My phobia runs my life on daily basis
Posted Monday 5 November 2012
My name is Anne and I am 43. I cannot remember a time when I haven't been anxious. I have a phobia you see. It’s a fear of vomiting and this fear runs my life on a daily basis. What I do, where I go, what I eat, how I travel. The list goes on and on.
For years I had wondered why the words, sick, vomit, spew, barf and puke filled me with horror. Nobody likes to be sick but for me it seemed like it was a matter of life or death!! The smell of it and the look of it obviously was awful but the noise is something else. Then the gagging and feeling that I can’t breath and that it will never end. I guess I fear I may die.
I guess it started when I was about 6 or 7 years old. I remember being at primary school and we were made to drink the disgusting milk in those little bottles. Warm in the summer, frozen solid in the winter. I had a particular teacher that was very strict and one day she made myself and another child stay in at playtime because we could not drink the milk. I remember her standing in front of us telling us to drink the milk now. I just couldn't do it and the little girl next to me was gagging and it was horrendous. From then on the fear grew and grew.
As I got into my teens the fear seemed to grip me like a vice. From around 15 to 18 life seemed unbearable. Everyday I would start to feel sick. No idea why but I just felt ill and on certain occasions the panic and fear became horrendous. Firstly I would start to take deep breaths as I remember someone had said that if I took a deep breath a couple of times then it would stop me from feeling sick. So of course I took this to extremes. I would end up hyperventilating so bad that my hands would paralyse and I just couldn't focus. Everything would go fuzzy and of course I would start to feel even more sick. I remember hyperventilating so badly one time that I started to hallucinate.
These occasions would usually start whilst being a passenger in a car or in a restaurant. Eating in front of people was a huge chore for me. It has affected my parents and any boyfriends I had. Obviously my parents were worried and would get annoyed too if I didn’t want to go to a restaurant or travel anywhere. My eating wasn't the best and so many people thought I had anorexia! I was just afraid to eat too much and also had to be sure the food was practically burnt.
Throughout my life I am constantly wondering if I will be ill today and I hate it. This has led to terrible bouts of depression, anxiety and feelings of helplessness. The slightest pain in my stomach and all manner of visions start to happen in my head. I have had many a therapy session all to no avail. I have been put on a variety of antidepressants which have helped but now I worry I wont be able to cope without them. On occasion I have had valium but really didn’t want to go down that road.
The fear is so irrational and vomiting is a normal human reaction but for me it is the worst reaction. I feel that when it rears its ugly head I just want to curl up and be on my own. I start to shake, sweat, and my heart rate sky rockets. The adrenalin racing around my body makes me feel terrible and I just do not know what to do with myself. And of course through the fear I start to feel more and more sick.
I have one passion that weirdly seems to have helped. I like to sing and I literally force myself to go on stage. It is a massive undertaking. How I can go on a stage and sing but then not be able to throw up in the normal manner is beyond me but if I don’t do this then this fear will have won. I have many restrictions that I have put upon myself but I will not let it stop me from something I feel passionate about!
A phobia is an exaggerated or unrealistic sense of danger about a situation or object. Our information on understanding phobias explains more about the different types of phobias, the causes and symptoms and what help is available.
Commenting is now closed.