A woman has such an unbelievable extreme fear of vomiting that made her too scared to eat. As a result, she only weighs just about as light as four stone.
Cheryl Longman, 30, says that her life-long fear of throwing up has become so severe that it has become her vicious habit to limit her meals. Curiously, she even tried to convince her doctor that she is not anorexic. Thing is she would only eat two mouthfuls each meal due to her extreme fear that if she eats too much, she would vomit.
Alarmingly, her weight in 15 months dropped from 10st 7lbs to a dangerous 4st 11lbs. Longman, a former support worker, had to be admitted to a hospital and fed through a tube until she is fine enough to go home.
She has improved a bit and now weighs 8st 6lbs but still finds eating meals a perennial battle. She said: "It was horrible watching the weight just drop off me. I was so used to being healthy and being curvy and then all of a sudden I was wasting away."
Longman elaborated on how tough the struggle had been in losing so much weight by restricting her food intake due to an irrational fear of vomiting. She added: "I lost so much weight that I was just skin and bone and my skin went grey and so dry from being malnourished- I looked so much older."
She also admitted trying to get professional help before "condition took over her life" but was "bounced back and forth" between mental health and eating disorder specialists.
Longman admitted she endured having to face the constant battle of trying to convince everyone that she was not anorexic.
Longman developed her fear of being sick called emetophobia when she was just 12. Emetophobia is a fear if vomiting. People with the condition are not exactly put off by the sight of other people vomiting, but their fear of themselves throwing up can reach crippling levels. It can also cause panic attacks, breathing difficulties, choking sensation, dizziness, sweating and a rapid heartbeat.
Longman reached the point where she lost more than half of her body weight over three years of seeking help. When her weight dropped to 5st, Longman became housebound for two years, too weak to even walk. She was admitted to the hospital in February and she stayed there for three weeks. Thankfully, she is now on her way to recovery and gaining back the weight she lost. She is also embarking on raising awareness on her condition.