Friday, September 2, 2011

Telling One You Love that You Have Emetophobia

When I first met my husband I was so nervous to tell him about my bizarre phobia of people throwing up. My first thought was that I was the only person in the world who had this fear and what will he think? My second thought, is this something a sane person would admit to having? Will He think I am completely off my rocker?

I didn't even know that there was a term for the fear of throwing up. I thought I was the only person in the world who suffered from this. After all I had been to several therapists throughout the years and they had diagnosed me with everything but a standard run of the mill phobia.

I came upon the name emetophobia when I read a random Internet article about Denise Richards and her throw up phobia. I was so happy to have a name for my phobia I couldn't stop researching it on line.

I found the chat group that in my opinion changed my life for the better. I found the International Emetophobia Society or IES for short. I was finally able to read about and chat with others who had the same debilitating phobia. I was no longer alone.

Through IES I found that not only was I not alone, but that I was one of the lucky ones who were affected by this phobia. To sum up the fear it two-fold: emetophobes fear vomiting, and we fear hearing/seeing/smelling/sensing vomit, as well. A lot of emetophobes might even have an attack if they were to see vomit on TV, I too would feel very sick to my stomach, which would then lead me to be even more fearful since I'm also afraid of vomiting myself. Fortunately I can watch just about anything on television or in the movies without feeling ill. I am only affected by someone vomiting or discussing being sick to there stomach in my presence.



Once I had a name for my fear I felt like I needed to talk with everyone who had ever scene me have a panic attack when I was around someone who was sick. Unfortunately that list was way to long to conquer so I decided to start by telling my fiance.

I sat him down, and told him I had something important to tell him. I was sure he thought I was either calling off the wedding or that I was pregnant. When you sit someone down the last thing you are thinking is that they are going to tell you they have some bizarre phobia.

I have to say that the conversation went extremely well. I was open and honest and told him about all of the other famous and not so famous people who had this same phobia. He was glad to hear it was relatively common. That really went a long way towards easing his mind that my emetophobia went a long way to disguising some other illness.

I asked him to give me any questions that he might have. I promised him that I would answer all of his questions. The first question being, is there a cure? Unfortunately although the symptoms can be managed there is no "cure." I did tell him that I would go into therapy and see if that could help me.

I started seeing a counselor for about a year until we decided to part ways. I am now married to a wonderful understanding man, and even managed to survive a pregnancy, morning sickness and all. My husband is not a fan of my phobia, but he is very understanding and does not make me feel like the freak of nature I felt like for so long because of this phobia. I lead a happy healthy normal life and couldn't ask for anything more.



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An American Democrat