- Jan 24, 2019
I have had tokophobia for as long as I can remember, I recall being in primary school when I was about 10 years old and seeing a pregnant teacher, I looked over to my best friend and said "that's so awful, I would be terrified if I was her" and it has grown worse ever since. I was able to keep it under control for a while up until I was around 17 and I got a boyfriend. After that it felt like my anxiety and the severity of my phobia tripled overnight. I found myself hating hearing anything even remotely associated with pregnancy or childbirth, my heart would start pounding, I'd feel sick and I'd just want to cry. It has become so severe that just a picture of a baby or the mention of a baby or the slight mention of pregnancy and I can feel the anxiety hit me, I can't watch anything on TV with young babies or pregnant women, and absolutely cannot be around young babies at all, any sound from them whether it's a laugh, a cry or a slight gurgle and I feel the panic overwhelm me within seconds. Luckily my partner is very supportive and although he admits he'll never be able to fully know how I feel, he tries his best, and we have both agreed that neither of us want children, and that is not an issue at all. Despite me having tokophobia I have never been a maternal person, I have never looked at a baby and had a desire for one, however the anxiety and the phobia continues to destroy my life on a daily basis. I do not like children at all, this phobia has turned me into an extremely bitter person and the thought of childbirth not only panics me, but also now it makes me angry. I think its so unnatural even though it is quite the opposite, I think it's sickening that women must endure the pain and risk their life during child birth and I have even gone as far as to say a foetus is essentially a parasite. I have tried CBT a few times and am currently having counselling however it remains essentially ineffective. I am not on here to find a miracle cure as I don't believe there is such a thing, but I really would appreciate some support or hear any stories of other people feeling like this. The part that cripples me about this phobia is the anxiety that comes with it and how much it impacts my quality of life. You don't realise how much pregnancy and babies are around you until you try and avoid them, this phobia has caused me so many panic attacks, nightmares, leaving work early, calling in sick and arguments with my partner and my family. Most of this is because of how irrational I am on the subject of young babies and pregnancy, I cannot cope at all when my partner is around young babies or pregnant women and it's worse than if it were just me who was around them. Unfortunately because of his job, he is exposed to these things regularly and it is what causes me a lot of anxiety on a daily basis. This phobia has crippled almost every aspect of my life and I just need a place to hear some comforting words or advice, any input would be extremely appreciated. I don't want to change my mind on having children (as I have been told many times that I will), as I believe that not wanting children is a part of who I am, however finding a way to reduce the anxiety the phobia causes would be ideal.