Woman has life altering phobia of pregnancy

By Richard van Rensburg
28 May 2017

And women who are already expecting make her feel nauseous and panicky.

The mere thought of pregnancy fills her with so much fear and anxiety that she gets nightmares. And women who are already expecting make her feel nauseous and panicky - so she avoids them altogether. Lizzie Doxsey (39), of Swansea, Wales, suffers from tokophobia, an intense fear of falling pregnant or giving birth.

She recently told British media how the paralyzing phobia has already cost her hundreds of pounds in pregnancy tests and that it’s also become impossible for her to look at the sonar scan pictures of her friend’s unborn babies.

Although, when it comes to the former she’s making an effort to keep the costs at a minimum and keeps a stack of pregnancy tests on hand to take when the anxiety kicks in. "I'm fine around older babies or toddlers. It's just newborns, as they're so fragile... I'm not sure exactly what it is about pregnancy that frightens me. Maybe it's the loss of control, almost like something is taking over your body,” she explains. “People don't always understand tokophobia. They either think it's funny or get offended.”

As a child, she already started feeling uncomfortable when she was around pregnant women, and her fear only grew worse as she got older.

She’s compared her phobia to how an arachnophobe (someone with an intense fear of spiders) would feel if they were stuck in a room with a spider.

Lizzie recently avoided one of her friends for the entire duration of her pregnancy. And as more and more of her friends started to have kids and it has become more and more complicated for her to avoid expectant women altogether.

To her, it was quite traumatic when her Facebook feed started becoming inundated with sonar scans. “I never know when I'm going to see them. Horrendous…”

This is why she started to unfriend many of her Facebook pals for the duration of their pregnancies.

For years Lizzie didn’t even know that there was a name for her condition – a friend found it by accident on Google.

Now, she belongs to an online support group for tokophobia sufferers. She hopes that more people will start to understand that there’s not always a rational explanation for the things that terrify people.

“Think about how (phobia suffers) feel when they're confronted by a snake or spider. That’s how we feel about pregnancy. Just because it's not a common fear doesn't make it any less scary.”

Sources: her.ie. MirrorUK . ncbi.nlm.nih.gov, independent.co.uk. fearfreechildbirth.com

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