Mum hasn’t left her home or laughed in years as she’s terrified of vomit

A fear of sick has left a previously outgoing mum housebound for two years.

Emma Davies, 35, has spent the last decade struggling with a severe and crippling phobia of vomit which leads to her suffering at least six panic attacks every day.

The mum-of-one only eats one daily meal because her emetophobia – the medical term for fear of vomiting – is so bad that she panics food will make her throw up.

Emma from Ravenhill, Swansea told Wales Online: "It's the thought of seeing, hearing, or smelling sick – anything like that – that affects me.

"I started having anxiety and an issue with sick around 12 years ago when I worked at the Disney store at Swansea Quadrant.

"Gradually over the years it got worse and worse to the point where I haven't left my house in two years and I have at least six panic attacks every single day. The only time I left my home two years ago was to go to the doctors up the road."

Emma explained her panic attacks are triggered by various everyday tasks that most people would be able to do without thinking about.

Due to its impact on her life, she hasn't "laughed properly in the last few years".

She said: "I have them just before I cook, after I cook, after I've eaten and other little things like that.

"I don't eat breakfast and I don't eat dinner – I just have tea because I know I'm going to have a panic attack after I've eaten. I could be laying in bed and might feel something in my throat and then start having a panic attack over the emetophobia. It ruins my life.

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"As soon as I step outside I get this fear that I'm going to vomit or I'm going to see someone vomit. My stomach has gone really sensitive and just seeing someone spit can start my panic attack off."

One of the most heartbreaking aspects of her phobia is not being able to do things with her nine-year-old son.

She said: "I haven't been able to enjoy his life with him because I haven't been able to go to things like parks or beaches.

"He's said he wishes I was better and that we could do stuff together and all I want is to be able to do stuff with him. I'd love to be able to go to the beach with him or even the shop – I have to do online shopping."

Emma has tried numerous times to get the help she needs to be able to live a normal life.

She has had cognitive behavioural therapy – a type of counselling – as well as a psychotherapy called eye movement desensitisation and repossessing.

However, she said no therapy had worked so far so she has set up a GoFundMe page to help pay for a specialist emetophobia hypnotherapist based in London.

"I've had a consultation with him and he seems to really understand my emetophobia but I can't afford to take it further. It costs £3,000," she said.

Emma said it breaks her heart thinking about all the things she could be missing out on and remembering the life she once had, and she hopes seeing the hypnotherapist will change her life for the better.

She added: "My family, especially my mum, granddad, and son have been so helpful and supportive and I don't want to keep feeling like I'm a rubbish mum or a burden on the family and I would love to have myself back to a bubbly, excited, outgoing person again."

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