From a teen in the U.S.: I have been told by many doctors that I have a psychosis related problem (they’re unsure if it’s schizophrenic or schizoaffective) and I have a phobia of people around me vomiting. I know the fear is irrational, I have no idea how I became afraid of it, I have been my whole life. The fear stretched into involving coughing, and I hate the sound of anyone around me coughing. When I hear someone cough, I get very angry very fast and I feel an impulse to hurt them, but instead of hurting them I hurt myself (punching myself, hitting my head).
I feel like I get so much anger I have to act out, so I’d rather act out on myself. If someone coughs while I’m in public I’ll dig my fingernails into my palms. I have been known to yell and threaten to hurt family members because they coughed near me. Because I have psychosis, I will hallucinate people coughing and it will make me hurt myself. I hate the sound more than the germs, because I’m afraid people coughing will lead to them vomiting.
I’m afraid I’ll never be able to have children because I might be a danger to them, as kids get sick a lot when they’re younger. I’m hopeful I’ll be able to be treated/grow out of this before I have kids, as I’m only 16, but it’s gotten worse over time.
I’m also afraid my psychosis somehow made my phobia worse, as I will hallucinate people coughing. I’m afraid to go into a hospital of some kind, even if my psychosis gets bad, because there might be people with bulimia there.
Am I a danger to others or myself? I really don’t want to hurt anyone and I wish I didn’t have this phobia, but I can’t seem to help it makes me violent toward myself/wishing I could be violent to others. I’m being treated with antipsychotics (seroquel) but it’s more for my psychosis, and it doesn’t take away my impulses.
You apparently are suffering from multiple problems. Emetophobia is the fear of vomiting. Misophonia is a hatred of a particular sound (often chewing, coughing, breathing, etc.). And you’ve been diagnosed with a psychotic disorder as well as obsessive-compulsive disorder. That makes you a very, very complicated patient to treat.
This is a terrible burden for you to manage on your own. I’m glad you are seeing a prescriber for medications. That’s a positive way to start. But I hope you are also seeing a psychologist to talk through your feelings and to help you learn to cope with what may be neurological disorders. A cure may not be possible but coping certainly is.
I wonder if a treatment that includes a distraction technique might help you manage being with other people. Techniques such as EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) or self-hypnosis might give you some relief. Do talk it over with your mental health provider.
I wish you well.