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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2018

    Lightbulb Lots of questions about emetophobia can anybody help?

    Hey guys! I'm new here. Just a few questions that I've never understood about my phobia.

    1) I understand 'man-made' phobias, such as clowns or fireworks. But I've never understood how it is scientifically possible for my human brain to develop emetophobia and have the fight or flight response for something that is a natural human bodily function? Am I right in thinking that V* is a survival thing from evolution? How is it possible that a human can have a phobia of a natural bodily function? Does anybody get what I mean? I just don't get why I have a phobia of something that my body has evolved for survival!

    2) Why are emetophobes almost always female? Does this mean that emetophobia is caused by female hormones? Why is emetophobia treated with anti-depressants then? Shouldn't we be treated with something to normalise our hormones?

    3) Why did I not become cured of my emetophobia last time I V*? I faced my fear so why is my emetophobia just as bad as before? Why do people always say that if you face your fear you will stop being scared? I've seen on this forum that some emetohobes V* regularly, so why are they not cured? Why does facing your fear not work for emetophobia?

    4) When I've looked online, it always says that emetophobia is one of the most common phobias. Are these statistics based upon actual severe sufferers who require psychiatric care and genuinely have actual emetophobia? Or are the statistics based on the number of people who say they hate it and scared of it - but its not an actual phobia? Is emetophobia supposedly common because most people claim to be scared of it? Or is there genuinely a large amount of genuine severe emetophobes?

    5) Why is emetophobia seen as ridiculous whereas phobias of heights/spiders is taken seriously? I've had the sh*t ripped out of me for being emetophobic, I've been tormented and bullied and people seem to think it's hilarious that I'm emetophobic. Yet as soon as theres a spider in the room everybody takes it seriously and all of a sudden it's not a joke at all and it's cruel to torment somebody with arachnaphobia. I understand how phobias such as balloons/clowns may not be taken seriously since they are both supposed to be the OPPOSITE of scary, but I just don't understand why nobody takes the mick out of people for being scared of heights or spiders. But because I'm emetophobic, suddenly it's hilarious to torment me and entertain it.

    6) Is Emetophobia part of the OCD family? Or does it come under the 'phobias' category of anxiety rather than OCD?

    7) Why does emetophobia mostly become an issue in adolescence? For me, looking back it was always there, but when I was 13 a boy in my class V* and something just snapped in my head and from that moment on I've been riddled and controlled by emetohobia. For me it was bubbling under the surface during my childhood then it just exploded that day in school. Why? Why was I not full on emetophobic from day 1? Why did it only become a problem at 13? Is it because of hormones? Is it related to puberty?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2018

    Default Re: Lots of questions about emetophobia can anybody help?

    Sorry to hear all of those questions I can probably give anwsers to a few here we go. For your first question I would say it happens when your brain thinks the occasion as a threat there for it makes it like a war type thing not so shurre best answer I can give for that one. For your second question I'm not so shurre if you haven't already I'd advise asking your doctor if you haven't already. For your third question facing your fear doesn't always make it go away it can, not so common though I wish haha nice one though I'm a not doctor though. 😔 For the other ones I can't answer except 7 it happens when the trasmitters in your brain relate when happened with fear there for you fear that with a certain thing like fear of dogs or you were already in high stress then it snapped that's how it happens for me other wise sorry for inconveniece if there's any I will always talk to anyone on this website beat of luck - gothlic it's my real life nick-name 🤗🤗

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013

    Default Re: Lots of questions about emetophobia can anybody help?

    Hi! Great questions. Sorry for rambling but I really wanted to answer from my perspective.

    1) Yes, humans v* because it is an evolutionary reponse, it's to keep us safe. Our bodies try to evacuate harmful substances, sometimes when it's not necessary (you don't need to v* to "get out" the norovirus, your immune system will take care of that). V* is supposed to keep you safe and it is a natural part of how our bodies work. I know what you mean by not getting why you are afraid of something so natural. Phobias are usually caused by a mixture of hereditary and environmental factors. For example my mother was anxious, raised me with an anxious perspective and probably had anxiety-prone genes which lead to me being an anxiety-prone child. As to why I developed a fear of v* and not spiders, I would say none of the phobias make sense. Phobias are characterized by excessive fear, no matter what the object of fear is. Fearing death can be considered normal but if I had an excessive, distruptive fear about it, it would be a phobia and wouldn't make sense even if the object is something to fear. I think the unpleasant nature of v*, the disgust factor, the nature of disease and unpredictability among others lead to emetophobia. I don't know, sometimes it might be just a bad time to be exposed to it and your brain makes the link. I know it doesn't make sense to fear something so natural but somewhere along the way our minds started thinking it's dangerous. There might be some underlying connotations to it, I fear that it won't stop or I will die because of it. Those are just anxious thoughts but in my gut I believe them to be facts, which is why v* terrifies me.

    2) For one, women are twice more likely than men to develope an anxiety disorder. As for this phobia, I think it has something to do with disgust. Women react with disgust in greater levels than men. I don't know whether or not that difference is caused by biological differences or because of upbringing (for example men being shunned for displaying disgust). I think disgust plays a role in emetophobia and I think if people only v* your favorite milkshake it wouldn't be so terrifying (this is probably why some emetophobes fear baby v* less, because it's just milk instead of something grosser and because it isn't contagious). Disgust relates to disease and since v* is contagious, it's normal to be disgusted by it. Disgust doesn't feel good so I sort of see a link on how that could translate to fear. Emetophobia is treated with anti-depressants because it's a psychiatric disorder. Anti-depressants can work on anxiety where as giving you a tablet of estrogen or progesterone probably won't (the side effects of hormone treatments or birth control pills can be depression and mood swings). However if you have any symptoms that you think might be caused by your hormones, consult your doctor.

    3) You were exposed only once and exposure therapy done by a professional lasts for many sessions and is gradual. I would imagine it would be the same if someone with a fear of spiders had to hold a spider once, she would stay afraid too. Throwing you in the deep end of your phobia is called "flooding" in psychology and I don't know if it's considered effective as a long-term solution, so I don't think it's strange that it didn't cure you. Some women report getting over their phobia after months of morning sickness during pregnancy but it doesn't work for everyone. But what they say about confronting your fear is true. In my understanding the only way to get rid of fear is to work with it and through it and exposing yourself to it. People spend a lot of time in therapy getting to the root of their fear, exposing themselves to their fear, learning relaxation, letting go of safety behavior, inserting positive cognitions to replace their anxious thoughts and so on. Some people have underlying traumas that need to be resolved. What phobias require is longer, consistent exposure to fear, tools on how to work through the fear and positive cognitions that will give you the courage to move forward (my favorite one is "I am safe").

    4) Fear of v* seems to be common but I don't know what the percentage of severe emetophobes is. My understanding is that in most of the statistics they ask people what they're afraid of. It means they don't need to be diagnozed or necessarily even know the difference between a normal fear and a phobia. Phobia is an excessive fear and I would say if you fear a normal bodily function, even if you only have a panic attack every other year when you're faced with an sv, you have a phobia. If people say they fear v*, it doesn't matter if they know whether or not they have a phobia - you aren't supposed to have a fear of v*. You can have a phobia even if it's not severe, as is my case. I am a high-functioning emetophobe and I live a 99% non-emetophobic life. I still get a horrible panic attack when I think I might v*, because I do have this phobia. But yes, it does seem to be common but not necessarily as severe.

    5) I am really sorry, no one should have to go through what you have. If you want an answer, I think phobias such as spiders are more accepted since people talk about them. Emetophobia seems to fall under the radar and not many people know that some people are suffering from this condition. I keep it a secret from everyone. I think it's a case of not understanding - non-emetophobes view v* as something normal, sometimes even pleasant or funny. Since they are so used to it and think nothing of it, they might find the fear of it strange. I have also heard that no matter your phobia there can still be cases where you have to suffer inhuman treatment (people will show you videos taken on top of a skyscraper, are trying to force you to hold a snake etc.). They don't get how afraid we are. That of course doesn't mean that any of the things you described are okay and again, I'm sorry you have suffered like that.

    6) It is a phobia, under anxiety disorders. If I remember correctly it's a specific phobia. I do not have any OCD tendencies but from my understanding a lot of the members of this forum do have. Some might have OCD as a comorbid disorder or display OCD symptoms in an effort to cope with emetophobia.

    7) I've heard some emetophobes develope their disorder in childhood after a traumatic case of v*, but that's not everyone. That means I don't think it has anything to do with puberty or hormones since there doesn't seem to be a "prime time" on developing it. Everyone's story is unique on what caused their phobia and I do not know what caused yours. For me, I caught the sv* when I was 9 and after that got caught in the anxiety loop.



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