By Beth Downing
I had a session with my therapist today, I haven’t seen her in nearly a month. I was very anxious before because I knew what she wanted me to talk about.
I have a phobia called emetophobia. This basically is a phobia of sick. I know most people don’t like sick or being sick, but for me this phobia consumes me every day. I can literally relate anything and everything to sick or me being sick. I wake up every day scared of being sick and worried that something could make me sick. Even when I go out I’m worried about being sick, especially in public. I do different things too, such as not eating with my hands, wash my hands a lot, carry anti sickness tablets with me all the time etc and I also avoid a lot of things.
This is what my therapist focuses on with me because this phobia has taken over my life and causes me a hell of a lot of anxiety! I find it so hard to talk about, it makes me uncomfortable and makes me feel sick. I hate it but I know I have to do it to get better. It’s really hard!
I’m lucky to have some friends and family who understand this and will help me out. But a lot of people say to me ‘well no one likes being sick’… there’s a massive difference between not liking something and a diagnosed phobia. I know most people will think this weird but really I don’t care, there’s more people than we think who also suffer from this phobia. Many people will be very discreet due to fear of being laughed at and not taken seriously.
People use the term ‘phobia’ very loosely, I know how it feels to have a true, diagnosed phobia so please do not mock others when you simply do not understand. I know people with phobias of things such as clowns, I do not understand this however I empathise with them because I know how disabling a phobia can be.
So at my therapist’s request, I need to include the word ‘vomit’ in here. I absolutely hate this word, just writing or reading it makes me feel sick but it’s a start!
If anyone suffers from this phobia or any other phobia please feel free to message me, because I do understand. It’s taken time and courage for me to admit this, but I’m glad I have!
Reproduced with permission, originally posted here
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