So for anyone out there, in darkness with no hope. There can be and is a small light at the end of the tunnel if you look hard enough.
Im 40 now and have had Emetophobia for as long as I can remember. Throughout my life the severity has fluctuated and other illnesses such as OCD have become entwined.
From as young as primary age I can recall being afraid of vomit. Looking back there were tell tale signs from a very early age. In primary I convinced myself I was ill when the assembly had to sing “The lords prayer”. I have no idea why that particular song, but every time without fail my grandmother (whom adopted me) would be called up and off home I went. I would get home and instantly feel fine.
Other times I would stay up all night pacing around as my grandmother slept upstairs, worrying I was about to vomit. I never ever told her, but I think she was aware that I just hated it.
By secondary school my main aim was to get through the day without vomiting. It was constantly on my mind and I was analysing every situation. This is where OCD struck and I would have a series of rituals I would need to complete in order to stop myself and family from being sick. My number at the time was 3 but with 1 for luck. So effectively 4. I became slightly religious in which I had to say the same prayer over and over to satisfaction 4×4×4 times and so on. If my grandmother dared call me or interrupt, I would despair as the whole thing needed to be done again. I was missing out on time with friends due to the amount of time it took me to complete my rituals.
In episode 55 of the podcast I interviewed Professor David Veale. David is a consultant psychiatrist in cognitive behavioural therapy at the South London and Maudsley NHS trust and the priory hospital North London. He specialises in OCD and BDD among other things. David is a visiting Professor at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London. He is the author of the book “overcoming obsessive compulsive disorder” and is a trustee of the charities OCD Action and the BDD Foundation.
In my conversation with Professor Veale we discussed how to maximise results in therapy, how to get more out of ERP homework, advice on becoming an OCD therapist, Compassion Focused Therapy, and his research in OCD. Enjoy!
it is possible to gain your life back
my name is Melanie, I’m 23 years old and a Master of Arts student in “Ancient Cultures”, “Old Testament” and “Near Eastern Archaeology” with a lot of interest in the New Testament, Afterlife myths of the Antiquity and languages (I know 17) and I suffer from OCD and Emetophobia.
The first symptoms of OCD started at the age of eight. I went to the cinema with my aunt and cousins, we ate popcorn, sweets and MacDonald’s food. During the night I woke up and had to throw up, which was obvious, I had overeaten. Suddenly I became all careful, every evening I asked my mother whether I ate too much or in a false order, it was important to me to not mix up different types of bread, soft drinks and more. When I was invited at childern’s birthday parties I refused to eat sweets shortly before dinner. I hated to throw up and I set myself a goal: This should not happen again. I was also haunted by brutal thoughts which I considered to be bad and blasphemic, but this is a part of my OCD struggles which I’d like to keep private.