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Thread: To Sage:

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    United States


    Hi Sage,

    I am the Mother of an emet, and I just found your site a couple weeks ago. Your site has been a HUGE help to me in trying to understand what my daughter is going through. Thank you for the site!

    My question to you is this, In your Information for Professionals, which I printed out and will be giving to my daughter's therapist, in the References section, you list

    Campion, J. 2003. I was so scared of being sick, I starved myself. Zest. July/03: 42-43.

    I searched the internet and I can't find this, is there any way you could send me the article? Because this is what my daughter is doing. Starving herself because she is so terrified she will get sick after she eats. Thank you for any help, and I just have to say, I wish I lived in Canada near you right now so I could take her to see you! I am very worried that this psychologist isn't going to be able to help her, because we have an HMO, and it isn't the best health care out there. I don't know how we would be able to afford a private psychologist for her, but I guess it doesn't matter how, I will just have to find a way to do it if this doctor doesn't work out. Thanks again!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Vancouver, BC, Canada


    Hi Anne,

    Thanks for writing and taking an interest in your daughter's condition. I understand that it is stressful to see you child with a phobia. First of all, the Zest article isn't available on the internet...it is a magazine in the UK. Anyway, that article wouldn't tell you anything you need to know. It's written by a teenager about her experience - it's more of a narrative - not a scholarly article

    I don't know how old your daughter is by your post. Maybe you couldwrite back and tell me. If she's a teenager, then a therapist for her will be most helpful. If she's young, however, then I would recommend family therapy. (Even if you lived near me, I wouldn't treat a child - I would only do family therapy.) There is extremely good evidence thatif a child is presenting with ananxiety disorder then it is probably rooted in the family's emotional process. This is not to say the family is somehow to blame, however it simply means that whatever is going on in the family is contributing to the child's phobia. If the family (even one important member such as mother) can get help and begin to think about the problem differently, then the child's phobia will significantly lessen or disappear.

    By your post you sound very concerned about your child, which is GOOD, however too much of a good thing can also be harmful. If you're more than concerned and in fact anxious yourself, then it will increase her anxiety and add to the problem. A study by the Journal of American Medicine released just two weeks ago clearly showed that when mothers were treated with anti-depressant (or anti-anxiety) medication that the child's symptoms became undiagnosable. (I've only read an abstract from the study so far, but the results were quite convincing.)

    So think about that too. Even if your HMO doesn't give you much help, you can take steps to reduce your own anxiety about your child, and this will help her. The more you anxiously worry, the worse it will make her. (And yes, I have 3 children, and I know that's easier said than done...but it's worth the effort).

    Good luck, and write me again - even send a private message if you like. Let me know where you are in the US. Perhaps I can recommend someone, or if you can ever make it out here, I could see you for a whole day or something and help out.Edited by: sage
    For more info about emetophobia and treatment:

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    DISCLAIMER ~ Any advice I give on this forum is well-intentioned and given as to a peer or friend or for educational purposes. It does not in any way constitute psychotherapeutic or medical advice. Please discuss anything you may learn from my posts with your doctor and psychotherapist prior to making any decisions or changes or taking any actions.

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