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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 1/7/2008 3:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,

I posted on here a while back that my anxiety (and panic attacks and OCD and mild agoraphobia) all stem from my specific phobia of vomitting. Lately it has gotten really out of hand because of the fact that it's winter and there are all those nasty stomach bugs going around. I have at least one panic attack a day, I can't stop washing my hands (and everything else in my house that may have come in contact with the outside world) and it's becoming increasingly difficult to go out of my house, which poses a real problem considering I have to work. The OCD is really kicking in to overdrive and I just feel like one big ball of tension. I have made the decision to go back on meds -- I was on Paxil from 2003 to early 2006 and it really did help with the panic attacks and OCD. It didn't get rid of the phobia but at least it allowed me to relax a little bit and to think more clearly and rationally. I really wanted to fight this thing myself, but I can admit when I need help, and I am resigned to the fact that if the meds will help, even a small amount, then it will be worth it. That's the easy part. Now here's the dilemma. I'm a complete germaphobe, obviously due to the phobia of vomitting and catching a bug, so even thinking about going to the doctor's office to talk about meds sends me in to a complete tailspin. My PCP prescribed them in the past and then sent me to a pdoc...I already know what med worked and what I would like to go back on...I would love it if I could just call my PCP and tell him this and have him call in a prescription, but I don't think it works that way with these kinds of meds (my PCP knows me so well that normally I can just call and tell him I have a sinus infection and he will call in an antibiotic for me). I wish this could work that way!

I really don't know what to do. I know I need the help and I'd like to get started on the meds ASAP since they take so long to kick in...but the other part of me wants to wait until stomach flu season is over. This whole thing is so irrational that it makes me angry. I do need to call the doc though as this thing has got control of me and is affecting my physical health as well...I've lost 10 pounds and only weighed 100 to begin with, so that can't be healthy.

Guess I'm just looking for some support/advice...

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 345
   Posted 1/7/2008 4:59 PM (GMT -6)   
I understand how you feel about the stomach bug---I hate that more than anything myself! Can you call your MD and explain to the nurse about this? Or, about wearing a mask to the MD's office? I know people will look at you---but, if it's germs you are worried about----maybe a mask can help? Keep posting here---I am sure someone can help ya'.....

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 1/7/2008 6:30 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Laurel,

Thanks for the response. I know, the stomach bug is awful for anyone, no one likes it! Having a phobia of vomiting (I mean this is to the point where if someone gave me the option of being shot in the foot or vomiting, I'd hold my foot out and say "fire away") makes it a hundred times worse. I'm terrified, and although I recognize that it is an irrational fear, I can't stop it. I did end up calling the doctor and talking to a nurse, she said she believe it is illegal for these kinds of meds to be prescribed over the phone. My doctor is supposed to call me tomorrow though and somehow I am hoping for better news! I've considered wearing a mask and although I'd probably look silly, people will just assume that either I'm immune compromised and can't pick up germs, or that I'm highly contagious. I guess I'd rather have them think that then think I am afraid of throwing up, because what a nut case I would seem like! The other thing I am stressing about right now is the possible nausea side effects of the meds...and of course most anti-nausea prescriptions are contraindicated with SSRI's. I fear I'm going into a bit of a rough patch...

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 2721
   Posted 1/7/2008 7:38 PM (GMT -6)   

Phobia's are really hard things to live with.  Especially ones related to our bodies and germs. I used to have a phobia that people were trying to poison me and refused to eat or drink out of anything I hadn't washed and prepared.  talk about embarrasing!!! I got over that through CBT and hypnosis.  Now I try to never do dishes!!!

I'm really sorry to hear how fearful you are about this.  By all means wear the mask and let your doctor/nurses know your concerns.  Are you able to take herbal anti-nauseants that will lower your risk of vomiting? Once that won't affect the SSRI's? I have IBS and find them really useful when my stomach is a mess.

Again, I remember how difficult this is.  Please be kind to yourself and let us know how it all goes ((((hugs)))))

I alone can do this, but I cannot do it alone. 

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 1/7/2008 11:50 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi! I used to work for probation and parole and we had a "client" that was super agoraphobic. He couldn't deal with being in our waiting room. So, when he arrived in our parking lot he would call the reception and check in. When it was his turn to see us reception would call his cell phone and he would walk in, bypass the waiting room, and come right to our office. Maybe you could do the same w/ the docs. Call and check in from the parking lot and ask them to call your phone when it is your turn. You should feel less germ-phobic in the actual sterile exam room than in the waiting room full of potentially sick folks.
26 Year old married female.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  Currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day, hysociamine prn, nexium, and ortho evra.  Good times!!!

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 171
   Posted 1/8/2008 1:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for the input guys, I really appreciate it. Meg I am so glad someone understands phobias. A lot of people just say think it is being afraid of something, rather than recognizing it as an irrational, all-consuming fear. It can get frustrating!

I did hear from my doc and I am unfortunately even more frustrated right now. He said if this was just GAD or social anxiety he would gladly prescribe the meds, but since I have a very specific and irrational phobia that is leading to OCD, he feels I need a psychiatric evaluation. He told me that he was afraid that if he just gave me the meds I would not get the help I need from a psychological standpoint. So he gave me a referral to a psychiatrist...the same one he referred me to 5 years ago when I went on meds the first time. I pointed this out and told him that I had success with the meds and knew what worked for me, but that I had gone off of them of my own choice because I wanted to see if I could deal on my own. Since I have already had an evaluation with that exact psychiatrist I don't feel I need another one...I know what she will say and it will just be a waste of time and money. He said he "didn't remember referring me to a psychiatrist in the past" but SURPRISE he remembered doing so once he looked in my charts. Unfortunately he still wants me to see her again and won't prescribe me any meds. Fabulous. Now I will have to wait at least another week to get in and get the meds.

I then asked him if he could do anything for me for nausea...I have IBS and GERD and the anxiety contributes to both so that I feel nauseas frequently...since my biggest fear is vomiting this is a vicious cycle. I was looking for something to quell the nausea until I can get my anxiety under control and he acted like I was a hard drug seeker or something. He practically hung up on me when I started to ask about nausea meds. It was literally like "Sorry, can't help you with that, call me if you have trouble with the referral, bye." I get so ticked when doctors don't recognize that anxiety is a real disorder with real physical he is the one who diagnosed me with IBS and GERD so he knows I am not just making this stuff up! frustrated...just needed to vent.

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 1/8/2008 3:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Vent away
Sorry you have to wait I really am BUT I am guessing this Pdoc will put you back on same meds as before the paxil....

I am severe OCD but with me it is about clean and yes germs too ........I drive all around me nuts I am sure as well as locking 9oor checking locks 3 to 5 times all the time
Hand washing is a constant thing as well .....

PlZ let us know how you make out

Great input Megs.....Luvs
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Moderator,Anxiety/Panic, Alzheimers,Co Mod for Crohns                     

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