Mental Health Monday: Living With Emetophobia

Monday, 1 May 2017


Happy mental health awareness month! To celebrate a whole month dedicated to breaking the stigma around mental health, I've decided to start a mini series for this month only. Welcome to 'Mental Health Monday'. 

Every Monday in May, will be a post all about mental health. Today's one is from me, and my personal experience with emetophobia, something I suffer with every day. However, there will be posts from various people, friends of mine, fellow bloggers, about their mental health experiences. I hope you enjoy this, and I hope it raises a bit more awareness for mental health and the stigma behind it.

So, welcome to my personal experiences. I suffer with anxiety, and a phobia of vomit (emetophobia). My first experience with the fear of sick, was when I was around five years old. My friend said she felt sick, and proceeded to throw up in my house. Even then, as a little girl I felt scared. I cried to my parents once she'd left, I was shaky, and actually showing signs of what I now know is a panic attack. As a child, of course I caught bugs and threw up several times myself. It didn't make me any less scared though. I would always have a shaking fit before being sick, cry and shouting for my parents. 

I don't want this to specifically be a history of my phobia as such, but more what its like living with the immense fear. Imagine having to check dates on all foods before you eat it, if you're eating meat, check its thoroughly cooked, or just avoiding it all together as you don't want to face what could happen if you do eat it. If someone you know/love has a 'bug', avoiding them at all costs. You don't want to catch that. Using hand sanitiser before eating anywhere in public, in fear you've picked something up that might be on your hands. Or maybe its avoiding certain food groups, as you connect them with being sick, or feeling sick.


These are struggles I go through day in day out. Admittedly, I used to be much worse than I am now but still, I always have those stupid thoughts at the back of my head. I won't even take medicine a lot of the time, due to the fact sickness is a side effect. Basically, I'll do anything in my power to avoid it. Even if I'm having a good day, happy, not anxious, these silly little thoughts of sick are lingering at the back of my mind, and they never really go away.


I also suffer with panic disorder, which is linked to the emetophobia. Usually the panic attacks are caused by the emetophobia, so for example, if I feel sick or I've seen/heard someone be sick. Or if I've managed to just wind myself up to the point of panic of course. Which isn't fun. So, its something I suffer with on a day to day basis unfortunately. I do think I've got better in some respects, but I definitely still suffer immensely with the phobia. 


Anyway, if theres anything I've learnt over the past few years is to not give up hope. You will get better, and you will survive. As much as I hate it, and it affects me daily, I know that I'm going to be okay overall. I use apps like 'Calm' to help me out when I'm feeling really bad, and also breathing techniques. Just whatever works for you! Keep positive and never give up.


- Lucy

25 comments

  1. I also have anxiety and emetephobia and everything you described totally sums it up. Really looking forward to this little Mental Health series :) x

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    1. I hope this helped to know you're not alone with the phobia/anxiety - I also hope you enjoy the series!

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  2. I also suffer with emetophobia! It's so crazy how common this deliberating fear is. So I'm glad I'm not alone and I hope you feel assured that you're not either. Something that really helped me was to figure out what exactly caused such a great fear of sick. And mine wasn't even really the sick. It was more I started to associate the feelings of being scared (caused by a childhood trauma) with feeling sick. This really helped me to see a difference between what I was actually fearing and sick itself. I really loved how you mentioned about not giving up hope. When you're stuck in an anxiety bubble and living everyday with an intense fear, it can be so hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel, but it is there and it will happen. It's just going to take time. I can't wait to see more of these mental health posts over the course of may. Best wishes always xx

    Lauren | itslaurenvictoria.blogspot.co.uk

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    1. Its an extremely deliberating fear, I don't think people realise that. You're definitely not alone and I totally feel you. I think I need to figure that out, I just struggle so much to even think about sick as I hate it way too much, but its something I need to do! Not giving up hope is definitely something that we all need to do, and of course it'll all take time. Best wishes to you too x

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  3. being sick literally is my biggest fear and when i thought i eventually got better my stomac started acting up in 2015 and ll the fear flared up again. i'm still in the process of dealing with it. its not normal to refuse to eat out at new places because i'm scared that the food won't agree with me, i carry an empty plastic bag in my makeup bag in case i'll ever be sick in public and its horrid. i'm still working on myself and staying calm but its hard.
    xx

    www.elenaisabelle.com

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    1. Its such a deliberating fear and I hate it so much, I know how you feel. Its definitely not normal to refuse to eat out at new places at all, but I do the same sadly. I don't even carry anything with me, in fear it'll jinx something and I'll actually end up being ill, but I see exactly why you carry one! It can be hard to stay calm, but lets all keep working on it, best wishes to you girlie!

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  4. Thanks for sharing your experiences. As a blogger, I know how hard it is to be vulnerable but I'm glad you did. I suffer a lot with anxiety and it's pretty hard. It's extremely important to raise awareness to mental healthy and I loved this post! :)

    www.letmecrossover.blogspot.com

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    1. Definitely, I just want people to know and understand this phobia and area of anxiety! Anxiety is a hard thing to cope with and can be very debilitating issue - I'm glad you liked the post lovely!

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  5. I also have emetephobia and anxiety and you've summed up exactly how I feel/think. I have bad times and better times living with it, but it's been a part of my life since childhood too. Looking forward to seeing more of your posts :) x

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    1. Its a very tough phobia to deal with, I've suffered most of my life as well so I understand - hope you enjoy the mental health monday series!

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  6. Anxiety is such a tough thing to deal with sometimes, I'm glad you were able to share your experiences with us, looking forward to the rest of this series.

    Alice | alicemaysnell

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    1. It really can be - hope you enjoy the rest of the series!

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  7. I don't suffer from emetophobia (I think I have a normal hatred of vomiting), but I do have a severe anxiety disorder. I'm glad you wrote about your struggles on your blog -- I applaud people who contribute to a positive space for the discussion of mental issues. Never give up.

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    1. I'm sorry to hear you suffer with anxiety, but I fully understand how you feel as it can be very debilitating and hard to cope with!

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  8. Thank you so much for sharing this post. I am looking forward to more from Mental Health Mondays x

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    1. Hope you enjoy the rest of the series!

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  9. Thank you for sharing this, I have never heard anyone discuss this particular phobia so it was really enlightening to hear how you felt and how it can still effect you daily. I really appreciate your openness and honesty and look forward to your next post. Lots of love xxx

    ALittleKiran | Bloglovin

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    1. I'm not sure how common the phobia is, but I've recently learnt more people suffer with it than I thought - but I'm glad you've learnt something from it!

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  10. I don't have emetophobia, but as part of my OCD/anxiety, I did obsessively check meat, food, etc. and still have huge issues with germs/cleaning etc.
    www.thelittleenigma.blogspot.co.uk
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    1. It can be very frustrating can't it - I hope you're okay lovely!

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  11. This is such a good series, I will make sure that I check back each Monday!
    I suffer with OCD/anxiety and severe arachnophobia, and they all contribute to one another and intensify each other. A lot of people don't understand what I go through and seem to think I'm overreacting, it is refreshing to see this post!

    Danielle xx
    http://www.fashionbeautyblog.co.uk/

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    1. Thank you - I hope you enjoy the series! I totally understand where you're coming from, they all link together somehow and it does annoy me that people think we're overreacting, because phobia's are SO real and can cause so much harm to a person!

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  12. I love how you are raising awareness of this! I have suffered from this for as long as I can remember, although I am so much better now it literally has controlled my whole life! I find that allowing yourself to think/worry about it makes it so much harder to keep it in your mind until eventually you just stop thinking about it as much. But seriously, you will get better so don't give up working on it! xx

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    1. Its something thats so important to me and I just want it to be spoken about so much more - I've suffered for so long as well. I hope I get better, its such a tough phobia to get over and work on but still, I'm much better than I was!

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  13. thank you for sharing your story, I'm looking forward to reading your other posts!

    emjbarker.blogspot.co.uk

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