I’m 19 years old, and I have had Emetophobia for as long as I can remember. I’m not sure what caused it, but it’s always been a part of me. It is very difficult believe me I understand! As a child it wasn’t too bad. I mostly worried when I wasn’t feeling well, but it’s always been annoying! I kept it to myself pretty much all my life because I felt embarrassed, and no one ever understood if I did tell them. It was such a big thing in my life that dragged me down, but now after everything I’m happy and willing to educate others as well as I can what it’s like to deal with something like this. I am proud of what I have worked to overcome. I spent a lot of time feeling like nothing would ever help me but I tried to stay optimistic. Near the end of high school my fears were pretty much controlling my life. I had a lot of anxiety and stress that fueled that anxiety and fears about my phobia and I finally was so tired of going through it that I felt ready to overcome my fears and confront exposure therapy. Believe me I understand what you are going through even just the thought of being exposed to the thing that has so much control over your life is frightening, it’s more than frightening, it’s terrifying. I am here to tell you as someone on the other side that I did it, and it’s possible, and you can do it too! I won’t lie to you and tell you that it was easy. It was probably the most difficult thing I have ever faced, but the continuing accomplishments that you will make will feel amazing. I was so proud of myself for what I was able to do and how strong I could be. And I know that you are strong and amazing and you can do this too. Amy is absolutely amazing at what she does and I am so thankful to have found her, so I know that she will help you too! Watching the videos and doing the homework for therapy was hard for me. Once things started to get difficult I would really struggle to do them on my own. It was so nice to have Amy there to support me and help me through it all. I really felt like she understood what I was going through like no one else ever had in my life. So don’t be afraid to open up to her that is how you will work through it together. Be open and willing to let her help you. She really helped boost my confidence in myself and my abilities to power through as impossible as it seemed at times. You can do this! As someone who understands what it’s like and how hard it is to live with this thing, I believe in you and can’t wait for you to achieve the change in your life that you want and need!
If you are reading this I can only assume that you are going through a time in your life with some major decisions ahead of you. First off, I want you to know that you are not alone. I am a 24-year-old adult living with obsessive-compulsive disorder. I have struggled with anxiety my whole life, but it wasn’t until I was 20 years old when I was officially diagnosed with OCD. A few months before my diagnosis is when OCD started to really take over, occupying my mind one piece at a time until I was all-consumed by something that I wasn’t in the least bit prepared for. The intrusive thoughts seemed harmless at first, but I didn’t know what I was up against. My guard was down – you don’t expect an attack from the inside. I spent so much time wondering what was wrong with me and why I was having so many overwhelming thoughts – thoughts that made me feel alienated and confused. When I first heard the term “obsessive-compulsive disorder,” I was able to put a name to the thing that I felt had stolen so much of my identity. Accepting the fact that you have a mental health disorder is one of the first steps towards getting better, and friend, I am so proud of you for making it to this point. For years, OCD tricked me into thinking it was my friend, but inevitably I ended up in a place where I felt stuck. At the time, I wasn’t confident enough to realize that I was meant to keep moving. Meeting Dr. Jacobsen and realizing that there is a treatment out there that really works for individuals struggling with OCD was such a lifesaver for me, and it can be a lifesaver for you too – I am sure of this. I genuinely cannot put into words how thankful I am to have found someone so wonderful and skillful to help me manage my symptoms and truly live life again. If you are suffering from OCD, exposure/response prevention (ERP) probably sounds like the most terrifying thing that you could possibly imagine. I don’t disagree with you – the thought of ERP can be terrifying, especially when you are deep in your symptoms and feeling like there’s no way out. But friend, I promise you that there is the brightest light you could ever possibly imagine waiting for you at the end of the tunnel. And if there is anyone to help you make it there, it’s Dr. Jacobsen. As menacing and frightening as treatment sounds, I promise you it’s more than worth it. After years of feeling so stuck, so lost, and like I wasn’t really living, Dr. Jacobsen and ERP helped me feel like myself again. OCD can be such a heavy weight to carry, but with the proper treatment, you can cope with it, and you can learn to live again. It is so important for you to remember that no matter how alone you feel, no matter how heavy that weight feels, there is always a way out of the darkness. Healing is an option for you. You are so strong, even if your mind is telling you otherwise. Friend, I am so proud of you for how far you have come. It takes true strength to admit to yourself that you need treatment, and I really hope that you continue forward with it because no matter what happens, you have such great things ahead of you. There is so much to look forward to, and the journey towards getting there starts here. You are in the right place. Change is scary, but I know you can do it. And if you’re ever feeling like it’s impossible, always remember that you will never be alone in this. You are meant to keep moving.