Emetophobia

Or, fear of being sick as it's more commonly known.

I know I'm quite good at writing essays on here but this is something I feel I need to be more open about to get help.

I was at the hospital recently and I was just told by a doctor to eat more red meat and get my anxieties sorted in regards to food.  Simple as that is it?  I've been scared of being sick (vomiting) from as long as I can remember.  Being a toddler, being sick is some of my first memories.  You don't know when it's going to happen, and don't know how many times, and you don't know if everytime you feel sick that you're going to be sick, and of course with stomach acid problems and colic growing up I felt sick a lot, which put me on edge all the time and it's stopped me from doing a lot of things in my life, because I'm so afraid it's going to make me sick.  I can't deal with the uncertainty and it's made me have a few panic attacks.  And of course panic attacks can make you feel sick.  I'm constantly going round in circles.

The problem is the NHS in my area can't seem to differentiate between anxiety and autism, in the way where they are trying to get rid of the anxiety so I can eat foods (my diet of 'safe foods' has backfired as I'm having to take iron tablets now, which annoyingly make you feel sick as well) which are good for me.  Just want to put me on tablets to help with the anxiety.  But how can I get across to them that anxiety is a way of life for me.  I've never had a day off from it and probably never will, I just need some help to change my way of thinking.  I've tried to eat differently and try new foods but it's a major change to my routine and it's not something I'm used to.  I have no idea what will happen if I eat a food I've never had before.  Also, when I'm out in restaurants I only have 'safe' foods, which is normally some sort of soup, which I find very boring sometimes.  I also can't swallow food so I either chew the food in my mouth until it's obliterated or I have to spit it out, which means I hate eating in a meal scenario because I'll either take forever or I have to spit out my food.

This frame of mind has run my entire life.  It chooses where I eat, where I go on holiday, how long I stay at a party, how much alcohol I consume, where I work...  Part of my previous job was to move around different businesses helping them out with IT support but in one place it was about 20 minutes outside the city.  Even though they offered a free bus service I felt trapped when I was there.  I have so many coping mechanisms to deal with this that when I can't use them I panic.  I ended up having to pay fuel to drive there most days because I feel like I couldn't escape to somewhere in case I was sick.  I don't have more than 1-2 drinks in case I'm sick.  I don't go to theme parks in case I'm sick (don't like the crowds but at least I'd like to have the option!).  I can't sleep until a certain time at night because one of the worst fears is waking up in the night and being sick (happened once when I was 8 years old at 2am, and for years after that point I couldn't sleep until 2am).  I won't eat meat in the restaurant in case I'm sick, also won't eat seafood.  Won't eat a lot when on holiday because it's different food and different places so I either don't eat or spend days panicking.  I spent 3 days of a two week holiday in Lanzarote in my room because I was just far too anxious.

Luckily my partner is really supportive.  When on holiday he was just happy chilling out on the balcony drinking beer in the sun.  He's happy as long as I'm happy and sometimes I feel  on't deserve that.  he as to put up with my anxiety all the time, I don't know how he does it.

Other than trying to actually live my life, the reason I'm brining this up now is because my Mum is getting married in Malta next year.  We are all going there for two weeks and the last thing I want to do is ruin my Mums wedding because of my anxieties.  I want to be able to sit down and have one meal with my family.  My Mum says I can spend the 2 weeks doing whatever made me most comfortable, but I just want to be able to do that one thing for her.

I'm so ashamed, I've spent years trying to cover it up, but I'm really suffering.  I don't seem to explain it well when I'm at the doctors and I've been struggling to get psychology help for over a year now (it's still ongoing).  It's ok if no one replies to this, I just really needed to take the first step and open up about it in a place I felt comfortable, which seems to be here.  I might print this off and show it to my doctor, because then at least I could explain it better.

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  • Part of the problem is because I'm not getting the full help I need I am wearing myself out.  I refuse to take time off work because of these issues, so I get days like today when I'm at work and I'm feeling very on edge today and people keep trying to talk to me and I don't want any of it.  I've already slammed a drawer shut, because I'm so  frustrated about how I feel.  My employer is aware of my problems, but I try to cover it up as best as possible.  Probably from years of people trying to 'fix me' and trying to fit in to society.  Didn't realise until a few years ago I was a square peg for a round hole.

    My ferritin level was taken about a month ago and it was 5.  12-150 nanograms/ml is the accepted levels for it.  There is very little iron in my system therefore my body isn't making the protein ferritin to store it.  It's mainly because of my diet.  I'm a lot better than I was a month ago.  Back then I felt like I was trapped in my own body, unable to move or do anything.  I'm starting to get my energy back, and, yes I agree that the tiredness is not helping.  I'm finding it harder to cope with everyday situations.

    I don't know why I can't show weakness.  I keep thinking people are just looking at me and thinking I'm puttng it on, I just think if I can walk I can be there.  Maybe I also feel greatful I even have a job.  I don't understand at all why I do or think these things, I can't make sense of it.  But al lI know is I'm making myself ill.  I just needed to admit I need help.

    Appointment booked with my usual doctor, but she's not available until 5th November.  One of the people at the local one stop shop has gone round doctors surgeries in this area, complaining about waiting times for people with autistic problems.  I don't know what came of that though.  Probably not a lot.  I'll just have to try and cope with everything until then, but then at that point she is probably just going to put me back on some sort of anxiety pill.  I doesn't help much with the anxiety and the thoughts are still there, so that doesn't really help me.

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