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.
If you are experiencing the present moment through your senses it is likely that you are not feeling anxious.
Anxiety is usually a thought about the future. Or perhaps a thought about the past that we call regret. But what about the present moment? Focus on what you can hear or what you can feel in the body and your mind will quieten down bringing down the anxieties as it quietens.
It is quite difficult to be in the moment and to feel anxious at the same time…try it. Notice that your mind will roam to other times and places but if you here and now you are probably feeling calm. Spooky eh?
The ideas behind mindfulness are quite a blow to traditional therapy which seek to do a lot of thinking about the past. For some it seems, it is the nature of our consciousness that is the issue and the source of our problems and not anything more than that.
How to be in the moment is a learned technique and not as hard as you think (joke).
Mindfulness as a concept is gaining interest. I recommend the idea of Mindful meditation to everyone, even the hard bitten hypnotherapist or CBT therapist who has seen it all before.
I use Mindfulness in my Harley St room as a great way of getting things started after the chatting bit. I invite the client to listen to the traffic, I am on the third floor on a busy central London street, the sound is a bit like the rushing of waves plus a few sirens now and again.
Focus on the senses and you have the essence of Mindfulness. Sound is often the preferred sense but physical sensation is also popular. Clients often report that the mind quietens down, it seems that sensation in the present moment helps to shut out the mind that is usually concerned with other times, other places. The present moment is often a place of very little anxiety or worry or fear, almost enjoyable!
For some Mindfulness in itself is the answer to their problems. The past has gone, the future hasn’t happened and the present moment, experienced through the physical senses, is good enough.
Sessions in central London