Tokophobia?

Watch this thread
Anonymous #1
#1
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#1
Hello everyone.

I think I may have tokophobia (fear of pregnancy/childbirth), mainly in relation to childbirth. I'm an 18-year-old female and do not currently have any children. I don't think I can quite convey it with words, but I'll give it a go. I am absolutely repulsed by childbirth - the humiliation, indignity, vulnerability and lack of control I perceive an individual giving birth experiences absolutely sickens me. I saw something relating to childbirth on TV a few nights ago and I was repulsed and ended up being so anxious that I didn't know what to do with myself. I don't actually worry about giving birth per se (oddly enough), but rather about the fact that other people (friends, family, etc.) will know about the humiliation and pain and indignity I experienced whilst giving birth. When I see an individual giving birth, e.g. on TV, I immediately relate it to myself and feel humiliated on behalf of said individual. Even looking at the word 'birth' makes me feel repulsed.

I'm not sure why I feel this way, but it's making me incredibly anxious, to the point that sometimes I almost resent the fact that I'm female. Having said all that, my partner and I would both like to have children in the future, and I plan to apply for medicine (and obviously I'd be likely to encounter childbirth in lectures, placements, etc., which terrifies me). I don't know what to do. This has been an ongoing issue for a while now. I also have pretty severe OCD, I'm generally quite an anxious person, and I had a similar fear in the past (I was terrified of sex education lessons and had similar feelings to those I have about this issue).

Does anybody have any advice? I've seen several clinical psychologists, etc. in the past, but nothing really seems to work in terms of conquering my mental health problems. Thanks in advance!

P.S. Please don't give any 'it's natural'/'your body is designed for it' sorts of responses.
0
reply
Sabertooth
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#2
Report 8 years ago
#2
:beard: If giving birth is so repulsive surely any woman with children can be marked with that brush? Are you ok with cesareans?
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#3
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#3
(Original post by Sabertooth)
:beard: If giving birth is so repulsive surely any woman with children can be marked with that brush? Are you ok with cesareans?
It's the act of giving birth that frightens me.
Moreso than with vaginal births.
0
reply
Sabertooth
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#4
Report 8 years ago
#4
(Original post by Anonymous)
It's the act of giving birth that frightens me.
Moreso than with vaginal births.
"I don't actually worry about giving birth per se (oddly enough), but rather about the fact that other people (friends, family, etc.) will know about the humiliation and pain and indignity I experienced whilst giving birth"
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#5
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#5
(Original post by Sabertooth)
"I don't actually worry about giving birth per se (oddly enough), but rather about the fact that other people (friends, family, etc.) will know about the humiliation and pain and indignity I experienced whilst giving birth"
Yes, exactly. I don't see your point. I see a birth on TV, I immediately relate it and all its consequences to myself.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#6
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#6
I don't really know how to explain my fear I suppose. All I know is that thinking about/hearing about/reading about/seeing a birth makes me incredibly anxious to the extent that I feel as though I cannot cope with the anxiety.
0
reply
Sabertooth
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#7
Report 8 years ago
#7
(Original post by Anonymous)
Yes, exactly. I don't see your point. I see a birth on TV, I immediately relate it and all its consequences to myself.
You said what bothers you about giving birth is that people will know you went through "humiliation and pain and indignity" whilst doing it not the actual doing it. Surely then children, being a product of the humiliation and pain and indignity, would remind you of the humiliation and pain and indignity?


(Original post by Anonymous)
I don't really know how to explain my fear I suppose. All I know is that thinking about/hearing about/reading about/seeing a birth makes me incredibly anxious to the extent that I feel as though I cannot cope with the anxiety.
If you want children this is going to be a problem. I'd advise you talk to your doctor and ask about treatment for it.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#8
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#8
(Original post by Sabertooth)
You said what bothers you about giving birth is that people will know you went through "humiliation and pain and indignity" whilst doing it not the actual doing it. Surely then children, being a product of the humiliation and pain and indignity, would remind you of the humiliation and pain and indignity?




If you want children this is going to be a problem. I'd advise you talk to your doctor and ask about treatment for it.
Yes, but in relation to them, not in relation to me, so it doesn't apply.

As I said in my initial post, I've had treatment for other mental health problems and I don't feel that any of it has really helped. Furthermore, I honestly don't think I could talk openly about this. I struggle to even say the word 'birth' out loud.
0
reply
Sabertooth
Badges: 20
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#9
Report 8 years ago
#9
(Original post by Anonymous)
Yes, but in relation to them, not in relation to me, so it doesn't apply.

As I said in my initial post, I've had treatment for other mental health problems and I don't feel that any of it has really helped. Furthermore, I honestly don't think I could talk openly about this. I struggle to even say the word 'birth' out loud.
If you have severe OCD have you tried medication for it? Medication can be very effective for OCD. As for not being able to talk about this fear, a lot of people have fears they can't stand to even talk about. A psychologist should be able to get the information out of you one way or another - you could print out this post for instance and give that to the doctor.
1
reply
Anonymous #1
#10
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#10
(Original post by Sabertooth)
If you have severe OCD have you tried medication for it? Medication can be very effective for OCD. As for not being able to talk about this fear, a lot of people have fears they can't stand to even talk about. A psychologist should be able to get the information out of you one way or another - you could print out this post for instance and give that to the doctor.
I haven't tried medication for my OCD, ironically, because of my OCD. However, I'm definitely considering some form of anxiety medication because I'm struggling to cope with all my mental health problems on top of a difficult life situation. Printing out this thread is a really good idea. Thanks for your advice.
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#11
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#11
On a side note, I'm really eager to apply for medicine (as I indicated in my initial post). This phobia is an issue I want to overcome, but I'm concerned that it will cause fitness to practise issues. Does anybody have any idea as to whether or not that's the case? I'm hopeful that I'll be able to learn to manage my fear and overcome it for the most part, but there's a possibility that I might always feel a little uncomfortable where childbirth is concerned.
0
reply
IFoundWonderland
Badges: 19
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#12
Report 8 years ago
#12
When I saw this I thought you were talking about a fear of ToK (Theory of Knowledge, which is studied in IB). I realise this is not helpful in any way shape or form, but I chuckled when I realised I was wrong......
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#13
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#13
(Original post by ILovePancakes)
When I saw this I thought you were talking about a fear of ToK (Theory of Knowledge, which is studied in IB). I realise this is not helpful in any way shape or form, but I chuckled when I realised I was wrong......
Haha! Thanks for that - it's good to have something to lighten the tone of the thread!
0
reply
Canadadrugcenter
Badges: 0
Rep:
? You'll earn badges for being active around the site. Rep gems come when your posts are rated by other community members.
#14
Report 8 years ago
#14
Tokophobia is a particular and harrowing situation that needs recognizing. Close liaison between the obstetrician and the doctor in order to assess the balance between surgical and psychiatric morbidity is crucial with tokophobia.

2 Types
tokophobia

1 -
Primary tokophobia
2-
Secondary tokophobia

0
reply
Anonymous #2
#15
Report 8 years ago
#15
I had no idea this was an actual thing
I always thought it was just me being crazy

but OP - I completely understand and feel pretty much the same way
for the longest time I never wanted kids (well, specifically babies)
and now I've worked out... it's less about not wanting children, but more... I am absolutely terrified of giving birth
to a stupid degree; I just don't know I can handle that amount of pain

(it also doesn't help that I identify as Asexual, and this is just another reason why sex is so very unappealing)

My only hope is that eventually... the want to have a family and all things related would overcome said fear
either that or medical advances are such that... there would be more comfortable ways to give birth other than spending 24 hours + in constant pain
0
reply
Anonymous #1
#16
Report Thread starter 8 years ago
#16
(Original post by Anonymous)
I had no idea this was an actual thing
I always thought it was just me being crazy

but OP - I completely understand and feel pretty much the same way
for the longest time I never wanted kids (well, specifically babies)
and now I've worked out... it's less about not wanting children, but more... I am absolutely terrified of giving birth
to a stupid degree; I just don't know I can handle that amount of pain

(it also doesn't help that I identify as Asexual, and this is just another reason why sex is so very unappealing)

My only hope is that eventually... the want to have a family and all things related would overcome said fear
either that or medical advances are such that... there would be more comfortable ways to give birth other than spending 24 hours + in constant pain
We're different in that I do want children and I'm not actually afraid of the pain!

I'm not sure whether this will be of use to you, but I'm feeling much better at the moment so I thought I'd share some of the things I did that helped me. I figured that my negative feelings towards childbirth needed to be changed into positive ones, so I tried a few things; I watched 'One Born Every Minute' (and whilst some of the women on there do appear to be in a lot of pain, others don't seem to find it so bad/deal with it very well; this programme also gives some insight into the different options available to women when they give birth, which is reassuring). I watched some educational videos about childbirth. I tried to think about childbirth from a scientific standpoint. I tried to think about childbirth in terms of its purpose, i.e. it's a serious of muscle contractions intended to expel the baby (I think that's a good way to think about it - it makes the whole thing seem a lot less frightening and a lot more matter-of-fact). I also watched the Lindsay Lohan film 'Labour Pains', which is about a young woman who pretends to be pregnant in order to avoid losing her job. Although she isn't actually pregnant, pregnancy and, to a lesser extent, labour, are discussed and portrayed in the film in a light-hearted and comedic way. I found that this helped to turn some of the negativity I was feeling towards childbirth into positivity.

Strangely enough, I found the Lindsay Lohan film the most helpful. I think it also helps to think of childbirth as being part of a very long process from conception to having adult offspring rather than a distinct event in itself. I've been thinking about how lovely it would be to have a person I could raise with all the values and life lessons I hold dear - childbirth is just the passage of the child from the place it grew until it was ready to support itself (to an extent) into the external world. It's likely to be painful, but lots of things are painful - constipation, kidney stones, headaches, menstrual cramps, nausea, earache, toothache. There's pain relief available, and women are in control when it comes to making decisions about where they want to give birth, in what position, whether or not they want pain relief, who they want with them, etc., and indeed, whether or not they have children at all. You're in the driver's seat - you can make an informed decision as to whether or not you want to have a child, and you can choose where, how and with whom you give birth. Furthermore, every birth is different so no matter how many hundreds of videos you watch and stories you read, yours will be unique, so don't fret if what you see frightens you. It's just one part of a very long, and hopefully very rewarding, process.

I hope this has helped somewhat - I feel a lot better and I hope you feel a bit better after reading this as well!
0
reply
X

Quick Reply

Attached files
Write a reply...
Reply
new posts
Back
to top
Latest
My Feed

See more of what you like on
The Student Room

You can personalise what you see on TSR. Tell us a little about yourself to get started.

Personalise

How did your Edexcel A-level Economics Paper 1 go?

Loved the paper - Feeling positive (33)
15.14%
The paper was reasonable (111)
50.92%
Not feeling great about that exam... (53)
24.31%
It was TERRIBLE (21)
9.63%

Watched Threads

View All