Cognitive Behaviour Therapy revealed that my phobia of vomiting developed as a child. My Dad had Chemotherapy when I was about 9 or 10 and I used to listen to him vomiting constantly and wondered what this awful disease was that made a person so sick. His sickness was continuous for days and I thought that it was something I could catch from him.I would lie awake in bed at night listening to him being sick and I can remember the feelings of panic which came over me as I thought I would catch this illness and be that sick too.


As a result, I developed a phobia of vomiting which meant that I thought being sick was a serious illness and that a person has no control over how long  vomiting will last – it could be continuous. As well as these feelings existing from childhood, a bout of food poisoning from chicken meant that to me, food was a danger as it can cause terrible sickness too.


All of these factors mean that I have spent the majority of my life having a genuine fear of being sick, but one which spiralled out of control about 3 years ago – after the episode of food poisoning and becoming a mum. I have spent my time since then avoiding anything which could make me sick. I gradually stopped eating meat in restaurants, ate little of it at home, washed my hands continuously to cleanse my hands of germs and bugs and avoided contact with anyone I knew had been ill.


This phobia affected every aspect of my life. As a Mum of two young children I felt at greater risk of getting a sickness bug as children seem to always pick bugs up. So, I washed my hands all the time and made them so dry and sore they cracked and bled.  As a Teacher I am constantly in contact with germs at school, so the hand washing turned obsessive. At home, I couldn’t eat anything without checking the sell by date, sometimes 3 times before eating it, and I have been known to rummage through the bins to find packaging just to check for the 4th or 5th time that the date was O.K. during a meal.  I also convinced myself that the supermarkets may have misprinted the label and that the product could actually be out of date and therefore would give me food poisoning.


Eating out was awful for me. I stopped going to friends houses for tea as I couldn’t check dates on the food there before eating it. For this reason eating in restaurants was an evening of complete anxiety. I would never eat meat from a restaurant, which lead to family and friends constantly questioning why I had turned veggie! Before I had even eaten my meal I had stomach ache from the nervous, anxious feelings I had about getting food poisoning. Which meant after eating it, I thought I had food poisoning, because the stomach ache got worse – even though I can see this was just anxiety now!


If my husband or children are ever sick, I am immediately filled with fear. I give myself stomach pains, feel a lump in my throat and am overcome with feelings of shear panic. It’s as though hearing and seeing someone else being sick gives me a ring side seat as to what I will go through when the bug affects me. 


All of the above made my life a living hell for years. It affected my relationship with my husband and, I felt, affected my abilities to care for my children when they are ill. This is why I went to see Julie, and I can’t believe I didn’t go sooner!


I have never been hypnotised before and, to be honest, I went with the attitude that I had nothing to loose if it didn’t work. I had tried Cognitive Behaviour Therapy, which helped but after a while my thoughts took over again and I was back to square 1.


Being hypnotised wasn’t what I thought it was going to be, not like I had seen on T.V.!  I just felt incredibly relaxed! The results have been completely life changing.


When I think of vomiting now, it doesn’t fill me with fear. I don’t like the thought of it, and never will, but I think that it quite normal! I can now eat something without washing my hands first and don’t often even think about the consequences of not washing them!


I can go into a restaurant and have the pick of the menu, as opposed to the 2 or 3 veggie dishes I would have chosen between before! I’ve eaten out many times since the hypnosis and never chosen veggie! I really enjoyed my first beef burger in a restaurant in years! I have a new love of food and now really enjoy what I eat.


I feel generally more relaxed and happy, as everyday isn’t just one big worry! My relationships are better and other people who don’t know about my phobia have commented recently how I appear 'different' and more at ease.


I can’t recommend hypnosis highly enough. If there is any doubt in your mind as to whether you should try it, erase it now! I just wish I had been to Julie a long time ago and saved myself and those around me from what I have been through. I am so grateful to Julie for improving my life.




Julie Woodcock

0113 834 5424


0800 007 5052


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