Home Discussion Forum Gastroscopy, emetophobia?

Gastroscopy, emetophobia?

I´ve tried to have it done once years ago but couldn´t go through with it.
But I´m no better (health wise) than I was 10 years ago so I´m considering giving it another go. I have an appointment in December but already now I´m crying my eyes out when I´m thinking about it. I´m just so so so terrified.
My problem is my stomach. I´m always feeling sick. I´ve taken so many medications over the past 10 years, seen tens of doctors and it has been no help what so ever. Been diagnosed with IBS, ulcers, GERD, loads and loads of other things, but never based on test results, cause those always come out fine. It´s just what doctors have told me they assume when they don´t know what to say cause my results are fine but symptoms are there.
Another thing is my fear of vomiting. I´ve seen psychiatrists and counsellors, they do absolutely nothing. Psychiatrists just prescribe antidepressants and one councellor said she doesn´t know what to say when I finished talking about my fear and…yeah.
So anyway, I´d like someone tell me how bad gastroscopy really is, cause if it really is bad I won´t do it. I know I sound like a mad person but I am a grown up, just with a phobia. I don´t want any gagging and I´m not even going to talk about vomiting. Seriously, when I get there I will tell the doctor that if they make me gag or sick I will kill myself. I´m not joking, my fear is that bad. The last time I felt like I was going to be sick I tried to slit my veins and ended up in hospital. In all seriousness I so would rather die than get sick.
Anyway, the doctor said they can do sedation and all, but said I´d still be awake but won´t remember anything afterwards. That´s not good enough for me. I don´t care that I won´t remember, the main point is I will be awake when they do it to me and I will be very much aware of it. They said they can´t put me to sleep cause it´s dangerous and I need to be awake to swollow the tube thing.
So any advice would be welcome, except that I´m mad and I need help. I know I need psychological help and I know why I´m scared of getting sick. And I know gastroscopy might give me all the answers and after that I might be able to live a happy life but as i said if I gag once during it I will kill myself. I ´m not just saying it, I´ve tried it before and have no problem doing it again.
PS: I´ve tried herbal/alternative medicine, accupuncture and at the minute I´m doing chakra clearing, energy healing, hypnotherapy in addition to ´normal´ medicine. And I know very much that my bad health is most likely caused by the fear, but I still need to heal my body along with the head, so gastroscopy is quite inevitable. If anyone can suggest any good forms of therapy for my fear then I´d like to hear about it.
PS2: It´s not that I don´t want to get better. It´s my dream, but the fear is just too strong and none of the therapies have helped.
1. I think I know why I´m scared. It´s because of a childhood incident. Back then my mother got sick once from driking too much at a party. I remember that she was feeling sick and I was sitting on her lap and talking to her. She ran off to the bathroom and was sick all night. I thought she was dying or something. and everyone said oh she´s just getting sick she´ll be okay. Right now I don´t think getting sick will kill me but it absolutely freaks me out. Now I can´t even be in the same house if someone´s sick. I go into hysterics if someone´s sick. I´m not just scared of myself getting sick it´s the whole thing with everyone, even my cat. I panic and cry when my cat gets sick.
I think that´s the reason cause I was sitting on my mother´s lap. If I had been scared then I wouldn´t have gone near her.
My father´s wife is a nurse and she´s really nice but they live in a different country and I don´t have money to go over there.
I wouldn´t want to bring anyone with me in case they started feeling sick. That´s my fear kicking in again. The doctor knows about my phobia but he´s not that empathetic. I don´t know that much about sedation, but I want to be sure I´ll be out for the count cause the first time they just sprayed my throat and when I started gagging I pulled the tube out of my throat and damaged it and got given out.


  1. Hi there, first off, you’re not mad, lots of people have a fear of vomiting (me included), do You know why you are fearful? mine stems back to me throwing up on a coach when I was a child, I’m surprised no one has tried to find this out for you.
    Re gastroscopy, I would ask again to be knocked out completely, they can do it it just costs more and is a longer recovery, and of course in can be more dangerous as are any ops with general anaesthetic but, how do you think they perform these things on very young children?? my hubby has had the Gastroscopy procedure done twice and it is true to say he doesn’t remember anything about it, however I can understand your personal concerns as I wouldn’t want it done either and if it happened then they would have to carry me kicking and screaming into the hospital, so you are not alone.

  2. Calm down. Tell whoever is doing the gastroscopy about your fear. I have a bad gag reflex and was very apprehensive. I opted very firmly for sedation rather than a local anaesthetic spray.
    When I got into the room they inserted the cannula for the sedation. Then they carefully positioned me on the bed and put one of those oxygen prongs into a nostril. They asked me to put a little round ring between my teeth and I started to gag. So they took it out and said that they would manage. A nurse stood behind me to hold me in position, they started the sedation and the next thing I remember was waking up in my bed.
    A friend who, like you, freaked out the first time was allowed to have her husband with her. She too got through it and remembers nothing about it. Her husband said she was sort of sleepily aware of what was going on and sort of responded if someone spoke to her. Afterwards she just went to sleep for a short while and then he took her home.
    Do you have a friend who is a nurse or something – my friend’s husband is a first aid trainer – who they might let go in with you to give you confidence? But the drug is very good about wiping out memories, the worst bit was getting the cannula in – I have lousy veins. I stayed with the friend I told you about before and had a chinese meal for my tea!
    I hope this helps and that you manage to get this investigation done.

  3. Honestly, it is perfectly alright to be fearful. Next, in ancient times people with more severe ailments continued to survive cause they knew that there was no medical help available. Hence they summoned courage and endured. Now, it seems your problem is on account of over anxiety- so pls learn to cntrl Ur nerves. Nxt, U may be having a weak digestive system, may be a weak liver. So pls ignore Ur taste buds & eat boiled, bland, simple vegeterian food devoid of even chillies, ginger, onion & garlic. Also, probably U have low good bacteria in Ur intestines- so eat FRESH curd- for breakfast & lunch. Remember- rice and curd are God’s food. Chew Ur food well. Lastly, FRESH cottage cheese shud b included in Ur diet daily. Happy Recovery.


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