Posted by: KV | 2009/08/28


Hi there. I am a 25 year old female. I have an unusual (i assume..) problem. Ever since I was a child, I was terrified of vomiting. This caused me to avoid eating, avoid eating out and generally being terrified at the mere thought or mention of stomach bugs or vomiting. Every episode of vomiting debilitates me mentally for months afterwards, and i often resort to anti-nausea meds, at times when i am sure i do not need them, but need the mental reassurance that i will not be sick. This is the case now, I am apprehensive to go anywhere without some anti nausea meds, I am freakishly particular about cleanliness and cannot deal with it when work colleages turn up at work with a stomach virus. even in restaurants or when going out somewhere, my automatic reaction is to locate where the bathroom is. There is a bug going around the office now and honestly, i feel totally debilitated. I cant even bring myself to eat in the office. This is crazy, i know this, i know i cant obsess about this, but i do, I am so terrified. I know this isnt a well known phobia and i know not many doctors recognize this, so please can you suggest someone i can speak to - I have realized that this has started to rule my life.. Please help..

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Our expert says:
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OK, this is an uncommon, but recognized form of phobic anxiety. And one can se how a vicious cycle can build, as worrying about the possibility of vomiting makes you anxious, and anxiety often makes people feel queasy. Sounds like there could be a strong obsessive-compulsive element here, apart from the flavour of phobia.
The good news is that this sort of problem can usually be cleared up surprisingly effectively by the use of Cognitive-Behaviour Therapy ( CBT ) with perhaps the assistance of some medicines such as some also used to treat depression. I don't know where you live, and can't, anyway, recommend specific shrinks, but do arrange to see a good shrink where you live, for a thorough assessment of the whole combination of symptoms, and a discussion of treatment options. You should be able, before long, to gain control over this whole nest of nasty concerns, and become comfortable eating and in social situations, and lose the exaggerated concerns about vomiting.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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