Confessions of an Emetophobic

So just in case you didn’t already have evidence that I’m completely off my trolley, here’s some more. Was chatting with my smallgroup about Monday night’s beta carotene and coleslaw incident.

picture-31

It all started when I came home from work, and my Mum said ‘Oh, we’re having salmon and salad for tea, would you like some?’ I was all ‘yeah, that would be lovely, thanks!’

But for some weird and unknown reason she decided to put coleslaw on my plate. Wretching and trying not to run away screaming…I grabbed the plate and tried to tip the coleslaw and anything on the plate that the coleslaw had infected with its coleslawyness (totally a word btw!)  I suddenly realised I was left holding a fork covered in coleslaw. Hence the shriek of ‘Ewwwwww!!!!!!’ and the launch of said fork across the room.

A bit OTT? Yup, I know. But when it comes to all things relating to my emetophobia, rational is not a word to describe my actions. Reading this some time last year was scarily liking looking at my own reflection in a mirror.

It made me take pause to reflect on some of my weird habits which are perhaps either subconsciously or consciously emetophobia-related.

1. Fear of Coleslaw and most things based in Mayonnaise (egg mayonnaise and tuna mayonnaise especially)… I can’t look at it, and I struggle to watch anyone eat it, and I certainly cannot clean any kitchenware that has contained such things. 

2. Even though I’ve never been travel sick on a plane I take travel sickness tablets, just in case.

3. I never get a night bus in case a drunken person gets on and well, you know….

4. I never eat food past it’s sell by date or if it’s been open longer than the time allowed by the ‘please consume x days after opening’ (I label food with the date I open it for this reason).

5. If I’ve ever eaten food you’ve prepared, feel privileged. Between my obsessing over sell by dates, various other food hygiene stuff and various food allergies/intolerances I find it difficult to eat food I’ve not had full control in preparing and checking. 

6. I will never go on a ferry or boat on open water unless it’s really calm and the journey is extremely short. It took a lot of convincing from my Mum and various ferry terminal staff to get on the Staten Island Ferry. 

7. If I remotely think someone is looking like they might, or I hear or see someone…you know….my only goal is to run until I can’t hear or see anything. Possibly accompanied by some screaming.

8. If that person is me, I’ll be freaking out. Hyperventilating. Crying. Praying. Climbing the walls. Fainting. Doing anything and everything I can think of to try and prevent the inevitable from happening. 

9. If a new film comes out and I’m going to see it, I try and track down people who’ve seen it before me to find out if there are any scenes I won’t be able to face watching. 

10. Just in case I need to run out the cinema because an unexpected scene comes up, I will want to sit in the aisle seat for a quick and easy getaway. Like when I went to see Apollo 13, and didn’t come back into the cinema for about 30 mins. 

11. I will never, ever eat so much that I feel full, because the feeling of nausea terrifies me.

12. I can’t stand being a carnivals because of all the rides that make people feel sick. 

13. I won’t undergo medical treatments that have a likelihood of having being sick as a side effect. 

14. I carry around antibacterial gel and if I have to use a public bathroom I often only touch the door handle with the sleeve of what I’m wearing so I don’t ‘catch’ any nasty bugs.

15. Waiting rooms in hospitals or GP surgeries are difficult for me as I’m terrified of someone coming in with a bug or me catching a bug from someone in the waiting room.

16. If I’m travelling somewhere, I’ll be the one to drive. But sometimes I have to close my eyes if I see a car pulled over…just in case I see something I don’t want to see.

17. I won’t ever ride in a coach for the same reason I won’t go on a ferry.

18. I have been known to move out the house if anyone has a stomach bug of any kind, and open lots of windows, use lots of bleach etc. You just can’t be too careful!

 

My family and close friends are perfectly used to my strange emetophobic habits. None of my friends (even when ill or drunk) have ever ….. in front of me for which I’m very appreciative. They’ve also totally helped me out countless times in helping me avoid or cope with unexpected ‘incidents’ – they are so very understanding!

So there you have it. More insight into the crazy world of BK’s bizarre brain.

Please be careful in your commenting.

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48 thoughts on “Confessions of an Emetophobic

  1. Prayer, counselling, making myself watch programmes like ER…

    I think the only thing I’ve never done is hypnosis, mainly because i’m not sure I want to ever be hypnotised.

    And it’s a safety net.

    I’ve never taken drugs or gotten so drunk I’ve been really ill and that’s only because of this phobia!

  2. I found you by clicking on links (I’m not even sure how! Pete’s blog maybe?) and just wanted to say I TOTALLY hear you on pretty much all 18 counts. I’ve had the same phobia since I was 2 and it’s just been the hardest thing in my life to deal with for sure. I have had counselling since my teens, and so on – no success. The biggest “success” I am having is that I now have 3 (nearly 4) children under 5, and it’s so much harder to avoid with little kids! I do keep my kids under wraps more than the average mother though, which I feel bad about. It’s impossible to run away if they get sick, and facing that has surprised me by gradually improving my phobia over time. I haven’t caught anything they’ve had though, but they haven’t had many bugs at all.

    I just wanted to let you know you’re not alone! I used to hold my breath in crowded places also, like school hallways or busy shops, etc. That could take some breath-holding if the crowd was moving slow! ;)

    It’s a sucky fear to be afflicted with. I feel for you!

  3. @Alice – yeah, i’ve been ok with my friend’s son so far, but it’s not quite the same when he’s barely 1 yo compared to a bigger person… I really can’t handle it no matter who it is and even when I’ve been in situations when it’s ‘impossible’ to run away, I still have.

    However, there have been a lot of blessings that have come with emetophobia. Like, I’ve never smoked, taken drugs or regularly abused alcohol.

    Looking back, I don’t know where this phobia started or came from, but I’m so glad that I have it.

    Even if there’s times (like when it comes to travelling or not being able to look after people) that it drives me nuts.

  4. Totally confused :shock:

    How can you have been the Bacardi Queen and not regularly abused alcohol? or thrown up after drinking same??

    Or is it like an Aussie thing – Carrot Tops being called Bluey?

    Bitter irony??

    I’m missing something aren’t i??

    <B

  5. Um, bacardi queen thing was

    1. Because when I first starting drinking alcohol I drank bacardi, and it’s what I introduced my friends to when they took their tentative steps into the world of underage drinking

    2. Bacardi Breezers. Have E-numbers, sugar and fizz. 1/2 a bacardi breezer and I’m high as a kite like I am drunk, when I’m not. Haribo and fizzy cherry cola bottles have the same effect

    3. I have been drunk a few times to the point of losing memory, any sense of where I am and lost all coordination… but somehow never threw up (a few times I almost did but have a lot of um…continence? when it comes to the P-word.)

    Numbers 1 & 2 were what got me the nickname ‘bacardi queen’.

  6. I’ve been trying to explain to my girlfriend that I have this – she doesn’t understand me. If she’s sick (which she is quite often, I’ve just gotten used to sleeping with my ipod on or leaving the room) I will freak out and she doesn’t understand why. I’m glad you’re making this public, because more people need to know about it. It’s messed up alot in my life. I agree with all of your list above. I also won’t ride anything at a fair or amusement park because I’m scared it will make me sick.
    I’ve been that way since I was young – I’ve been wondering for a while now, do you remember how far back your fear has gone? My parents told me I had “night terrors” when I was young. Children will have a nightmare and raise all kinds of hell (screaming, crying, etc)- while they’re sleeping! I never remembered when I woke up, except for one time. That one time I.. y’know.. I’ve been scared since.

  7. I’m 26 and have had this fear for as long as I can remember. Up until today I thought I was the only crazy one in the world that felt like this, I had no idea there was a name for it or that anyone else ever shared my fear, possibly even more extreme than me. I almost cried when reading this and other blogs today. Thank you so much for making this public.

  8. I have emetophobia and I was wondering if you have ever.. you know a lot since you’ve had it. How was it? Is it realy as bad as you thought?

  9. If I’ve ever since having emetophobia?

    I don’t actually remember not having emetophobia, and yes I have since, and it was horrible mainly because when I have been …. it’s because I’ve been really unwell, and I think I actually collapsed last time. I’ve been lucky to have some very kind and supportive people around me when it has happened though.

  10. I have had this problem since I was 6. (I am now approaching 29)
    and I remember the exact day I figured out I had it.
    I was watching the movie “The Hitcher” w/ C. Thomas Howell and Rugter Hauer, and I was enjoying every second of it.. Until this one scene… The, it happened. I started SCREAMING and panicing,
    and going HYSTERYCAL! My mom had to come home from work, My grandpa came over and gave me a blessing, and I would not watch movies for a good year, at least. Now, as a 29 year old man,
    I still cannot go to amusement parks, (w/out panicing the whole time, anyway,) Go on road trips with really anyone. Don’t want my own children, (They do this horrible thig a lot..) WILL NOT watch a movie unless it is screened for me first, ESPECIALLY in a theatre.. I hate big parties, I don’t drink, I am OCD with my food, and I can perform an AMAZING dissapearing act if there is someone in the room feeling like they might.. Really, I have had people compliment my sneaky exits.. I can spot this from a mile away. Yes, it has taken negative control over my life in a lot of ways, But it is actually a unique thing about me, that I am somewhat proud of. My wife and all of my friends are all on my team, and are excellent lookouts for me, which has made it a little easier. It was a lot harder when I was younger, but it is still definetly there. Really the only thing that still really bugs me about it is I am a squirmy little ball of panic in the movie theatres, even if there is no vomit in the movie itself, you never know what will happen with the people surrounding you. Any ways, yes. Other people have it. I am a GRADE A emetaphobe, and try to make the best of it. Which is almost immpossible sometimes.

  11. Wow. This is so so foreign to me. Thanks everyone for giving me an insight into this. Like BK, I really hate coleslaw and it makes me gag, but I suppose that’s about it. After my last pregnancy, I’m almost surprised I don’t have more of an issue!

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  13. Hi,
    I know this was posted a long time ago, but I just stumbled across it when I discovered the word for this! I think I used to have this, I’d hate the word and run away from anyone even saying it and avoid carnivals like the plague. On some counts I’m not the same, but I still also, strangely, avoid mayonaise – I can’t even look at it!
    But, hopefully I can help as I think I’ve gotten over it in the last few years. Exposure was the key, I had a period of extreme anxiety following an event which affected me very badly and which drew me through this fear to you know, to do it almost every day in the morning, sounds stupid and looking back I can’t beloved it, but I got used to it not being scary, it being inevitable in some sense, so horrible as that time was, it helped in some sense. I know this won’t help just by Reading, but believe me looking into it and doing it as a scary thing if it happens is the worst thing, try and see it as just a natural way to get rid of things! Sorry for the long story but I’m hoping it can help somehow, if not at least you can know it’s beatable!

  14. I have emetophobia. I do the same things, although I hate chocolate not coleslaw. When I panic I usually wave my arms A LOT and breathe in and out until it calms. I can’t do many things and the only way to I dunno maybe eat more I guess is to force a tiny bit of food. I hate It. It prevents you from doing so MANY things >;O

  15. I’m so happy I finally put a name to my irrational fear of….you know what….I thought I was crazy for a while…
    My fear is still a bit out of control a couple a months ago my brother ate something he didn’t really like and well…..you know….I bolted from the house with no coat and it was negative five degrees outside. All the while screaming in my head: Kill me now! Kill me now! Kill me now!
    Ugh….it’s crazy. Support for all Emetophobics!

  16. This fear has been with me for a long time since i was 6. I am now 16 and have literally today just found out that others have the same fear! When i was younger i had irrational panic attacks, missed birthday party’s, and pushed childhood friends away. I went to a “worry lady” as i used to call her when i was young and the fear susbided for a while. Recently however my fear has become a main aspect of my life. Im tired of it and a day doesnt go by that i dont think about it! is there anybody who can help me get over it,i dont want to have this any longer – wipe my memory…

    Thank you to everyone above who has made me realise im not alone.

  17. All of my life, I have always been terrified of vomit, but I was able to control the fear to a certain degree. But in December, when I was 10 years old, I came down with a severe stomach disorder. I started being sick EVERY SINGLE DAY for years, to the point where I lost approximately 20 pounds in total. It took just one year to finally stop throwing up every morning, but I still had to deal with nausea for two more years afterwards. Ever since, my emetophobia has grown even more. I can’t stand to see it or someone doing it. I feel bad, because I love my family, but when they get sick, I just want to stay as far away as possible, and refuse to help. Same goes with friends. If a movie has a disgusting scene (even if it’s animated!), I immediately hate it and refuse to watch it ever again. I get terrified when I see cars stopped at the side of the road, and I still go to amusement parks, but I stay alert every single second I’m there, and stay clear from rollercoasters and extreme rides. I also hate alcohol (which is why I am happy to be at a community college where there are no out of control parties). I’m not as severe as some of the stories that I read, but I still understand your fear, and I’m here for each and every one of you (:

  18. I’m pretty late in finding this post, but I’m glad I did — you’ve got an excellent blog, and a very touching story.

    Thank you for being transparent about this. I struggle so much with emetophobia and especially with how it relates to my faith. Honestly, it’s something that I’m ashamed to share because it seems so silly and weak in the grand scheme of things. But seeing you being so open about it is pretty inspiring. :) Especially considering how many people have come out here to support each other because of your honesty — isn’t it cool how sharing something like that can bring together a bunch of very different people who might not otherwise meet each other? Thanks for writing this. :)

  19. thank you so much for this post! I know this comes in really late (I’ve only just stumble upon your post) after googling how to overcome this phobia and i share your sentiments, I’ve been emetophobic since forever and i REALLY REALLY REALLY AM AFRAID OF PEOPLE INFECTED WITH STOMACH VIRUSES THAT ARE HIGHLY CONTAGIOUS.

    unfortunately for me my bf has just be diagnosed with stomach flu and ive been in close contact with him so now im freaking out real bad and hope to hell i’ll be given the all clear in 2 days. all this panicking has been me extremely nauseous, oh the irony!

  20. Hope your immune system fights it off and the bug passes you by. My friends are generally pretty awesome at telling me to keep my distance if they have that kind of bug to minimise chances of me catching things.

  21. I am EXACTLY like you. I thought I was the only one…
    My family has some really big issues, because it’s hard to get along with my habits and so on. I’ve recently somehow mastered eating in a car, just by telling myself it’s only in my head… I don’t know how I did it, actually.
    I’ve been shouted at, laughed at, because of all those things you mentioned in your 18. points. I’m not a popular “person” because I don’t drink, when I have to travel, f.e. with a plane, it’s the day of a starvation and anti-vomiting pills (eventhough I do not have air sickness, when I was little, I ate the entire sandwich on a plane).
    It’s been so bad that one summer holiday, I lost several pounds because I wasn’t eating. I was so scared of being nauseated I ate half of the plate I was supposed to eat… It was really a hard part of my life, my mom shouting I’m anorectic (even though I lost like… 8 pounds).
    It’s been about 5 years, I don’t know what to do! I don’t really think a psychologist would help me. I’m fully aware it’s all just in my head, but it’s like telling someone who’s afraid of heights that those three steps on a ladder won’t kill them…

  22. FINALLY SOMEONE THAT UNDERSTANDS!

    I didn’t get on a plane until I was 18 because I was so scared of someone vomiting on the plane because it’s not possible to escape. I also carry a themometer and pepto bismol around with me . . . must take temperature before consuming dairy products.

    I never get a night bus in case a drunken person gets on and well, you know <- – – same, but I also panic when driving past bars/night clubs

    I never eat food past it’s sell by date or if it’s been open longer than the time allowed by the ‘please consume x days after opening’ (I label food with the date I open it for this reason). < – – people always get on me about this, but eff them.

    If I remotely think someone is looking like they might, or I hear or see someone…you know….my only goal is to run until I can’t hear or see anything. Possibly accompanied by some screaming. < – – – – i shake and cry. I've actually ran and jumped over a desk at work and into a co-workers office, threw myself on the ground in the fetal position and covered my ears then closed my eyes.

    If that person is me, I’ll be freaking out. Hyperventilating. Crying. Praying. Climbing the walls. Fainting. Doing anything and everything I can think of to try and prevent the inevitable from happening. < – – – I haven't vomited since I was 12. I once didn't eat for 6 weeks because every time I ate I felt like I was going to vomit. Lost 50 pounds.

    If a new film comes out and I’m going to see it, I try and track down people who’ve seen it before me to find out if there are any scenes I won’t be able to face watching. < – – – SAME!

    I can’t stand being a carnivals because of all the rides that make people feel sick. < – – refuse to go, or to theme parks.

    I won’t undergo medical treatments that have a likelihood of having being sick as a side effect. < – – – I spent a number of years avoiding medication for this reason

    Waiting rooms in hospitals or GP surgeries are difficult for me as I’m terrified of someone coming in with a bug or me catching a bug from someone in the waiting room. < – – i'm just scared someone is going to puke. I had to be forced to stay in an ER and luckily I did because I had an infection entering my blood stream that would have killed me if I waited until the following day.

    If I’m travelling somewhere, I’ll be the one to drive. But sometimes I have to close my eyes if I see a car pulled over…just in case I see something I don’t want to see. < – – YEP!

    My family and close friends are perfectly used to my strange emetophobic habits. None of my friends (even when ill or drunk) have ever ….. in front of me for which I’m very appreciative. They’ve also totally helped me out countless times in helping me avoid or cope with unexpected ‘incidents’ – they are so very understanding!

  23. this makes me cry, because I am 31…I have 4 children and I am terrified every day of my life because of this stupid irrational fear. I am so sorry for everyone else dealing with this. I have been sick 1 time, I was 6. I worry every day that it could happen and I am so tired of worrying. I just saw there is a new study coming out for people like us. I just registered to be part of the study, they say it will start in January 2012. I found it on wikipedia by searching emetophobia. http://www.emetstudy.org. I hope and pray every day there is something that can help us.

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  25. This is amazing. I have always thought this irrational fear was just me being crazy. I had no idea how common it is. My case isn’t as severe as yours. For some reason it doesn’t bother me to get sick myself; I mean it bothers me but in the normal way, I don’t get have anxiety over it. What I can’t handle is other people getting sick in my presence. I go into a blind panic and run in the other direction even if I susupect someone is going to get sick. I’ve been known to bolt when someone in a bar bends over to tie their shoe. Your mention of Apollo 13 nearly brought me to tears because I have that exact same memory. I ran out of the theatre, much to my family’s confusion, and wouldn’t come back in. Ever since then I’ve always said that movies should include that sort of content in their ratings so people know ahead of time, which is a suggestion that always gets laughed at by my friends and co-workers. Thank you so much for your post, it certainly doesn’t fix the problem but it’s nice to have a name to call it and to know that I’m not alone.

  26. Thank you for writing this. It makes me feel a little less crazy. While I don’t have the same feeling about all 18 of your points, I do feel the same about some of them and it gives me anxiety. Luckily it doesn’t really bother me to see it, hear it or if it happens randomly and I’m around but it does bother me if it’s an illness because I might catch it and then become sick myself. It’s mostly about me getting sick or feeling sick. But I do avoid alcohol for that reason and I’m a very picky eater. For some reasons in my 20’s I was able to overcome it and then I had children and got sick really bad (which I actually think was food poisoning because my husband and I ate the same thing and were sick within an hour of each other) and I felt so out of control. That’s another reason I avoid drinking, I don’t like feeling out of control. I often wonder if it’s less a fear of being sick and more a fear of being out of control but the food poisoning situation just heightened my anxiety? I don’t know.

    Although, I didn’t ride a roller coaster until I was 18 for part of that reason but by that point I had gotten over other people getting sick and only cared about myself.

    Anyway, again, thank you.

  27. Thank you for posting this. I know years have passed since you did, but god, it’s SO nice to know I’m not the only one like this, seriously. My fear is so irrational that it ruins my life. I can’t see anything relating to that, even in cartoons. I get paranoid just from people coughing. If I see someone walk to a trash can, even knowing they are going to throw their food away, I panic and immediately look away. Being 19 and in college, nearly all my old friends like to get “messed up,” and I can’t be with them at all because yeah… needless to say, I don’t talk to them anymore because they find me boring. I haven’t thrown up in 11 years, which, knock on wood, is great, but I’m still terribly scared. When I did do it, I had the stomach virus and after that I believe is when my fear developed, even though it wasn’t intense at all. It’s funny, my name is Yvonne, and another girl named Yvonne posted a while ago, but it’s almost like I wrote it. She said:

    “I can’t stand to see it or someone doing it. I feel bad, because I love my family, but when they get sick, I just want to stay as far away as possible, and refuse to help. Same goes with friends. If a movie has a disgusting scene (even if it’s animated!), I immediately hate it and refuse to watch it ever again. I get terrified when I see cars stopped at the side of the road, and I still go to amusement parks, but I stay alert every single second I’m there, and stay clear from rollercoasters and extreme rides. I also hate alcohol (which is why I am happy to be at a community college where there are no out of control parties).”

    This is EXACTLY the same for me. Word for word. EXACTLY. Especially the movie part. It sucks so much. I feel so relieved knowing I’m not the only one. Thank you so much.

  28. While some of your avoidance tactics are new to me, the intense aversion to the sound, smell, sight, and ANYTHING associated with “that” are completely familiar to me. I have felt that way for my entire life. As a kid, I used to stick my fingers in my ears if I heard a family member running to the bathroom. Just the knowledge that “that” was happening anywhere near me was enough to make my heart race and nervous system go into full flight mode.

    I abhor public transportation (having had many years of experience with it) because of the general human uncleanliness, but especially for the possibility of “that” happening in sensing distance. Flying brings a special kind of fear even though I do occasionally fly.

    I scrutinize city sidewalks for stain marks and it’s a wonder I can even ride in a bus or other public conveyance, knowing what might have happened on that seat.

    Even though the act and the consequences repel me regardless of reason for it occurring, I have an extreme phobia of being around pukers who are doing so because they have norovirus or ANYTHING infectious. Drunken ick factor is bad enough, but contagiousness really amps up my desire to flee as far and fast as possible.

    I HATE being in doctor’s offices unless they are bone doctors or other specialists who deal in “clean” ailments. If I sense someone is afflicted–especially if the someone is a child–I simply cannot stand to be near. Luckily, I have never wanted children, for a lot of reasons; my squeamishness would make me unfit to care for them. Oddly enough, my dogs’ sickness, while still icky, just doesn’t induce the same phobia as human illness does.

    Mayonnaise doesn’t scare me but the smell and look of many cheeses is so repulsive that I hold my breath and hurry away. Don’t make me describe my reaction when accidentally ingesting a hidden bit of blue or feta cheese after telling the server “No cheese.”

    The stinkiness comes from something called butyric acid, or so I have read.

  29. I always thought my fear was bad, but it’s nowhere near as intense as a lot of you have talked about. It has also, fortunately, gotten a lot better in recent years. I know this was posted a long time ago, and I don’t know if anyone is still reading this, but I’m really curious about emetophobic women who have children. How did you deal with pregnancy? The fear of possible morning sickness makes me never want to do it!

  30. I perfectly understand everything that you guys said… I don’t have problems with mayonnaise or something else, but there is a brazilian food called “Sarapatel” that I ate when I was a kid (around 10yo) and I’m about to be 30 and I’ve never eaten again and I won’t. I’m getting agoraphobic also because I’m always thinking that I’m able to control what I do, eat or feel but not all the other people… I’m not an antisocial person at all… I’m an actress and a teacher… But life has became a little harder everyday more…
    I understand this a real problem like forever but my family always faced that as me being silly… Nice to know that so many people all around the world feel the same and that is has treatment… which I’m already looking for!

    Straight and luck for all of us!

  31. Reading this article really made me feel better about myself :D

    I started developing this fear after I was forced to take bus rides with a girl with a severe case of motion sickness everyday for a whole year. I get extremely alert and wary of her whenever she was seated beside me and when she does …, I get really angry at her and don’t care to hide my disgust at all.

    It got so much stronger when a little girl sitting beside me in the bus got sick. I reacted really irrationally and jumped over the … and ended up spraining my ankle. For some reason, I am very alert when it comes to noticing signs of people being sick so I knew she was gonna explode soon. Afterwards, I refused to sit beside her much to the annoyance of many people. And I felt really self-conscious and angry at everyone around me for not understanding. I avoid taking transport that have a history of throw-uppers for months and years, I also avoid going to or stepping on places where people have … before.

    I used to enjoy plane trips but my recent trip to Australia was a nightmare. Kids around me were throwing up, person beside me was gagging and a sickly old man was coughing really disgustingly. The worst thing was that my family was sort of laughing at my disgust. Afterwards, I decided that I officially hated plane trips and travelling. I was so paranoid about people who get airsick and whether or not someone had … on my seat before. It was really bad and I began developing trouble eating in public places. I feel full after 3 bites and just stop eating for fear of feeling full.

    I can’t say my fear has hindered with my life much but many people around me think I’m weird for not accepting invitations to lunch dates or party/drinking events.

  32. It’s so amazing to know that i am not the only one with this. I am only a year 8 and was only messing around with my laptop when i decided to search ‘fear of *****’ and i wasn’t actually expecting anything to come up but i found a lot of results. And then i found this blog and i want to thank you for making this public as i know many people have already posted. I am not afraud of coleslaw but cannot eat mayonaise although i used to love it. I also HATE public transport and always have an escape route planned in my head. On a bus there are certain areas i will not dare go to. This phobia ruins my life and what makes it worse i that my own family don’t understand me and try to make me face my fears. As i am writing this i am getting ready to go on a train and a tube from locksbottom to dagenham and more than anything i don’t want to go thinking of what may happen on the train or tube. I

  33. I am so glad I’m not alone in this world!!! I came upon this site searching how to kill the stomach flu virus after my hubby came down with it this week. I have actually started to take medication to try to beat this phobia it sucks big time, fact of life yet I claw the walls to get away from it! Please feel free to email me it’s nice to have fellow phonics and I’m not alone lol!!!

  34. I’ve had a fear of “getting sick” since I was a baby. I used to scream and hold tight to the nearest person if I had to, and I would run out of any place if I heard someone gag. In fact, depsite my age (21) I still do, and although I haven’t actually “gotten sick” in about eleven years, I’ve felt pretty sick. Absolutely nobody understands me–except maybe you guys. The last time I got sick, I was crying, as is normal for me, and the nurse asked why. (It happened to be medication that made me sick, and I already was sick, which was why I was hospitalized–normal for me, unfortunately.) I told her I hated “getting sick” and she just said, “Nobody likes it,” like I was an idiot or something. Like, duh, nobody likes it, but I absolutely can’t stand it, even remotely. This is why I won’t baby-sit, get pregnant, or trust the majority of foods that I haven’t cooked or overseen the cooking of, and although I don’t find the sight of foods very gross, it’s typically the texture of things, like oranges or tomatoes, that do it for me, still refuse to eat those…

    Anyway, thank you immensely for creating this! The subject of “emetophobia” may be foreign to most, but only because there are so few mentions of it. Nobody likes getting sick, so everyone thinks it’s a “phobia” only so we can say we have a phobia, but the truth is, it’s the absolute worst, hardest phobia to deal with. Triggers for it are everywhere and almost unavoidable, and it’s probably one of the least-understood ones, too. Maybe now people will stop teasing me, saying thinks like, “I’m gonna (you know)!” around me, ’cause they think my reaction (anything from a look of horror to running away at top speed) is funny. :(

  35. Hi, I’ve had emetophobia for as long as I can remember. I have had 7 sessions of CBT and was almost there in coping then 8 weeks ago my therapist went off poorly and has not returned – I was offered another but refused thinking she would be back. I just don’t know – now all the fear and anxiety is returning. I have such sympathy for everyone who has it. I just want to be free then I almost was. I am so disappointed.If you are alcoholic then you can avoid drink, arachno – you can run, agora then you can eventually go out, BUT you can NEVER stop eating. Your stomach is always there. I am obese because of the food I can/cannot eat and I would have a gastric bypass BUT they say it makes you …. I can’t see a future

  36. I also have a big fear of vomiting. I hate feeling sick – that’s what starts me off. I go into panic mode and instantly start thinking that I’m going to throw up. As soon as I get any sensations in my stomach – cramp, indigestion, even slight nausea – I go totally insane. I start shaking and sweating and my heart starts thumping, and I almost always bite my lip and squeeze my fingers together. I panic so much and yet I’m hardly ever ill – I’ve only vomited about 2 or 3 times in my life from stomach bugs I’ve caught from friends in school or whatever. Hopefully, those days are gone (touch wood!) I agree with Alyssa when she says that she hates public transport. I will literally never go on holiday because of my emetophobia. It really annoys me and stops me from living life to the full, but I really can’t help it. My family don’t really understand how I feel and just act like it’s something easy to deal with BUT IT’S NOT. It really upsets me when people don’t take the time to understand you.
    Anyway, that’s my rant all over :P
    Anybody else with emetophobia that wants to talk, cos I promise I’m a good listener and give good advice :)

  37. Hehehe, so recognisable and understandable :D
    Although the people around me are quite understanding, they don’t always think with me or help me. It was worse before they knew what I had. You’re really lucky!

  38. I’ve improved over the years. I am not so afraid anymore of non-infectious vomiting. When a drunk friend puked in our car last year, I could handle it reasonably well…

  39. UPDATE JULY 2013:
    I’m over it. Just like that. I was totally honest with my family recently and they were very supportive, and also my friends were glad to know what had been bothering me when they said they were feeling sick (see – I can even say the word now).
    Everyone can do it. EVERYONE can. Everyone here, everyone in the world. It’s like a skin you can step out of. Say to yourself: “I’m not afraid of being sick,” and you know what?
    YOU WON’T BE. :) God bless xxx
    From believer2 (always believe and God gets you through :D)

  40. It’s really great you’ve got over your fear, but be sensitive to people who aren’t. It’s not as simple as just saying you’re not afraid out loud for most with emetophobia. Even when you believe in God.

  41. I can’t believe i have actually found someone else who has a fear of coleslaw – I get brought to tears every time I am served it or if my lovely friends decide to shove it in my face! I also can’t touch anything it has touched or eat food that has been stored near it.

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