave the situation...if not, we will cope. I was tested on this when I was driving my cousin around who had drank too much and was minutes away from being sick. While I felt close to a panic attack, when the time came where he was sick (in the car no less!), I opened the window in time, kept calm enough to continue driving safely, and handled the situation like I would any other slightly chaotic issue. I even helped clean him up.

We are often a lot better at handling these fears and emotions than we think we are - but if you look back to your experience (we've ALL been sick at some point), we've done it. You're here...you've been through worse. Keeping that firmly in your mind and trying to establish some semblance of control over the situation (if I'm feeling sick, I'll put a bucket by me/glass of water and gatorade/eat ginger candy/make sure I'm close to the bathroom, etc) helps because the issue really is a lack of control and a fear that you won't be able to manage the lack of control (which isnt' true). My phobia went haywire when I made two long distance moves in the span of two years. As I started to assert more control over both the phobia and my life in general (making a 5 year plan, figuring out what I really wanted to do career wise, etc), things got WAY better. But being prepared also helps. Today I know if I or my husband get sick, I have the supplies to take care of us and get through it. Even that little bit of control helps. Think about how you can apply that to your own life and regain control in areas that you might feel are in chaos right now.

Best of luck to you. I wish your family and school could provide more support, but unfortunately those who don't experience this rarely understand it. Take care of yourself and please take those chances to do the things you love - you WILL be ok and your future self will thank you.

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