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Ask Selah R, M.S. LPC Your Own Question
Selah R, M.S. LPC
Selah R, M.S. LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 582
Experience:  Licensed Professional Counselor; over 13+ yrs exp working with adults, teens, & families/couples.
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I know how dumb it sounds, but I am terribly afraid of vomiting.

Resolved Question:

I know how dumb it sounds, but I am terribly afraid of vomiting. It has plagued me all of my life. It has caused me to lose my job, stop eating, lose close relationships, and many many other things. I need help! I am tired of this controlling my life. Is there, or do you know a facility in the state of Mississippi that I can go to get the help that I need.
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Selah R, M.S. LPC replied 6 years ago.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

  • Thank you for trusting JustAnswer with your important question.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

I would recommend working with a therapist trained in the treatment of phobias or even EMDR to help figure out where this intense fear came from, how to get your brain to stop focusing on it so intensely, and to help you learn better coping skills when the fear does kick in. They will probably help you figure out what triggers the fears, and if there is anything traumatic or stressful in your life that is attached to this fear.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Mindfulness-based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy may also be a good treatment modality for counseling is this is not really a phobia but more of an obsessive compulsive issue.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

PsychologyToday.com has a therapist listing where you can find therapists nearby who specialize in phobias, or you can search by other things like treatment modalities, price, or insurance.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

EMDR requires specialized training, and they have their own directory at EMDRIA.org.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Your health insurance, if they cover mental health, may also be able to tell you what providers in your area and network specialize in these things.

Customer :

Right now the fear is a constant. I am unable to work without continuously shaking. I am to the point that I think I would rather die than throw up or deal with this any more. The depression this is causing has ruined my college career. I do things similar things to ocd, which I was told I had when I was very small. However, recently I was told that it wasn't ocd just symptoms of ocd.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

You may have OCPD, instead of OCD. It's more of a character or personality trait that causes problems rather than a severe OCD disorder.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

EMDR therapists are going to have more tools available from their training to help you learn how to ground yourself and move past the fear. It can also be a really good therapy format for when you don't know what's underlying the fear, or can't access that stuff verbally.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

If this is something you've struggled with for a long time, it could be that your brain has learned a mental shortcut that any type of stress now triggers the fear and anxiety of throwing up to get activated, even when that isn't the real fear/problem/risk.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

So that "button" is getting pushed even when it doesn't need to be, because it works so well at making you panic. EMDR can help retrain the brain to find new pathways and options to deal with stress and anxiety, instead of getting stuck on the same loop.

Customer :

So, do you think hospitalization at this point is a good answer or no? I am desperate. I know I can't get past this alone or by myself. I am going to need something drastic. My family is fed up and doesn't know what to do anymore.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Hospitalization is good if you feel like you are suicidal or can't keep yourself safe right now. But as far as treatment, they are going to focus on medication and getting you "stable enough" to be released. They aren't going to focus on real "get in there and fix this" type of therapy.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

I think your best bet is to find a local counselor who is trained in EMDR and go in for an evaluation.

Customer :

I take 30 mg of lexapro right now and up until Sunday (my brother threw up Sunday) I was doing ok. Now I have barely eaten since Sunday, and I am barely able to leave the house.....

Customer :

Thank you for your response... I had no where else to turn.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Are you seeing a psychiatrist or a family doctor?

Customer :

No, I was, but we didn't focus on my phobia. We focused on my family problems and the major depression I was having. Since school let out she has moved and I am unable to see anyone until school starts back in two weeks.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

A psychiatrist may be able to help prescribe an antianxiety medication to take when the anxiety is really bad (like on Sunday).

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

But few of them really do therapy anymore. So it really is best to have a psychiatrist for the medications and a therapist for the therapy while your symptoms are really bad.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Your psychiatrist may also need to look at different medications that target anxiety a bit better, while still addressing depression. Pristiq, Wellbutrin, Paxil, and Zoloft are examples of antidepressants that also have an impact on anxiety.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

I don't know of any hospital programs that deal with phobias specifically. Most deal with a serious illness like substance abuse, trauma disorders, or eating disorders.

Customer :

Ok. Thank you. I will look up psychologists in this area and ask about the EMDR therapists. Again thank you so much. I know this phobia sounds ridiculous, but it really has controlled me for a long time, and I had no where else to turn.

Selah R, M.S. LPC :

Good luck, and I'm glad you asked your question. It's always good to have more options to try. No phobia is ridiculous, especially when they are damaging other areas of your life.

Selah R, M.S. LPC and 2 other Mental Health Specialists are ready to help you