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mamaleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 12:46 AM
Original message
Any emetophobes here?
So before anyone assumes I am a total fruitloop, I will come out and say this:

I have emetophobia. Yes, I am terrified of vomiting. Terrified does NOT mean I just don't like it. It means I go into a full blown anxiety attack when I feel the slightest bit off.

So, if there are any DU emets, have you ever tried CBT (cognitive behavior therapy)? Did it work? Has any therapy worked for you?

I have tried 2 psychologists so far and neither really "get" it. They seem to "get" claustrophobia and agoraphobia but not this.

Anyone have any positive therapy experiences?
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CaliforniaPeggy Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 01:02 AM
Response to Original message
1. My dear mamaleah...
I've never heard of this condition before...My condolences.

That has to be very tough...anxiety attack if you get sick?

I'm sorry to say I have no suggestions for you...

I sure hope you can find someone to help you.

:hug:
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mamaleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 01:26 AM
Response to Reply #1
4. Thank you :)
It is awful. It gets bad when the kids are sick. I barely hang in there. Needless to say my favorite fragrance is bleach.

Stomach virus "season" is the worst. I confess I almost never eat out at restaurants or at other peoples homes. Too high a risk of catching something.

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vixengrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 01:24 AM
Response to Original message
2. Welcome to DU--I don't do therapy, but for me--puking is the worst.
I don't think you are a "fruitloop" for being tense over it, or for "overthinking" the puke experience. It's a truly ghastly, epiglottis-convulsing, tasting your own stomach acid moment--What's to like?

Answer--yuck.

I'm concerned that you've had trained therapists who don't "get" it. If they can "get" vertigo and OCD and the billion other semi-freakouts our poor minds are heir to, why not appreciate something as throat-tightening and visceral as the chunder-choke? I think the answer is that they haven't hardly considered the dreadful, out of control, sense that a bout with emesis can leave you with--a sense that your body is betraying you, and that you are *not* the master of your domain. And this can be an especially greivous business if you are at all susceptible to travel-sickness or vertigo--even more loss of control, and more confrontation with the panic-trigger.

I've explored that fear, because the last time I had a stomach flu, the very crawling sensation of excess spit drove me wild--all I can tell you is--use it. Tell yourself, "Better out than in." I know this is insensitive, but I drink---booze. I've acquianted myself with the bowl and filled it. After you've reversed appetizers plus several glasses of the house special drink--more than once, puke doesn't hold the same horrors for you it once did. Death wouldn't hold the same horrors. You realize that it is ghastly, and you survive. Everybody sometimes pukes. You'll puke, you'll live. You might think "Well....I don't know...."

Just go with the flow. The only thing you can do is have it out. Not breathe, then stop, and certainly not swallow. Just let go, and then realize it had to be done. It's like the equivalent of steering into a skid.


(Um, I know this is kind of a body-function thread--but this is a real phobia, so it's not....gratuituous I think ?)
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mamaleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 01:35 AM
Response to Reply #2
6. LOL @ "chunder choke"
I'm concerned that you've had trained therapists who don't "get" it. If they can "get" vertigo and OCD and the billion other semi-freakouts our poor minds are heir to, why not appreciate something as throat-tightening and visceral as the chunder-choke

I am starting to think there are very few actually understanding therapists out there.
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IcyPeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 01:24 AM
Response to Original message
3. Interesting,
I've never heard of this phobia either. Can I ask how often do you vomit? When did you start being terrified of it?

Most phobias (to my very limited knowledge) are treated with similar methods -- usually introducing you to the problem VERY gradually, I don't know how they could do that with your particular phobia. I'd keep looking for a therapist (sometimes that's the hardest part of therapy). Or hypnosis therapy.

Don't think you're a fruitloop at all. I have a couple of common phobias myself.

Usually, in my experience anyway, a good therapist will be happy to refer you to another therapist that may have the particular skills you need. Ask your other therapists for a lead. Do you live near a big University? UCLA, for example, has some interesting "clinics". I went to their "movement disorder clinic" a while back for a problem I have.

Good luck (and for heaven's sake stay well).


:hug:
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mamaleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 01:33 AM
Response to Reply #3
5. Some answers
I remember being afraid of being sick since I was a about 12. Weird thing is, no one in my family is like this at all. They do go out of their way to be accommodating, as in warning me if anyone in their house is ill. I stay away then. For a few weeks. At least.


Funny you should mention UCLA! I was planning on checking them out because I know some of their psychologists do CBT.

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IcyPeas Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 01:57 AM
Response to Reply #5
7. Go for it....
I see you have chronic GERD too. That's not much help is it? My brother had that - he'd be in pain often with it. He tried everything... every medication. Eventually he started drinking a bit of Aloe Juice, someone told him it might help.... AND IT DID!!! So just keep tryin' and yes, UCLA has some of the best. again, good luck.

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mamaleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 02:00 AM
Response to Reply #7
8. Aloe?
I think I may try that.....nothing so far has worked. :(
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Manifestor_of_Light Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 02:12 AM
Response to Original message
9. Hmmm...
I'm wondering -- why would you not want to toss your cookies if your body is telling you it's time to get rid of it??? Your body is trying to get rid of germs in the case of the stomach flu.

I used to vomit all the time when I had severe sinus infections and pneumonia. The sinus drainage was coming back up and my body was trying to get rid of it.

There's a reason why your body is eliminating the bad stuff.

And yes, you are not in control of your body at that time. There are times when we must let go of control of our bodies. You can't stop breathing voluntarily, either.

Just wondering -- the loss of control is the big issue? NOT that you will feel better after you get sick?

If I am vomiting, my body is already in a total uproar, and it's no worse than an anxiety attack. And it will pass.


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kentauros Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 03:15 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. Well, I can understand why there could be a fear
not of doing it all, start to finish, but of the process. Too many times I've had stomach acid get squirted up into my esophagus, whether before vomiting or just due to over-active stomach acid production. My esophagus begins to constrict and breathing becomes very difficult. As I've choked on food before, it's not a sensation I like to even think about. Trying to get air in is a sound I don't like to hear, even in fictional movies and TV. And sometimes vomiting affects the esophageal lining in the same way where I simply cannot breathe for enough time and start to panic. I just have to force calm on my mind because there's just nothing you can do until those muscles calm down and the irritation of the lining stops enough to breathe easier.
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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 10:19 AM
Response to Reply #9
16. Hey...
Do you have any phobias? Could you just not have them? It's not a rational response. Sorry to get defensive, but it's not like it's *fun* to feel like this...
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skygazer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 10:28 AM
Response to Reply #9
17. There is no logic to a phobia
I am petrified of water. I know, on an intellectual level, that I have nothing to fear by stepping into the shallow end of a pool and yet I cannot even get close to it without going into a full-blown panic attack.

I signed up for adult beginner swimming lessons for people who are afraid of water last year and on the first day, I got out of the shower preparatory to leaving the house and got stuck in the hallway, gasping and crying - just the thought of going was too much. I never went, had to drop.

It's maddening and frustrating - you want to be in control of this wholly irrational fear but find you cannot be. And attitudes like yours that basically say "you're foolish - just get over it" are no help at all.
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mamaleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 11:38 AM
Response to Reply #17
19. Thats it exactly!!!
Trying to deal with something you know is illogical but that takes such a hold of you is maddening!
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REP Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 02:19 AM
Response to Original message
10. Not quite emetophobic, but pretty damn close
Runs in the family. Will do anything to avoid vomiting; hearing, seeing and/or smelling another human vomit makes me queasy, which is not good, since I will do anything to avoid vomiting. Oddly, when the cats do it, it's different. No kids, so don't have to deal with that. I've never sought treatment because ... why would I? Unless I have food poisoning, I can just not urp.
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Oeditpus Rex Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 03:21 AM
Response to Original message
12. I know one
And I've alerted her to this thread. Perhaps she can help. :)



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PBS Poll-435 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 03:23 AM
Response to Original message
13. I cry on the rare occasion that I vomit
To me, it feels like a form of rape.
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crim son Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
14. My daughter has it.
It drove us nuts when she was a young kid because she'd be sick and hysterical at the same time. I don't know if it's willpower or what, but she hasn't puked in a decade, seriously.
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mamaleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 11:42 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. People with emetophobia can go long periods without
vomiting.

There is actually a website where people list how long its been. Some 30+ years!!!
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LynzM Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 10:18 AM
Response to Original message
15. I am one
First...

:hug: :hug: :hug:

If you don't live it, you can't understand it, like many other things.

I tried reading some emet boards, but these ironically didn't really help because all everyone wanted to do was (of course) talk about it and perseverate.

The thing that has helped me the most has been to stop eating wheat. It was causing me anxiety and OCD-like responses, which mostly focused around the emet stuff. I no longer get adrenaline from hearing about non-contagious vomiting (alcohol, roller coasters, etc.) I still absolutely don't want to be around it, but I'm not totally wrecked by it. The other thing that helps me (a little) when I may have come in contact with someone with a contagious illness is to tell myself "My worrying will have no impact on the outcome of my body's health." If anything, stress weakens the immune system. It seems that over time, repeating this has helped me to start to believe it, a bit. It also helps that my daughter is getting older, and thus the chances of being confronted without warning are lessening.

I have done some self-therapy in the CBT line, but have not worked with anyone professionally, other than to stop eating the wheat.

PM me if you want to talk some more about it. I know this isn't much help, but it's where I'm at.
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mamaleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 11:43 AM
Response to Reply #15
21. You are right about the boards
I joined one for a while but it amped my anxiety level up to about 1000 on a scale of 1-10. I am much better not reading about it daily!
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no name no slogan Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 10:28 AM
Response to Original message
18. Yeah, I fuckin hate Emos. Coldplay are a bunch of douches
And Fall Out Boy are a bunch of fucktards.
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Evoman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 12:47 PM
Response to Original message
22. Yep, I am. I was pretty hardcore....I had gone about 17 years without puking.
Some of my issues:

I have problems going to parties if I know there will be a lot of drinking. You know those puke stories everybody finds so funny? I find them horrifying.

Kids are my nightmare. I won't get anywhere near a sick kid. Puke machines...and they don't have the good sense or control to run to the bathroom. Most kids will run TOWARDS you if they are puking...yeah kid, I really want to be covered in your fucking puke.

You will never catch me holding someones hair who is puking. Ever. Never. I love my girlfriend, but when she gets sick, I turn the volume up on the TV or computer. Before and after a puking event, you will never see me not care for her. But as soon as puke time comes, I'm out of there.

HOWEVER,

Last year I had a kidney stone. The combination of extreme pain and morphine overcame my ability to not puke and I freakin puked like crazy. You know what? It really helped and I sort of overcame my phobia a bit. About 6 months ago, I felt the urge to puke. Instead of doing what I usually do and holding it back, I went to the washroom and puked. There was a lot of anxiety and I felt like crying, but I manned up and just fucking did it. It wasn't as bad.

It has really helped my anxiety about it. I'm still not digging kids, and I still stay away from people who are throwing up, but I'm not nearly as concerned. I used to be terrified when people near me had flus. Now, I just feel very discomforted. A couple of more times of being sick, and I may just be over it.

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mamaleah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 09:53 PM
Response to Reply #22
24. Havibng kids means my anxiety is always kinda high
I am able to deal when they are sick, but my definition of dealing and a non-emet are 2 different things. My definition means washing the whole bathroom in bleach immediately after the event and not eating for 72 hours after one of them is sick in case I get it.
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Mojo_electro Donating Member (120 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 01:10 PM
Response to Original message
23. My g/f has a similar issue...
Edited on Tue Jun-23-09 01:13 PM by Mojo_electro
Only hers is more of a fear of other people vomiting. Seeing it, hearing it, etc...

If I so much as mention that I am feeling even the slightest bit green, she will go sleep in the other room for fear of even hearing me get up and run into the bathroom were things to go in that direction.

I've become conditioned to put my hand over her eyes if there is imminent puke on TV, for example..

It if from a traumatic experience when she was a kid and got really sick.

Bless her heart.

As for treating it, I'm really not sure on that.... but being extra careful with things like food/medication/motion sickness would probably help to avoid most problems. Luckily throwing up or seeing people do it is not terribly common.

But hey, remember what Kermit the Frog said... "it ain't easy bein' green"

mojo
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Jun-23-09 10:36 PM
Response to Original message
25. someone has to say it....
Edited on Tue Jun-23-09 10:37 PM by mike_c
:puke:





I'm not known for good taste, after all. All kidding aside, best wishes to you, my friend! I hope you get that problem licked soon! Oh, wait.... :hi:
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