Tag Archives: emetephobia

Being Rude for My Sanity

how-to-get-through-a-panic-attack‘Tis true. Please do not tell me to calm down if I am having a panic attack. I’ll probably hit you or cry. Probably both. You’ve been warned.

I know what I need to do to get me through a panic attack. And that might just mean that I have to walk away from you, not attend your party, go into a dark room and come out when I’m ready.

In other words, sometimes my illness makes me seem rude. But if I don’t follow what I know to get me through my panic attack (and to lesser extent, an anxiety attack) the hurt will rain down on me.

No one likes a friend/co-worker dry-heaving in the car/office.

I’ve been fortunate enough (I guess…some days it doesn’t feel very fortunate) that my co-workers feel comfortable coming to me and chatting about their lives. A co-worker mentioned recently that I should have “therapist” added to my job description. Sometimes a secretary is a lot of like a bartender-type therapist. You come to us because you think we know where everything is (usually we do *wink*) and then that leads to some belief that we will also listen to your life stories.

But being so approachable has drawbacks. The big one for me: If you have a stomach ache and feel sick to your stomach and tell me about it I’m probably going to lose my shit. I have Emetophobia: “a fear of vomiting. Most people don’t know that this fear is common enough to have its own name. Yet vomit phobia can be a disabling condition which severely limits the lives of those who struggle with it.”

Yeah, disabling doesn’t even cover the panic attacks I used to have. A large and belly-full belch could incite gagging in me. Seeing someone chew their food with their mouths open would create a panic attack. Emetephobia is a real thing. “Some are afraid that they will vomit. Others are afraid of seeing others vomit. Most have trouble describing what they fear will happen if they vomit, or see others vomit, but vaguely fear some terrible loss of control, a catastrophe from which they won’t recover. They fear insanity, death, endless vomiting, and so on. Most times they can recognize that these catastrophes aren’t really going to result from vomiting. But when they feel that vomiting may occur, then they don’t feel so sure.”

So, please, please don’t take offense if I ask you to stop talking to me about your stomach ache and upset tummy. I don’t want to be rude but at the same time I don’t want to have a panic attack. A co-worker today was quite ill. I don’t know what happened, thank God, but after seeing my co-worker leaving the office looking horrible I started to get those feelings of panic. I was taught how to rationalize what is obviously an irrational fear, but I needed sometime by myself to do it. Which I couldn’t get. So I had a conversation with another co-worker, who luckily did all the talking while I talked to myself in my head, and was able to calm down. I did my best not to run in fear (which I’ve done) when I saw my other co-worker. Later I was able to offer a ginger ale. I keep a stash of them in my desk drawer if I should feel queasy for any reason.

Maybe some day I won’t immediately freak out, even if just in my head, when someone isn’t feeling well.

 

“Overcome Emetophobia: Fear of Vomiting.” Overcome Emetophobia: Fear of Vomiting. Anxiety Coach, 5 Aug. 2014. Web. 4 Sept. 2014.

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Week 3…The Final Stretch

TRIGGER WARNING: I will be writing about my fear of puking.

This is it. This is the final stretch of a good chunk of my anxiety. Then it will just be school and not school and…. I’m feeling pretty chill though after a friend told me of a stomach bug going around the office below ours, which is something I just hate. I mean, sure no one likes having the pukes, but I have Emetephobia: the fear of vomiting.

I’ve gotten to a point where I’m not nearly as freaked out by it as I used to be. It used to be that life shut down if I even thought something might cause me to vomit. Last year my doctor ignored my insistence that one of the meds she had given me was making me vomit. I spent more than my fair share worshiping the porcelain goddess. My doc still insists that I have no idea what I’m talking about. I told her, “Well, no, I don’t think you know what you’re talking about because I have the ER paper work to prove that I actually got dehydrated from the last time I took your med and puked my guts up.” She just shook her head at me. Seriously?

I’m going to be fine. I will myself to be well. Or at the very least – be well at work. That’s where my Emetephobia is still bad. I’m terrified of getting sick at work. Especially if its the vomiting and runs kind of sick that I tend to get whenever I get sick. Such a mess. I’ve prayed that the Lord would let me stay well at work and that if I had to get sick at least let me be home.

But I’m believing and praying that I will be well and not have to deal with this stomach bug at all. Please God, let it skip me! At least, let it skip me through Saturday!