Overcoming Fear of Vomiting and Sickness – Hypnotherapy in Ely
Autumn is well and truly upon us (which means winter is approaching), schools are back in full swing and people are mixing more and around others more as the (hopefully) last throws of the pandemic rumble on.
And all of these things can contribute to and spark anxious thoughts and feelings if you struggle with a fear of vomiting and sickness.
The approach of winter can often lead to more illness and sickness bugs being passed about, especially from kids as they mix in school and bring things home with them. People mixing more, especially indoors in cooler weather, often leads to bugs being passed on and spread, and this may be amplified now after we all had a pandemic-related break from most of these activities. The conditions are ripe for sickness bugs (like the winter vomiting bug) to spread.
That’s probably why recently I’ve seen a big uptake in the number of people with a fear of vomiting and sickness contacting me for help. Many are concerned about winter sickness bugs, or anxious now that their kids are back in school (without the previous pandemic limits of mixing). Some have been unable to avoid the situations where they may well encounter unwell people, such as at work. And for others, the anxiety, fear and avoidance has become too much and they want to calm down their anxiety and nervousness around vomiting to a much more manageable level that doesn’t interfere with their lives.
The good news is that hypnotherapy can help you to overcome your phobia and fear about vomiting and sickness so that, should someone around you be ill or sick, you can calm and capably handle it and deal with it, without that overwhelming panic and fear.
Fear of Vomiting and Being Sick
If you currently struggle with the fear of vomiting and being sick, then you’ll already be aware of how even the mention that someone feels a bit sick can cause your anxiety and panic levels to rise. Just the possibility that someone could vomit leads to all manner of anxious thoughts and feelings, and you’ll probably try and get away from that situation as quickly as you can.
You may avoid people who have been unwell in case you see them being sick or you get whatever they have and that could make you sick. Some of my clients avoid people and places associated with someone else vomiting and, when a sickness bug strikes, can feel too anxious to eat normally for several days. Often they’ll avoid alcohol because it can lead to feeling unwell and vomiting, and they may feel uncomfortable around groups of people drinking when out socially.
I’ve also known clients to ask people if they get travel sick before being willing to get in a car with them. And you may struggle even when vomiting or sickness are on TV or in a movie (even though logically you know you can’t catch anything from a movie that could lead to you vomiting).
Usually the fear of vomiting has been something that someone has struggled with since they were young, and it’s quite common for someone to not really know how it started or what led to the fear developing. Even so, it’s still possible to overcome your fear of vomiting because it’s all about how your mind and body are keeping that pattern and those thoughts, feelings, beliefs and associations going now that leads to the anxiety and fear.
And so, as with all anxiety and fear, there are the anxious thoughts and feelings you get about the possibility of being exposed to vomit and sickness (either that’s someone else being sick or you being sick yourself). That anxiety in itself can lead to a sense of nausea, which then exacerbates the panic as you feel you might actually be sick. There will be avoidance behaviours (which may help you feel a bit better now but that keep the fear going) such as staying away from certain people or situations and trying to minimise the occasions on which you could be exposed to vomiting.
If someone is actually sick then, as well as staying away from them and using avoidance, your anxiety and panic will sky rocket and take over and you will experience all of the unpleasant and uncomfortable thoughts and feelings that go with high levels of anxiety and panic.
Phobia of Vomiting and Sickness
The phobia of vomiting can have a massive detrimental impact on your life, as it causes unwanted anxiety and panic and stops you doing things that you want to be doing (or at least stops you enjoying them).
You may feel anxious that exposure to vomit, and the sight, smell and sound if it, may lead to you being sick yourself. You’ll experience strong physical symptoms of anxiety when exposed to vomit (or at the possibility that it may happen). And you’ll avoid places where people may be sick, or other people who may be likely to vomit. Some people may also avoid certain forms of transport, such as planes and boats, that could lead to you or others feeling nauseous or vomiting.
Now, of course, actually feeling sick or being sick, or being around someone else who is feeling or being sick, is never going to be great. It’s never going to be something enjoyable or to be savoured in some way!
Yet, it is possible to learn how to feel more calm and in control in situations associated with sickness and vomiting. You can reduce anxious thoughts and feelings about the possibility that something may happen (when it hasn’t actually happened and may not even occur). You can reduce the need to avoid other people and situations so that you can just get on with the things you want or need to do. And you can start to become able to handle, deal and cope with actual situations where someone has vomited, more calmly and confidently.
I’ve worked with parents who used to have to leave their unwell kids for their partner to deal with if they felt sick or had been sick. I’ve helped children who were too anxious to go to school and who then felt nauseous and worried about being sick. There have been those who found their work was impacted and who struggled to concentrate if a colleague felt ill or had been sick and who learn to feel more calm and in control when they themselves are actually well. And there are many others who have been able to overcome their fear of vomiting and sickness so that it doesn’t escalate and take over their thoughts and feelings and, at times, even dominate things.
As with all phobias and fears, the thoughts, feelings and behaviours that you experience lead to increased anxiety, worry and nervousness. It’s always great when a client, who did have a fear of vomiting, tells me how their anxiety no longer causes nausea, how their old panic-filled thoughts no longer dominate their mind, and how, even when someone is sick, they can just handle it and deal with it calmly and capably, without it being too much of a thing for them.
If you could use some help to overcome your fear of vomiting and sickness too, then just get in touch and we can have a chat about helping you to make that positive change.
To your health and happiness,
Hypnotherapy in Ely & Newmarket
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