Help me overcome my emetophobia
August 4, 2010 11:56 AM Subscribe
Have you "cured" an extreme phobia that you once had?
How did you do it?
posted by KogeLiz to Health & Fitness (22 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
Since about 9 years old, I've had an extreme phobia of vomit.
I've talked to some therapists about it in the past - and I'm still not sure where the phobia came from.
It's been extreme in the past - 10 years ago for about 6 months, I only ate bread in fear of anything else giving me a foodborne illness. I had panic attacks constantly. I ended up weighing 100 pounds at 5'8".
I finally saw a doctor about my phobia/panic attacks and to make a long story short - medications did help.
I currently am not insured for the first time since 10 years ago when i first sought help.
My phobia is getting bad again. I've cut out a lot of things from my diet (I can stand to lose weight at this point, though), I'm afraid to go to bars, be around people who are sick, scared to use a public bathroom, scared to be around anyone who is drunk, scared to get on boats/airplanes/cars with other people, I avoid babies, hospitals, watching movies that have "partying" in the plot, I panic if someone coughs, etc.
While on medications, I still had the phobia - but I didn't have panic attacks - and I didn't worry so much about going to bars or getting on airplanes. But if someone got sick - I would still run and freak out.
Another reason why I need to just abolish this phobia - I have an aunt who has cancer and liver disease. She is constantly sick to her stomach and cannot keep anything down. She gets carsick while in the car. When I visit my family (they live out of state), I am a ball of anxiety when I see my aunt. She always wants me to stay over or take her to stores. The last time, I pretty much avoided her because I was terrified.
And I fear that if someone I know was in need of help, that I would run away. Example - My boyfriend had drank way too much one night and I woke up to a flooded kitchen and I could see him in the bathroom slumped over in the bathtub. I started crying and I was in a state of panic - I thought he drowned to death and was dead. I finally opened the door and shook him several times before he awoke. I then ran out of the house in fear that he would throw up. Luckily a friend showed up within minutes. My boyfriend needed my help and I just ran away.
I'm terrified at the idea of exposure therapy - but I'm wondering if this really the only cure.
Does anyone have any advice on how to finally get rid of this phobia? It has made me into a horrible selfish person... and a ball of panic.