Case Study – Emetaphobia and Migraine: Bryony

disclaimer: results may vary

Every week in the early weeks of the programme, I telephone to see how each client is getting on.  Each telephone call can uncover a new piece of information that helps me to steer people through the programme.

After just three weeks on the programme, Bryony and I were talking about her history of migraine symptoms.  Bryony said that she had ‘huge problems with feeling sick’. My ears pricked up.  I asked Bryony to tell me more about this.  Bryony explained that since the age of 12, she felt a wave of panic whenever she thought of anyone, including herself, vomiting.

It all began when she was a child.  Bryony could remember the day quite clearly.  She was eleven years old, and standing at the back of assembly, with her back to the wall.  Suddenly, a child vomited at the front of the hall. Bryony was shocked that the poor girl hadn’t had enough warning to be able to get herself to the bathroom.  Bryony hoped that she would never find herself in that position.

This event made a subtle change in Bryony.  From that moment on, she began to worry constantly aboutherself vomiting.  The shock of that moment in time, the sight of that little girl vomiting without her having any warning, unable to take herself off to the bathroom, having to vomit in full view of the whole school, caused Bryony to think about it many times every single day, until the time came, when she thought about it as soon as she woke up every morning.  She didn’t think about the little girl at school, Bryony simply checked constantly whether she would be doing anything that day that could put her into a situation where she might not be able to get herself to a place of privacy if ever she felt nauseous.

The link to that fateful day was clear.  Bryony had her back to a wall when she witnesses the little girl vomiting in the school hall.  This meant that even now, many years later, whenever Bryony found herself sitting or standing in a room with her back to a wall, she had to move, or leave. She actually felt nauseous.  If she was near to an exit, or a bathroom, she was fine.  She could escape!

On subsequent telephone calls, Bryony told me that before she began the programme, she rarely went out, just in case she vomited.  She wouldn’t even walk to the chemist shop – just a few minutes away, in case she felt like vomiting and couldn’t get home.  She sometimes listened to the telephone ringing, but couldn’t answer it, because whoever it was might talk for too long, and there might not be time to get to the bathroom.

Even when she received the initial Resolution Magic CD, she wondered whether she would be able to listen to it.  With her eyes closed, what would she do if she suddenly felt sick?

Some time previously, Bryony had gone to see a hypnotherapist who was perplexed because the moment Bryony closed her eyes, she couldn’t relax, because – she might feel nauseous.

Bryony listened to a small part of the CD, and then practiced in her mind what she would do if she felt nauseous.  It worked, and Bryony was soon able to lie back and relax completely to listen to the CD right through.

Bryony had also tried Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, without success.  It seemed that no one quite understood that Bryony’s fear was solely the fear of not being able to get herself to a ‘safe’ place if she needed to vomit.

I discussed with Bryony, how we could change the effects of that past experience, working in the ’3rd Dimension’.  She also began some specific exercises before every trip out.  And then she learnt a different exercise to change the way she felt whenever ‘that thought’ crossed her mind.

As Bryony continued to work on her migraine, her life gradually improved.  In September 2008, she had her first two-week gap.  Fourteen days without a migraine attack.  It was quite an achievement.  In October 2008 she only had two migraine days, and the first menstruation period without a full-blown migraine.  She had shadows of symptoms, and she felt weird, as if she had cotton-wool inside her head, but it was progress!

There were still the migraine ‘down-days’ appearing every few weeks.  Sometimes there were whole weeks of ‘flu-like symptoms, backache, abdominal pain, and feeling ill.   But things were improving all of the time, and in the December of 2008, Bryony went out to a Christmas Fair and a nativity show at the school.

In February 2009, Bryony noticed that a whole month had passed without a single migraine, and no ‘mini-symptoms’ either.

People had stopped inviting Bryony to social gatherings, long ago. Friends and acquaintances felt that Bryony simply didn’t want their company, but of course, this wasn’t the reason why Bryony didn’t go.  How could she tell them that it was emetaphobia that kept her away.  Bryony’s children wanted Bryony to go to school open days, but she simply couldn’t go.

In December 2008, things were beginning to change.  Bryony went to some school evenings and village hall events.  Six months later, in the summer of 2009, Bryony began to go for walks in the park with her family.  Usually the family did all sorts of activities like these without Bryony.  One day, the whole family of aunts and uncles, and cousins, went to a theme park, and for the first time in twelve years, Bryony went with them.  That year, she also went on a family holiday.

The combination of illness and emetaphobia once ruined every single day for Bryony.  Now, she can enjoy every single moment, of every day.  How far she has travelled in her own progress is truly a wonderful story.