May 25, 2016

Life with Emetophobia

I feel like I should share my mental health situation to make anyone going though the same thing feel better or at least less crazy than me. For approx 18 years I have suffered with a phobia. I would say it's probably at it's peak right now. It's called Emetophobia.

Emetophobia is an intense, irrational fear or 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.

I've been in denial about it actually being a serious issue. I did go to the Dr about it once.. I cried in his office and he tried to put me on a mental health plan.. I think he thought I was depressed or something. Turns out you have to go on a mental health plan to receive free physcology. It's not that I don't believe in phycology but I don't know how words could cure me. I'm hoping it will just fade away eventually but for now I'm just living with it. I didn't really know what anxiety was until I felt it. Since having children things have amped up.. the likelyhood of vomit being in my life has dramiticaly increased. I was actually horrified about getting pregnant incase I had morning sickness.. which thanfully I didn't. Baby milk vomit is ok becasue there's no risk of infection. I was at a cafe with my son recently and he pulled a strange confused face I'd never seen on him before. My heart immediately started racing like I'd just sprinted 100km's,I got all hot and sweaty.. then.. he sneezed. I had to rip off all my clothes (not all) to recover from the heat my body had produced as a result of the imminent threat I felt I was under. I'm constantly thinking about vomit and possible exit stragegies I would have to employ to avoid it. I almost always have an exit plan. The things I would climb, the things I would jump off. It's crazy. I recently saw vomit at my favorite shopping center in the food court. I had to evacuate the area immediately mid conversation. I will never set foot in that vicinity ever again. Bummer because it was right outside crepe cafe and I love those baby pancakes. 

I literally have no clue what I would do if one of my kids got the vomits and I was the only person in their care. It's quite concerning. My husband has only been sick once in our ten year marriage. We were living on the Gold Coast and as soon as he was sick I just jumped in the car and drove to Brisbane. I'm lucky he's still married to me considering I broke our 'in sickness and health' wedding vow. I think with phobias and anxiety, the more you can take the piss out of yourself the less power you give to your fear. Even though my fear is VERY serious to me, it helps for me to have a laugh about it. It takes the edge off the intensity. I know that once my kids start kindy and school, the inevitable will happen and I will have to face my fear and maybe that will cure me. It's actually kind of exhausting to have anxiety about it. We travel so much which amps up the possibility even more. 

I know this is getting long.. But stay with me. This post has been in my drafts for a while. I now have a perfectly tragic ending. Tonight the unimaginable happened in this germaphobes kitchen. A board I was cutting raw chicken on was used by my sister to cut toast for my son and we ate a piece too. I have cried prayed and cried some more. The next 6- 72 hours could be the worst of my life. Demi is trying to ease my fears by saying things like "Brooke, there are people dying in the world"...  little does she know that salmonella kills 450 people in the US every year. I'm honestly asking for your prayers tonight. My 18 year record could come to an end... I hope the next 6-72 hours is really boring and uneventful.. Will be playing solitaire all night to take my mind off it all.