This is part of my life that I’ve never publicly spoken about, something that I’ve tried so hard to keep secret from close friends and even some family members. It affects hugely on my daily life, I try my hardest to keep it under control so that I’m never stopped from doing the things that I need to do to actually live a ‘normal’ life. If you live with a phobia that affects you everyday then you’ll know that it’s not so easy to control it, especially with the one that I suffer with, because Emetophobia is hard to run away from and thats definitely not an over exaggeration. You’re probably wondering what on earth it is as it’s never talked about, you all know Arachnophobia (phobia of spiders) and Coulrophobia (phobia of clowns), well I’m about to tell you the official definition of Emetophobia.
Emetophobia is a fear of vomiting or seeing others being sick. Those who experience emetophobia may also fear being out of control while they are being sick or fear being sick in public, which can trigger avoidance behaviours. It is a condition that is not widely diagnosed even though it is a fairly prevalent anxiety disorder. – Anxiety UK
As I said before, not something I can exactly run away from. Everyone suffers from Emetophobia in so many different ways, some of us have a phobia of physically being sick and others have a phobia of seeing others be sick or even being sick in public. Unluckily for me it’s all three, comical right? Wrong. Imagine this, your phobia is everywhere and when I mean everywhere I mean you can’t walk anywhere without having to face it, this is what it’s like for people like us EVERYDAY. In my instance I’ve even dodged family members that I know have been sick, I try and avoid taking public transport or eating out at restaurants in case I’m publicly sick. Whenever I walk into somewhere I always look for the nearest exit or toilet incase I need to run out, it’s definitely no way to live but it’s so hard to face a phobia that affects you that much.
I’ve always suffered with emetophobia but it only got extremely worse when I got diagnosed with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome), I couldn’t tell you why it went from being a small phobia to something so extreme that it’s held me back. It has been confirmed that emetophobia is an anxiety disorder which means I suffer with both, this complicates things so much further as they both bounce off of eachother. Most of the time my brain just feels like a ball of anxiety and fear, I can’t remember the last time I had a genuinely good time without thinking of emetophobia. I’m aware that people have it so much worse than me, and I know a lot of people don’t understand how being sick could be so detrimental, they just say “no one enjoys being sick” well obviously but you don’t go through what I go through. It’s a mental illness that is constantly there, no matter the day or time, it’s always there. Emetophobia sufferers have developed a behaviour pattern to ‘keep them safe’, we will do anything to make sure we aren’t sick which is worrying as unfortunately some sufferers will then develop a fear of food which leads to anorexia. It is a very serious phobia that could potentially ruin someones social life, not only that but some sufferers don’t even leave the house so working for them is hard.
I won’t let my phobia control my life, neither should you.