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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    Default Unusual type of emetophobia

    Childhood trauma:
    When I was just 4 years old at school, a little boy in my class would cry and make himself ill after having to leave his mum at the door every morning.
    This went on for quite a few months, until our head mistress came in one day and really shouted at him to stop doing it. I think she was hoping to scare him out of it. Anyway, our teacher tried to calm the situation by making us all to sit on the floor whilst she read us a story.
    She sat over us on a radiator with this little boy on her lap. I was sitting directly beneath him. After a few minutes the little boy was ill all over me and I was covered from head to toe. I remember it so clearly, like it was yesterday. I just froze, I was in shock, I couldn't cry or speak or do anything.
    In the 1960's, one was not sent home for such things and I had nothing to change into, so I was wiped down and had to endure it all day from the morning until the afternoon.
    I remember my mother being very angry when she came to collect me, and how she could not get the smell out of my hair even after several washes. Consequently this started my emetophobia and right back from an very early age I would get panic attacks every time I would see someone being ill or I smelt it.
    I cannot have any dealings at all with anyone who is ill, not even my own children. The feeling is overwhelming and I am as frozen as the day it first started. In most cases I feel much, much worse than the person who is being ill.
    Most people are scared that they will be ill themselves and although I haven't myself for years (mind over matter) and would never want to be, I am more afraid of others being ill.
    I have tried everything from acupuncture to the most obscure methods of phobia treatments. I have even tried to expose myself to it, as I once read it is the only way to get rid of this phobia is exposure, but I was even more traumatised by having done that.
    Being scared that you might be ill is one thing, but being scared that others will be is really debilitating as it happens all the time even on tv!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Tacoma, Washington, USA

    Default Re: Unusual type of emetophobia

    Hi Doni,
    I think your fear is actually very common for emetophobes. I am scared to death of others being sick, even though I think it is because ultimately I am afraid of myself catching it. That sounds like a horribly traumatizing experience you went through. Have you ever been treated for PTSD? I have heard that in some cases, treating the cause of the emetophobia by treating the trauma that caused it can be successful along with other treatments (like GRADUAL exposure). Either way I am very sorry you are dealing with this as I know from personal experience how devastating it can be to not be able to care for your own kids.

  3. #3

    Default Re: Unusual type of emetophobia

    Hi! I haven't been here in a while..I have the same fear as you do. I am immobile if I see someone get sick or hear it. Literally immobile. I get so scared when I'm at work at the public library and really have to compartmentalize to get through the day. I think all of you emets who have children are so so so brave. My emetophobia is one of the reasons I never have kids.



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