Emetophobia is the fear of being sick. The anxiety that comes with the thought that throwing up would be the worst thing that could happen and must be avoided at all costs. It blights many lives because every activity has to be planned, every meal is thought through and calculated. The mind is consumed with avoiding the disaster of throwing up, even if the event hasn’t happened since childhood!
Other fears such as flying phobia, agoraphobia and eating disorders can often have the fear of being sick at their root. Throwing up seems like the ultimate humiliation and embarrassment, something to be avoided at all costs. Sadly the costs are restricting your life to a miserable degree.
So what’s to do?
Challenging the thoughts and feelings with CBT, learning Mindfulness and getting a decent hypnotherapist in is a good start.
Try this Huffington Post article on the subject.
Or this webpage on my site about the fear
I started as a therapist back in 2001 using Hypnotherapy as my main ‘tool’ in trying to help people with their issues. I was lucky enough to be picked up by several TV companies who filmed my work with clients and as you can imagine by practice quickly bloomed.
The more I discovered about CBT the more I liked it and found it worked very well with hypnotherapy. It was as if CBT was the nuts and bolts and hypnosis was the icing on the cake, if you like mixed metaphors, that’s a humdinger!
Over the the last 2 years I have been using more and more mindfulness approaches with clients and find inviting the client to focus on the ‘here and now’ works very well. My office is on the third floor on Harley St and though not being noisy, the traffic provides a gently hum to listen to….one of the starting points of awareness…what can you hear?
A lot of people are put off by the idea of meditation for many reasons. Mindfulness however is so simple, so uncluttered with mumbo jumbo, so direct that practicing it is like falling off a log. It also dovetails very nicely with CBT because a lot of CBT is about not letting the mind run away with you…to keep your feet on the ground.
What an annoying fact. Positive experiences count for less than negative ones.
It seems humans are wired up to focus on the negative while ignoring the positive. Such is the conclusion from one observation by Daniel Kahneman in his bestseller Thinking Fast and Slow
How irritating is that? But sadly it has the ring of truth and it sort of makes sense. To focus on danger and problems might keep us safe, while good things…well they dont need looking after. A recipe for unhappiness indeed!
So that means we have to do lots of positive things to weigh against the few negative things.
Lets get busy then.
I hope this brief blog piece on seeking reassurance might be of help to those suffering from worry and fear.
There is a line that separates useful guidance and support on one hand and a destructive pattern of seeking to much reassurance on the other. When the line is blurred a person can seek more and more reassurance at the expense of building their own sense of strength in themselves, an independent spirit.
An example of this is Health Anxiety. Getting clarification from the doctor about one’s health can be a life saving journey to the surgery and is an important part of ‘looking after one’s self’. However we can also seek (or feel the need) for diagnosis of every twinge that we get which leads to worry and fear.
Another example is in relationships with our nearest and dearest. Sharing our concerns and worries with a loved one is one of the most rewarding aspects of human relations. However when it is taken to an extreme it can undermine our sense of self and lead to bitterness and arguments.
So how do we get the balance right?
One answer is to accept that there is a limit to what another person (or organisation) can do for our peace of mind and that seeking reassurance is not always a healthy thing to do. Bitterness and anger might also be a sign that we are making excessive demands that will eventually undermine us. That is not to say that we should give up our ability to campaign against injustice however.
Another answer might be to focus on the concept that the dreaded possibility that we are trying to avoid is actually something we can handle. The dreaded thing might be bad and uncomfortable but is something that can be dealt with. Being held to ransom by the thought “I cannot bear it” could haunt a person for years when the reality could be quite different. Most of the things we imagine will happen don’t happen and if they do who is to say how we might actually respond?
Relationships can really suffer when there is excessive jealousy making everyone uptight.
Rebuilding trust and a sense of security and fun in a relationship takes a bit of work but is possible.
Using CBT techniques in this area is often helpful. Finding out what demands are being made and then finding more strength internally is often the path to success.
Find out more if you like.
Hypnotherapy in London click here
Or to watch on Youtube Help with Jealousy
Over the years I have noticed that the fear of being sick has nearly always being the most clicked on page on my website.
Its not a fear that you hear much about but it must be very common judging from the interest.
Fear of being sick is one of the main panic attack symptoms where you think something rather nasty will happen or is happening, but it rarely does happen.
The old fear of the fear is here.
In fact any bodily function can be felt to be nearly happening. Blushing, sweating, heart and breathing problems, needing to pee, or poo,fainting, the list goes on. And any of these potential symptoms feed into the fear of the fear loop.
A mixture of CBT and Hypnotherapy is a good therapy intervention for these fears where the client is invited to imagine being calm and in control.
Give me a ring or email me if you have questions about any of this.
Here is my contact page.
CBT is the first therapy that has been extensively trialled and tested all over the world and has yielded results that look encouraging.
The power of CBT is in its simplicity and accessibility.
CBT has core concepts that most people see as common sense. For instance it sees anxiety as a here and now created feeling caused by a person’s thoughts about themselves and the world. It does not involve a complicated relationship with the past or a mysterious ‘sub conscious’ aspect.
Like most therapies it has an over complicated name.
Cognitive..something to do with thinking or not thinking
Behavioural…something we are doing..or not doing
Basically CBT says, think new thoughts and do different things and you will change how you feel.
Simple? Yes indeed but not always easy.