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Suffering from phobia, anxiety and vomiting. Advice on how to overcome this fear

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Practicing since : 1998
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Every since I was little kid, I have been very afraid if someone gets sick. It's a phobia of them vomiting. My parents use to make me sleep with my younger brother when he was sick and come to get them if he got sick. It was always inevitable that he would vomit on me, the bed, everywhere. I think this might be where it stems from. Whenever someone is sick(vomiting), I get panicked and feel a lot of anxiety. The only thing I want to do is be somewhere else. My problem is now I have two children and I am the one they want if they are sick. It makes me a nervous wreck and takes all I have to stay with them to help. I really would like some more information or help in getting over this fear. If they are sick at night or go to bed not feeling well, I just lay there in a panic and fear about them being sick. For years, I have known this is not a normal reaction to someone throwing up but I never really had to worry about it much bc I could always take myself out of the situation. I rarely get sick either and I do get that same feeling when I know I'm going to throw up. However, now that I have kids, I can't escape or get away from their needs when they are vomiting. I guess I am worried about the problems this phobia is causing bc if I know someone in the household might throw up I almost start badgering them with questions about how they feel, does their stomach hurt, do they feel nauseated. I don't want to ask a thousand questions but it's like my way to try to prepare myself. Any thoughts, suggestions, advice on how to overcome this fear/phobia. I feel like it negatively affects my family when someone is ill and needs mom or wife to help.
Posted Wed, 1 Aug 2012 in Mental Health
Answered by Dr. Susanta Padhy 3 hours later

I can imagine the pain you, kids ad your husband might be going through, particularly you.

I agree that this might cause unhappiness in them

Yes, it seems like a type of specific phobia. But before that tell me do you have any other phobia like Agoraphobia, social phobia, generalized anxiety. My guess from your description is you might harbor anxiety symptoms in some other situations, if not now, at least in life time.

If the answer is no to the above and it is specific phobia. Then, a combination of SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) and behavior therapy (supervised graded exposure therapy) should help. In this regard consulting a psychiatrist should help.

Are you over-sensitive to smell ?
Are you a person who is more preoccupied with cleanliness and hygiene ?
What other symptoms that do happen to you when you suffer from anxiety.

Hope, his address your concern

I am available for further discussion

Wish you a distress free life
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Suffering from phobia, anxiety and vomiting. Advice on how to overcome this fear 56 minutes later
No other phobias or anxiety situations. Just seems to be isolated to just this particular thing. No sensitivity to smell or obsession with cleanliness. I really only feel these symptoms in this vomiting situation. Haven't experienced these feelings in any other aspect of my life. When you refer to that medication?

Thanks for your input and I will seek medical help in my area for therapy. As far as the meds, would this be a discussion to have with my family doctor?
Answered by Dr. Susanta Padhy 29 minutes later
Thanks for the response
No harm in discussing with your family doctor, in fact you should.
I feel, the suggestions, we discussed before would apply
Wish you good luck, Worthy
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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