how do you cope when your child is gets sick when you have a sickness phobia?

Barbara - posted on 07/18/2009 ( 8 moms have responded )




i have a phobia of sick. hate everything about it and cant cope when any1 is throwing up. this makes me feel like a bad mother because i want to be there for my child but cant be at that time. spend all my time worrying incase child gets ill and leads to being sick. has any1 else got this phobia or find it hard to cope with a child being ill

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Candi - posted on 11/19/2009




I have the same problem so you are not alone! My daughter is 4 and am always worried she is going to get some type of stomach bug and end up getting sick, then it is to the point where I get all nauseous and almost make myself sick thinking about it, have so many thoughts that run through my head. Thankfully my DH is understanding and when she gets sick he cleans up any mess and I clean her up. He will stay home with her too from work, helps that he is self employed and I am not. I wish you luck but know that you are not alone!

Natalie - posted on 11/08/2009




I have celiac sprue, and spent two years with severe stomach problems. Now if someone throws up I have panic attacks. I can't even watch it on t.v. I haven't thrown up in years. The things that help me cope are I talked to my doctor about the phobia and asked for a prescription for anti-nausea medication. It is my back-up plan in case I catch anything. I am better knowing it is there. If my child is sick longer than 24 hours we go to the doctor and they have medicine that they can give to children to stop them from throwing up, which is my miracle drug. My son had a stomach flu in October and couldn't keep anything down. When he threw up I was the only one home, and had to handle it. I left him crying, took care of cleaning myself up, gloved up, and then did what had to be done. After which I hugged and made things all better, and my son is fine. You are not a bad mother for having a phobia, and the weird things about phobias is the cure is to confront them. Like the mom mentioned before, you visualize what you fear, but you need to do that while practicing a relaxation response, and then when you are confronted with what you fear, do everything you need to to allow for that relaxation response, breath, repeat a mantra like this too shall pass, walk away if it gets to intense, and come back when you're calmer, after an intense moment, listen to music, sit with your eyes closed etc. I am still working on this, but I can say it is getting better. I didn't totally freak out this time, but I did last time.

Amy - posted on 09/01/2009




Well, I do not have a phobia but do get nerves when anyone in our house gets sick. I use lysol spray. Spray the door knobs,sick, trash cans, wahs the phones and WASH MY HANDS often. Kepp giving my child plenty of hugs when he is sick cause they need that comfort. I also as soon as he says my stomach bothers me I give him a bucket so if he does get sick it is not hard to clean up. My son when he is sick likes when I hold him and am in the same room with him so if I have a phobia it would not be good. I would try this and also maybe get a mask and cloves so when you have to clean vomit or direa up you will protect yourself as well. I sometimes get concerned when people get sick because when I get sick it seems to take me longer to get over it then others. Non of us get sick often. My husband when someone vomits and he has to clean it up he vomits too so he will not clean it up so I am glad I can do it although it makes my stomac curl a bit but I do not have a choice. I clean my hands so much anywas and when flu season or any illness is spreading I wash my hands alot. get hand sanitizers, keep them in your purse, car, and in your house. I use them alot too.
Hope this helps.

Jennifer - posted on 08/13/2009




Don't feel bad, you're not alone! There's actually a clinical name for this phobia: emetephobia (emesis means vomit). And I can totally relate because I went through the same thing when my son was younger. The first couple years of school, I was terrified he would pick up a virus from his classmates and bring it home and then I would catch it. But he's been in school six years now (counting preschool) and has only had two stomach viruses in all that time... and the times he did have one, I never caught it, despite sitting with him on the couch or his bed all day or night and holding a bucket for him. Fortunately, neither of us gets sick very often, and I think it's a combination of good hygiene and good nutrition. As soon as we come home from anywhere or use the toilet, we wash our hands. We eat really healthy and take vitamins. You may want to seek counseling for this if you feel it's necessary, but in the meantime remember that even if you do get sick yourself, you'll survive! :)

Jennifer - posted on 08/11/2009




I feel for you, phobias are hard. At the same time, they can be overcome. This seems to me to be the kind of incentive that would allow someone to work through a phobia.

For starters I would buy a facemask and some gloves, for your peace of mind. Then you can hold her and help her without as much anxiety. In addition to that I'd read up on the immune system. These days there are so many allergies and one of the leading theories as to why is that our bodies have evolved to deal with a lot of biological stressors (illnesses) and we've so sterilized our environments that in an effort to exercise the immune system it starts attacking benign things like rasperries and peanuts and dairy and pollen. Unless you're imunocompromised a few viruses aren't going to hurt you, just inconvenience you. like everyone else.

Play 'Doctor' when your child is sick: facemask, gloves, frequent hand washings. But don't forget the hugs. If you have to buy a cheap set of scrubs to wear, do it. Then you can dress like a dr, and switch into non cootied clothes when you aren't tending your baby. Or better yet, get stuff so loose you can put it over your real clothes.

I believe that one of the important steps of getting past a phobia is visualization. Visualize yourself helping your sick child when she's not sick. Really do it, imagine it so graphically that it makes you uneasy, and at the same time imagine yourself dealing with it like a pro, or ... like a Mom! ;)

Good luck,


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Chances of you getting sick from your child is slim. It's more likely they get sick from you! You have way more antibodies than they do. So, try to remember, maybe you were the one who carried the virus and made your child ill...maybe this will help you be more sensitive to a sick child. And also - - WASH your hands frequently to avoid passing the germs around. I also get out the Lysol spray and spray the sinks, and doorknobs, etc. Good luck!

Lyndsay - posted on 07/21/2009




Well. Not trying to sound harsh here, but I want to give my honest opinion. If your child is sick then you need to suck it up, because he/she needs you at that point in time and you should be worrying about him/her and not yourself.

Susan - posted on 07/19/2009




I have had phobias in the past, but not this particular one..however, if I were you I would find a good therapist to help you overcome your fear. This will not only help you as a mom but also help you enjoy your life more so you can relax. There are wonderful therapist out there who specialize in overcoming fears...we all have them and it feels so good when you can overcome what is getting in your way.

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