At age 9, our daughter had the flu and as a result vomited. She then developed a fear,worry and anxiety about vomiting. She was totally occupied with this phobia. Initially, she stopped eating for days, only drinking, and lost 3-4 kg.
Forcing her, getting angry, threatening or disciplining her only made her retreat further into her fear. So we let her be, insisting only that she drink, which she did.
Eventually, after about 5-6 months, she seemed 'normal' again. Now, 12 months on from the vomiting episode, the anxiety has resurfaced - not because she vomited, but because she had a sore tummy. This reminded her that at this same time last year on the school holidays, she vomited and was suddenly gripped with the fear that it would now happen again.
She has reverted back to a fear of eating because she may vomit. The anxiety gives her an upset tummy which she interprets as the precursor to vomiting. And so we have a vicious cycle.
As Christians, we have used doctrine to counsel her. This greatly comforts her and for short periods of time she is 'normal' again, even eating. She is in a very loving home, with two parents who show her love and are very caring towards her and each other.
It was interesting to us that she actually did vomit these school holidays, and surprisingly she handled it very well. She agrees that it wasn't the worst thing in the world, but yet has returned to the fear.
Recently, she has discovered through reading, that a person can make themselves vomit. Now she is terrified that she could do this to herself.
I am certain she in not trying to get attention. Also, I am not aware of any significant event which has occurred which could be a cause. She has always been a sensitive child with a very vivid imagination and always had one fear or another on her mind. But it has never been to this extent where it interferes with her behaviour, making her very clingy to mum, tearful, and even depressed.
Please tell us how to respond to her and what we should do. May I ask if Mr Rosemond personally answers any of these letters? We would be so grateful.
Also, I have purchased many of Mr Rosemond's books. I have read some but have not had time to read them all. Could you tell me if any book deals my daughter's problem, as I may have it.