Saturday, 9 May 2015

Living With Emetophobia (Fear Of Vomit)

Hey guys, so as you can tell by the title this weeks blog post is on something more personal. After tweeting about it a few times it seems that no ones knows what it is so I'm to here to explain and share some of my storys.

If you don't know what Emetophobia is, it's a phobia of vomit. Whether that's being sick or seeing someone else be sick. It's not about not liking it, it's a lot more severe. (I experience both) It only affects 7% of women and 3.1% of men.

"Emetophobia is an intense, irrational fead or anxiety pertaining to vomiting. This specific phobia can also include subcategories of what causes the anxiety, including a fear of vomiting in public, a fear of seeing vomit, a fear of watching the action of vomiting or fear of being nauseated." ~ Wikipedia

I've had Emetophobia as long as I can remember, it's just when I was younger I didn't know what it was or that there was a name for it. No one did. 

I remember when I was little and my dad was regularly sick and I'd run into my room, get under my duvet covers and put my fingers in my ears and stay like that all night. Now a days, even if he coughs, or says he feels sick I get worried he's going to be sick. I can't help but say 'please don't be sick' and he says 'I can't help it' and gets irritated which I understand. 

None of us knew there was such thing as having a phobia of being sick of seeing someone be sick, but as I got older I knew  this was a bigger problem. I would stay away from people who felt ill or were ill and instantly get worried if someone started coughing. Some people thought I was just doing it for attention.

As I got older, I started to google things and do some research and came across the term 'Emetophobia', to be honest I was glad there was a name for it because it meant other people experienced it and I wasn't alone and I wasn't 'weird'

Now a days, if I ever feel sick, like the slightest bit nauseous, I panic like mad however I now I have some rituals/steps. If I'm at home I get changed into a baggy t-shirt and go into my room. I open all the windows, just lie on my bed and make sure I'm cool. I have some chewing gum or pepper mint tea as it's known to soothe nausea. I alternate from rubbing my stomach which seems to help (whether that's just my mind thinking it does or it actually does) and I push my acupuncture point (which is found on the inside of your wrist), this has been proved to relive nausea after sometimes only 30 seconds however sometimes takes a few minutes. It also helps relieve anxiety which helps with the panicking. 

When in public or at school and I feel sick I panic even more. It's horrible, I can't concentrate on anything and I can't sit still, I tend to pace.  The only place I want to be is at home, in an environment I know. My worst nightmare is being sick in public. I would be sat in class, suddenly feel sick and sit there, fidgeting, sweating with fear. Eventually id have to leave the classroom and go to the nurse. I wouldn't be sick, because I wasn't actually ill. It's just my mind playing tricks on me 

Two years ago whilst in Spain I got Sun stroke, I woke up shouting 'I'm gonna be sick', I was so panicky and I had cold sweats. I ran to the sink as I knew I was going to be sick. I gagged and my whole body was hunched over but somehow I managed to fight it and not be sick. I've read that it's impossible to stop yourself being sick as its a reflex but I somehow did. Which I assume must be really bad for my body as its the 'badness' wanting to come out. 

I've never really felt comfortable with talking to people about it as all I get told is 'well no one likes sick' but I guess know one really understands unless they experience it. I've also been told 'just be sick and get over it' but I can't. It's the worst thing I could ever think of doing. 

I actually have less chance of being sick than the rest of the general population because of the steps I take but I still worry excessively. 

I always feel bad when my friends are sick because I can't help them, all I can do is run away. I feel stupid. My friends know I have this phobia so they understand why I can't help them but I still feel bad. Although I don't think they know how much it affects me. 

Say I'm sat watching tv and a character vomits. A thought about vomiting quickly passes through my mind; I then start to get these physical sensations that I link to vomiting. For example my stomach might start churning and I start panicking I'm gonna be sick. However, it's actually all in my mind.

I worry everyday about being sick or seeing someone be sick; I also worry about the future, I know it's ages away but being pregnant and having morning sickness. It's always in the back of my mind. I've looked into hypnotising which can help people get over phobias, I just don't want it to get worse and effect my every day life. I've read that people with severe cases don't eat certain foods In case of food poisoning and sometimes don't even leave the house. I'm determined to not let it reach that stage

Thank you for reading. I was just in the mood for doing a more personal blog post. I hope this helps some people understand the phobia more or help people who didn't know there was such thing who may be experiencing this. It also lets you get to know me a bit more!

I have a makeup blog post planned for next week don't worry guys;) 

Soph x

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