Thoughts on Getting Help For Emetophobia

TW/CW – emetophobia, anxiety, panic attacks

Recently I’ve been looking in to treating my emetophobia. My generalised anxiety/stress has reached a point where the only solution is likely to be medication that I won’t take due to my phobia. As a result the only logical solution is to deal with the phobia. If only things were straightforward. I wrote previously that I’d had public panic attacks and they were due to the stress of contemplating getting help for my phobia. I feel stuck between a rock and a hard place and I want to elaborate on why.

Like a lot of sufferers I feel like my phobia keeps me safe – and in a lot of ways it does. I live my life in certain ways to avoid getting sick. It affects my diet, the ways I choose to travel, places I’m willing to visit etc. Yes, some people would say it’s restrictive but that’s the price I’m willing to pay to not get sick. A huge part of the battle is the fact that my phobia also means that my body fights the urge to be sick. It’s not a pleasant experience – I go to a primal place in my brain and my whole body shuts down – but it stops the urge to vomit. I’m terrified that if I no longer have the phobia I won’t be able to stop it and then if I let it happen once it’ll keep happening. My phobia at this point is a finally tuned system to prevent me being sick and I don’t want to ficker with it.

The logical counter-argument to this is if I didn’t have the phobia anymore then I wouldn’t have to worry about being kept safe because I wouldn’t be afraid to be sick. This is where my irrational thoughts take over. For someone who would rather die than be sick it’s hard to imagine a point in time where they would ever be ok with being sick. I know it’s possible because I know of people who have recovered, I also know that emetophobia has one of the lowest rates of success when it comes to treatment as it’s one of the phobias with the most powerful emotive response. The fear is also based on your own bodily function and through life is something that may be impossible to fully avoid and so it’s an ever present fear that you can never get away from.

The idea of whatever the therapy itself may involve is also, quite frankly, terrifying. I’ve read horror stories of exposure therapy that in all seriousness could lead to me developing PTSD on top of everything else. It may be useful to have something like hypnotherapy again to help me learn a bit about why I have the phobia but even that is very daunting.

It’s almost a self fulfilling prophecy because as long as the phobia has a grip on me I won’t get help for it and then the cycle continues. At my last GP appointment she referred me to psychiatry in order to discuss options. I’m trying to keep an open mind even though all of the thoughts above keep whirring around in my brain telling me not to do it.

Have you had professional help for a phobia or anxiety disorder before? Did it work for you? Leave me a comment and let me know.

V ❤

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21 thoughts on “Thoughts on Getting Help For Emetophobia

  1. Lizzie Bee says:

    I had no idea what emetophobia was until I read this post, and it sounds like such a difficult phobia to overcome! I wish there was something I could say to help you… I wish you all the best in your search for therapy.

    Like

    • sirvikalot says:

      Thank you Lizzie. I’m guessing I will probably go to the first appointment and then discharge myself but we shall see. I will be updating my blog with whatever happens.

      V ❤

      Like

  2. EVA | WHATEVAWEARS says:

    wow, I’d never heard of this phobia before, so thanks for educating me! I’m sorry you have to go through this, it seems like a real catch 22 given that you’ll likely need medication for your anxiety, and I know all too well how difficult anxiety can be. I really hope you are able to overcome this, I’m sure you can! ❤

    whatevawears.co.uk

    Like

  3. Jennie says:

    I’ve never heard of this phobia, sounds like a nightmare to cope with. Writing about it is hopefully helping somewhat. Definitely not an expert but my advice is to do what you feel is best for you and never let your health come second. I hope you’ll find a way! x

    Like

  4. Ana De-Jesus says:

    I am sorry to here about your emetophobia and it must be so difficult to travel and seek help. I would actually very much recommend hypnotherapy as I had it done myself, but different treatments work for different people. Hopefully the doctors can find something that can help you x

    Like

    • sirvikalot says:

      Yeah it’s hard but at the same time I don’t mind not doing things if it reduces the risk of being sick.

      I had hypnotherapy when I was a child with limited success. It helped to reduce my panic by helping me control my thoughts to “I won’t be sick. I’m never sick. I can do this. My brain won’t let my body do anything it doesn’t want to do.” So normally I can stop myself being sick but obviously the phobia is still there. I think part of it is on resistant to losing the ability to stop myself being sick so I’m resistant to losing the phobia. It’s a vicious cycle.
      V ❤️

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    • sirvikalot says:

      It’s seeking help from a professional that’s caused all the problems so this post was just a way for me to get them all out while I ponder my next move. The first appointment is just going to be to discuss options so I think I will go to that and then discharge myself if I’m still feeling like this.
      V ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Andrea ThePetiteCook says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this post, I admit I had no idea what emetophobia was before reading this. Fighting a phobia is scary, but eventually, you can make it, so go on to an appointment and see what happens xx

    Like

    • sirvikalot says:

      I have decided to print this post out and take it to the psychiatrist appointment and just discuss the options. I’m not sure I’ll take it any further at this point because I genuinely don’t think I can do it at this point.
      V ❤

      Like

  6. Rebecca Claire says:

    I hope it helps for you to know that as someone with no phobia at all of being sick, I can stop myself from being sick especially if I’m in a public place with an awful hangover (something that happens all to often these days hahaha.)

    Like getting help for anything, you just need to do it in your own time. Don’t put masses of pressure on yourself to rush into anything.

    Rebecca, libfemblog.com xo

    Like

  7. Charlotte Gransden says:

    I find this so interesting. I cant empathise as I dont have the phobia but I can totally see where you are coming from now about how your phobia keeps you safe and until we spoke about it I was like of course youd be better of fighting the phobia but now I am all confused.

    Like

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