Third post yay! It’s gonna be a loooong one. If you’ve read my blog up until now or subscribed, I wanna say THANK YOU!! I really appreciate it...this has been so fun already!! I have sooooo many topic ideas lined up and I’m super excited to keep working on them so I can share :) This one is gonna be tough, and although you’ll find a ton of mental-health related content on here, this one is different. It’s strange for me because I am generally pretty open about my mental health, but have never really openly talked about this side of it. So here it goes...
I’m telling you all about my Emetophobia. For me, that’s a big scary word, but most people probably don’t even know what it means.
The dictionary definition says, “Emetophobia is a phobia that causes overwhelming, intense anxiety pertaining to vomiting. This specific phobia can also include subcategories of what causes the anxiety, including a fear of vomiting in public, a fear of seeing vomit, a fear of watching the action of vomiting or fear of being nauseated.” In my case, my Emetophobia is pretty severe and is my main source of anxiety (other than anxiety that feels un-caused due to my Generalized Anxiety Disorder). Here are some important things to note:
- It is one of the most common phobias, most people just keep it hidden
- This phobia looks different in everyone that has it
- It is highly debilitating
- “Facing your fear” does not apply in this context
So what does all this mean?
Well unlike fears, phobias cause such strong reactions to a perceived threat, that it begins to interfere with quality of life and ability to function. In my case, if I even HEAR about someone’s sisters, best friends, cousins, aunt, having a stomach bug, I shut down. My fear is exclusive to the possibility of me vomiting, so if I know for a fact that someone is vomiting because they drank to much or ate something bad, it’s not particularly a trigger for me. If there is any chance that a person vomiting could be contagious, I fall right apart. I get irritable first, then panicked, then emotional, and then I hide out until the potential “threat” is gone. I will wash my hands in scalding hot water multiple times a day until they crack, just to feel safe from the potential germs, so times like winter are really hard for me. I will avoid people who could maybe be sick, at ALL costs...seriously. If someone in my household is sick, you better believe I’m OUT of there for the next 7-10 days and coming back with a ALL the lysol. I hate touching things like doorknobs, handles, light switches...oh man there’s so many. Things like public transit, the mall, and the movie theatre, make me anxious in the winter when germs are everywhere, or if there are just a lot of people. When it’s really bad, I just won’t go out anywhere. It makes me anxious, and afraid to one day be pregnant, because there’s always a possibility of morning sickness. And even more than that, I worry about my future babies being sick and me not being able to take care of them, but instead getting as far away as possible. These are the things that make me really sad, and really hope I find a way to rid myself of this phobia.
Someone who doesn’t suffer from this might think I sound absolutely insane, but this is real. It’s a real phobia that is debilitating and effects way more people than we think. This is something that is harder for me to talk about, so thank you for listening. I hope this sparked some new thoughts about phobias, anxiety, and being gentle with one another.
P.S my next post will be a more fun- and less serious one, so please come back!
I'm Maddi and Im a full time student (studying Child and Youth Work), Here I have my blog and my shop, I hope you enjoy!