A Battle with Emetophobia: My Personal Story

A Battle with Emetophobia: My Personal Story

Trigger warning: this post contains talk of anorexia and being sick. Please don’t read if either of these things could upset you!

A Battle with Emetophobia: My Personal Story

No one likes being sick, I mean its hardly a pleasant experience. But for most people thats all it is, something they don’t like but thats just an unavoidable fact of life.

Not so for people who suffer from Emetophobia. You might be wondering just what the hell it even is though: Emetophobia is quite a wide ranging condition but basically put it’s the fear of being sick and/or the fear of seeing someone being sick.

Even though I’ve suffered with it for most of my life (without even realising it!) I never knew it was an actual phobia.

According to Anxiety UK 6-7% of women suffer with this condition, in contrast to only 1.7-3.1% of men that do.

I once had someone tell me that “you’re just being melodramatic, no one likes being sick but its not a real phobia, it doesn’t effect your life”.

Well actually, yes it does!

A Battle with Emetophobia: My Personal Story

I became severally anorexic because I caught the Novo bug that was floating around a few years ago and my brain, in its infinite wisdom, thought that starving myself would stop me being sick.

No, what stopped me being sick was the anti sickness tablets I was popping like smarties.

All starving myself did was nearly put me in hospital.

If you want to read the whole story of what happened and some of the long term side effects I’ve ended up with, I wrote this post on My Anorexia Story.

Oh and having kids? Yeah that one isn’t going to happen for me because the thought of having to cope with morning sickness terrifies me.

Even just typing that made my hands clam up!

I know for a fact I would starve myself again before I let myself be sick, which would seriously harm the baby. Plus what kind of mother would I be if my kids got sick, I couldn’t go near them.

Not wouldn’t, couldn’t.

My mum got sick on New Years Day and because my room is next to the bathroom I heard her being sick, so I went to my bedroom door to asked her if she was okay and if I could get her anything.

Even stood 10 foot away I was shaking from head to foot and I physically couldn’t get any closer.

I tired to make myself move and my body wouldn’t respond.

I love my mum more than anyone in the world and if I couldn’t go to her (no matter how much it broke my heart to stay away) then I can’t imagine it being any different with a child.

A Battle with Emetophobia: My Personal Story

I also can’t eat new things or in places I don’t know because I’m terrified the food will making me sick.

This isn’t just restaurants and pubs, I panic when I eat at my boyfriend or best friends house! I have to buy or take my own food with me more often than not and then explain to them that it’s nothing against them, its just my phobia.

Luckily they don’t get offended but its a constant worry for me that they will, especially when meeting new people for the first time.

If theres any kind of sickness bug going round I will become a hermit and refuse to leave the house unless I desperately have to.

If I do have to go outside I’ll obsessively use hand sanitiser if I’ve touched things like handrails and door handles.

I went through a whole bottle in less than a week once…

I’ve always been scared of being sick but amusingly I can count on one hand the number of times its ever actually happened.

I don’t remember ever even having a traumatic experience to cause the fear, its just something I’ve always had. Even as a 3/4 year old I was exactly the same and its just got worse the older I get.

Having a name for the fear and realised that its actually fairly common has helped come to terms with it and I’ve even improved a little in the last year but I don’t think its ever going to go away completely.

Do you struggle with Emetophobia? Do you have any tips or advice that help you cope?

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  • R.Quirls says:

    Wow I did not know that was illness neither but I have come across people that react in the same manner. I always thought that was a form of hypochrindia.

  • Jade Marie says:

    Nope not at all, it’s the same as any other phobia. Might seem daft or an overreaction to someone who doesn’t have it but to the person who does it’s utterly terrifying

  • Asakemi says:

    I’m glad you’re finding ways to cope. That’s very important. Don’t let this limit you, girl 🙂

  • Jade Marie says:

    Thank you lovely! 🙂 I try my best not to let it limit me any more than I can help 🙂

  • gymbagsandjetlags says:

    I had no idea that this was a thing! Thank you for sharing; it’s good for people to know illnesses/phobias like this are out there to better understand others. You got this girl <3

    🍉 Pia
    http://gymbagsandjetlags.com

  • Jade Marie says:

    I hear that so often! I technically only found out my phobia had a name and was real from reading another bloggers post on it- until then I thought I was just being weird!
    I’m glad you enjoyed the post and hopefully it’s useful to raise awareness ☺️

    Thank you lovely! 💛

  • Sarah says:

    This would be so hard to live with. I understand how great it is to have a name for something that’s caused you distress your whole life!

  • Jade Marie says:

    It really does effect every aspect of your life 😔 I’m making small improvements though, so there’s hope ☺️

  • Sarah says:

    Absolutely! I wish you all the best, truly x

  • Jade Marie says:

    Thank you lovely, I really appreciate that!x

  • hudapervez says:

    Wow, I had no idea about this condition. I can’t imagine how frustrating it must be at times. I actually have had health anxiety since I was a child but nothing too severe but it can really make normal day to day things a little harder than usual at times! Thanks for sharing this! 💗

  • Jade Marie says:

    A lot of people have it and don’t actually realise, it’s one of the reasons I wanted to write the post; to raise awareness! Health anxiety is horrendous, I struggle with that too and it really does make life difficult 😔💛

  • sharnahsblog says:

    wow I have never heard of this before but I am so glad I have read your post! It is very brave of you to share and good because I bet there are a lot of people (like myself) that have never heard of Emetophobia. If you don’t mind me asking, do you drink alcohol then? x

  • Jade Marie says:

    There are so many people who haven’t! I actually spoke to someone at my uni last week who has it but didn’t even know- he just thought he was “being stupid” 😔
    And I don’t mind you asking at all ☺️ no I don’t drink; I’ll have a glass of wine occasionally but I’ve never been drunk. Partly because of the fear of it making me sick but also because I have a heart condition that makes my heart stop, and drinking makes it worse!x

  • sharnahsblog says:

    Yeah I bet a lot of people think that unfortunately that is why its so great to raise awareness of it! and yeah I was thinking alcohol makes people sick a lot of the time! sorry about your condition:( and thank you for answering my question! xx

  • Jade Marie says:

    That’s the main reason I wrote the post, I want to make people more aware of it and hopefully help people who have it realise that they aren’t alone and it’s a pretty common phobia ☺️ thank you hun! I’m learning to live with it these days and making progress to overcome it ☺️ you’re more than welcome, thank you for asking!xx

  • Kayla says:

    Hi Jade, I have to say what an incredible post. I had no idea there was an actual phobia for this, and I to have suffered through some of same experiences as you. I’ve gotten much better over the years, but as I’m sitting here reading your story, I’m thinking “holy shit…. this is me” and I’ve never come across another individual who shares my fear. I feel the same about morning sickness, and only eat certain things. It’s almost impossible for me to eat at a new resturant.

    Thank you so much for sharing this, it’s given me inspirating to possibly write about my own story.

  • Jade Marie says:

    Hi Kayla, I’m so glad to know my post has helped you! Honestly I used to be exactly the same, I didn’t know it was an actual condition or anything. I’m sorry to hear you have the same problem though, I wouldn’t wish this on my worst enemy 😔

    I really hope you do share your own story; I’d love to read it! Feel free to send it me over if you do end up writing it ☺️

  • I never realised that this was an actual phobia! Although I’m not quite as bad as you I think I might actually suffer from a mild case of this! I absolutely hate being sick and like you will do anything to avoid sickness bugs (which is really hard when I work with children). I do want my own family some day but the morning sickness is one of the main things which worries me and my Fiancé is well aware that if the children had sickness bugs he’d be the one helping them, it sounds bad but I just cannot cope with sick at all! If I ever go on a night out and I have a few alcoholic drinks as soon as I begin to feel sick I’ll stop drinking, I’ve never let myself get drunk because of the fact I don’t want to be sick! Thanks for sharing your story!

    Jess // foundationsandfairytales.wordpress.com
    xx

  • I have the same phobia, it’s good to hear other people’s stories. Stay strong.

  • Jade Marie says:

    I’m sorry to hear you have the same phobia, but I hope my story can help you in some small way! Stay strong yourself, you’ve got this!

  • I have emetophobia too! I was a lot worse a couple years back being in a constant cycle of panic attacks as the anxiety would make me feel ill and it was a horrendous cycle all through the night and day causing me to miss a lot of school. To help I did weekly CBT which helped with general anxiety and depressive thoughts I was having because of my poor quality of life as a result. I did exposure therapy weekly with homework which had me write pages of words eg. Chunder, watch videos and even make sick and poor it on the floor outside! AND I have family therapy with my parents and sister as my phobia was causing a lot of tension in the house and helping them to understand also support them as it was hard for them. I am not healed/treated etc. I still experience my anxiety by it does not impact my life as much and I can live relatively normal. DO consider help cause it is out there even if the phobia is not well known

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