C.T. , June 11, 2018

"Tokophobia isn't something you can just 'change your mind' over; it's a crippling, 24 hour fear of childbirth."- C.T.

Tokophobia is a rare phobia of childbirth. I was unaware of it myself until I did some research, but people are not very understanding of it. I do not like children or babies because of it and a lot of people that I have encountered cannot understand this at all. It is beyond frustrating! I don’t want children of my own and this is another thing that people find hard to accept. Their go-to response is; ‘you’ll change your mind’ or ‘my daughter said the same thing and now she has three kids.’ They are the most hurtful things you could say. This phobia is crippling and affects me 24 hours a day. I want this to become more accepted and I want to bring more awareness of this topic.

I try to explain to people and although they can hear my words, they can never fully understand them. Although some will try, they never will. They can never feel how I feel. They will never feel the complete isolation or hear the hurtful comments, that people don’t even realise or mean to be hurtful. For example, my friend seemed disgusted when I told her and just couldn’t wrap her head around it, saying: ‘I thought we’d both have kids and they would be best friends.’ Other reactions include people laughing in my face and telling me I ‘should be in a mental place.’ I keep trying to explain but it’s so draining when you feel like no one can actually hear you. I feel trapped - trapped in a world where I don’t feel I belong; where I don’t feel I fit in. 

This phobia has turned me into a person that I don’t want to be - into a person that I hate. I am so bitter. The bitterness consumes every inch of my body. I don’t feel emotions like I once did. What’s sympathy? I don’t feel that anymore, not really. I want to fit in! Although it may seem on the outside like I do, like I’m just another person, I know that my inner feelings and thoughts are not the same as everyone around me. I don’t want to see the disgusted looks on people’s horrified faces, when I disclose this ‘demon’ I have to them. I don’t want to feel how I feel. I’m so scared. I’m scared all the time and it never goes away. 

I see everyone’s happy faces when they hear a baby laughing, or when they see a baby smile. They love it! But me? My heart drops into my stomach and I feel sick. I just want that noise to stop. I hate it! I hate it so much. And then…I want to cry and scream and yell and run as far away as I can. Why? Because as I look around at everyone else's faces, it sinks in how much of a freak I must be. I don’t feel what they feel. I feel anxiety, hatred and bitterness. I don’t feel strong anymore; all I feel is broken. Even my family were very difficult to educate on this matter and would often say hurtful digs like; ‘I don’t know why you turned out like this’, but thankfully most of them are now very supportive.

If people could be more sensitive of this matter, instead of just impulsively reacting as if it is a rather strange phobia, it would help a lot. Even asking more questions about it would be better than criticising and judging.

I’d love to hear if anyone else has similar feelings, or phobias. 

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