Living with Phobia

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.

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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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