psychology

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Emetophobia is a pathological fear of vomiting and can be incredibly debilitating.

Something was wrong with our daughter.

We'd seen the signs brewing for a while, but couldn't pinpoint their exact nature. She'd always been an easy-going kid, but sometimes she'd flat-out refuse to do certain things or go certain places, and she would panic if we tried to coax her. She had frequent dizzy spells and stomachaches with no apparent physical cause. If she heard someone we knew was sick, she'd immediately ask with a worried tone, "What kind of sick?"

Those last two things should have been bigger clues, but we didn't have the clarity of hindsight. And as adolescence approached, she started experiencing more anxiety in general. She would back out of plans with friends more frequently. She spent more and more time in her bedroom. When I took her to orchestra practice—something she enjoyed—she couldn't make herself get out of the car to go in. We could see her trying to do things, but more and more she was paralyzed by a fear she couldn't name.

It was clear she was struggling with anxiety and we tried a couple of different therapists. They each helped a little, at least to keep the spiral from getting worse. But we seemed to be missing something.

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