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To Sam

Anxiety- feeling sick

hello, i have been feeling sick everyday for a long time, however i was last actually sick 2 years ago. I worry about being sick and  i have panic attacks and i dont want to go anywhere anymore.
im scared of eating out, leaving my house, leaving my town, going to school, going shopping because im scared i might be sick. I have read up on the internet that i may have emetophobia but many people are still living with it. Im scared that i will always worry about it and i will lose my friends, no one understands what im going through and ask me so many questions which makes me feel worse. Im so scared. Im scared of growing up and not having my mum and dad support me through this. I have thought about self harm but i dont deal well with pain. I feel sick everyday and my school performance has gone down.
Some days i feel so sick i dont want to get out of bed, i see the school counciller but i dont think he understands either, im so scared. Im scared i wont get better. Its ruining my life. How can this be treated?
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Thanks for taking the time to write to me. It’s clear that what’s going on is really scary for you and you’ve been very brave to open up to me. We all worry about things, but when your worries mean that you are unable to do things you enjoy and your school life is affected it’s a good idea to ask for support.

It’s great that you have managed to speak with the school counsellor, but it sounds like they haven’t been able to give you the kind of help you’d hoped for.

I can hear that the fear of being sick is making it difficult to do anything. It sounds like having no one who understands what you’re going through is making you feel lonely. It sounds like you’ve been looking for other ways to cope with what’s going on. With the right help and support I think it’s possible for things to change so that you can manage your worries and be free to do the things that you want to.

Emetophobia means having a strong fear (called a phobia) of being sick - but only a medical professional like a doctor would be able to tell you whether you have that. Something to think about is that online information is often not accurate and speaking to someone who is medically trained about how you feel and your symptoms is the best way to get the right support.

Maybe you could think about making an appointment to see your doctor, or even having a chat with the school nurse, if your school has one. Sometimes it can help to make some notes about what you want them to know to take with you. That way you can use these to remind you what you want to say if you’re nervous, or even just pass them to the doctor or nurse to read as a starting point. A website called Doc Ready is a really good way of preparing to talk to a doctor or nurse about your health.

You mentioned your fears about growing up and not having your mum and dad to support you. It’s worth remembering that everyone needs support sometimes. It’s okay to keep turning to those who are close to you for support, no matter how old you are. You might want to consider asking your mum and dad to come with you to the doctor, or perhaps take a friend that you trust along to the appointment.

If you would like to talk more about this then ChildLine are always here to listen. You can talk to a counsellor for free by calling 0800 1111, logging on for a 1-2-1 chat or by sending an email. You might also find it helpful to get support from other young people on the message boards. You could also look at our anxiety page, if you haven't already done so.

Take care,


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