Inspirational, honest interview with Anthony Caputo
Occupation: CEO/President Enviromax Recycle LTD.
Hi Anthony,Ireally appreciate you takingthe timeto answer some of my questions.
You state on your Twitter profile that you suffer from ‘Emetophobia’ for people that don’t know please could you explain what this is?
Emetephobia is the fear of vomit. Either the fear of you vomiting, seeing someone else vomiting or just vomit in general.
How long have you experienced this phobia and how did it come about? Do you remember a specific incident?
The phobia started 8 years ago, and there was no “specific” incident that I have ever been able to link it to myself one day I was feeling sick to my stomach and the panic set in, But from talking to my family about it there was an incident that occurred as a child where I was deathly ill and was vomiting uncontrollably, but I have no recollection of that event and I do remember vomiting after that with no problems.
Does your anxiety stem from the emetophobia?
The anxiety started long before the emetophobia did however now they are hand in hand,I believe anxiety will almost always hide itself into a phobia and I got stuck with emetophobia.
Why is sharing your personal experiences regarding your phobia and anxiety important to you? Will there be anyone reading this that knows you that is unaware of your personal experiences?
Since I have been able to open up about my anxiety and everything that transpired during the many years of suffering I have noticed I am more able to rationalize with myself in terms of dealing with the anxiety. Opening up about it really started to help me in the healing process of attacking the negative thoughts before the anxiety had a chance to and being able to help others do the same is very important to me, I was always very popular and I'm sure there are still people that only know me as the image I once portrayed I was and have no idea the hardship and suffering I carried for so many years. I agree that opening up can defiantly help with the healing process, I admire anyone who is strong enough to share their own experiences also, in order to help others.
As a male was it hard for you to speak out about your issues? Do you think that it affects your masculinity in any way to be viewed as ‘afraid’ of something?
Its funny you ask that because people see the shaved head and tattoos and automatically stereo type but in fact I'm completely opposite, I'm a very sensitive and emotional guy I cry watching movies or when I will hear certain songs I get hundreds of messages a day from people that I have helped and I cry to every one of them so I have learnt that I don’t ever care about what people think of me as or view me because I know I'm an amazing person and like it or not everyone is scared of something being able to be honest about it and deal with it will get you further than trying to be someone your not and lying about it. It's such a shame that men think that there is shame/embaressment in this somehow, I would much rather a male be honest with himself and emotions than try and portray a fake persona.
You are a father, are your children aware of your phobia and anxiety? How do you educate them with regards to these issues? Is it important for you that your children have phobia free lives?
My children are still very young and don’t really understand anxiety or phobias but I can tell you that the energy that radiates from anxiety will have an effect on them it wasn't until I was on the path of healing the week after my suicide date my son actually was excited to see me and ran to me when I got home!! 3 years ago we adopted a young girl who also had anxiety was a cutter and suicidal and has completely made a huge transition in her life in saying that we are a very open family and talk about everything so being able to be open and honest is the best way for my children to better understand it and only hope they can avoid any type of phobia or anxiety because It is very important for them to live free without anything holding them down. This is very admiral act, I am happy to hear that you and your family have had such a positive impact.
Phobias are very real to the person who is dealing with it, but phobias such a Clourophobia – the fear of clowns can be viewed by people as quite comical. People who don’t understand phobias can also think they are a form of attention seeking. What would you say to someone who had this view? And how should we be educated about phobias?
I strongly feel it is people like that who drive the suicide rates up, BUT to end the stigma it must start with us!! I look at it like this, having anxiety is the irrational fear of nothing so in an attack you are going to escape and at any cost regardless of who you hurt in the process so when people see that you look like a bad person because most of us are too scared to come out with our feeling and I don’t blame us if the irrational fear is something we cant understand ourselves how can we even attempt to explain it to others?
How would your life change if you no longer suffered from your phobia? Do you think that it has come to define you as a person?
I have suffered for so long and I’m just now in the last couple of years getting over my phobia and my life has changed drastically I’m able to eat foods I never would have and I’m actually able to travel and enjoy my life with my family! I'm pleased to hear that you are making positive progress.
Phobias can affect people’s lives daily, I have genuinely helped people to manage and control their phobias, to the point that their life has changed, but the common misconception is that if you are able to manage your phobia better or are even cured completely of your phobia then people will question why you weren’t able to be treated before, or even that you had the phobia in the first place. How would you respond to this?
Everybody will change when they are ready to change! The change must come from a place that is real everyone is different and for the most part I'm the furthest thing from a therapist but thousands of people have been following me and watching my videos because they can relate with me and feel very comfortable opening up to me so that has been a huge success in helping so many people. Sometimes all it takes is for someone to genuinely care in order to help someone change. You must be very proud that you are having such a positive impact on many, from the back of such a negative experience.
You have told me openly that you once attempted suicide and that it changed your life. What drove you to this stage? How did it change your life? Was this before you became a father? How did it affect those close to you?
There came a point in my life where I was suffering from anxiety,emetophobia,agoraphobia,ocd and depression the irritability was too much and the moods swings were breaking my heart to see my wife and children go through it so I didn’t want them to have to suffer anymore and I planned it out for about a month I actually was in the mental state of death its almost like when a prisoner talks about what they go through prior to death row and the psychological state they are in before execution well let me tell you that’s a REAL thing because I was in it, the night I snapped out of it was literally the day before I was going to do it and I was at home with my wife and all it took was a look from her and I felt “safe” and knew I could never do this to her, she stood by my side for so long and fought and I was just going to give up on all her hope that I was going to get better? No shot!! And I vowed I would do this for her and my children. Thank you for sharing this with us.
What would you say to anyone that was contemplating suicide themselves?
How can individuals avoid getting to this point and how important is talking about your issues in this situation?
Life is a beautiful struggle and there is so much hope all you need is the right person to be able to talk to because once your able to talk and open up knowing there is no judgement or hidden agenda you will see so much clearly.
Are you receiving professional help at all? Do you think that it helps? Should there be more help available?
I personally have tried the professional help route and no it did not work for me I am very strong minded and the entire time all I could think was how does this person know what its like and what I'm going through as soon as the session would be over they would want me on medication which I am also strongly against the best help is from someone who has overcome it and knows all to well what the feelings are like
Do you think that if you had received help sooner you would not have considered taking your own life? What more can be done in your view to help others?
I do feel the sooner you get help the better because these mental illness will always make you come up with excuses its almost like they trick your brain into not being ready and always having a hold on your thoughts believe me it only gets worse try to open up and get the help you need ASAP!!!
What advice would you give to people aboutpursuingtheir dreams and ambitions despite any issues that they may have?
Only you can do it!! if you really want it bad enough its there and of course it going to be hard nothing in life that’s good comes easy.
Its your life;
Make it happen
What is your ultimategoal with regards to your work and your future projects?
Social media is an amazing tool if used properly so YouTube for me is my tool my videos are probably where I'm going to continue helping people on a larger scale I have already reached out to so many famous people and just waiting to get called on to the Ellen show!!
I thank you for your time Anthony, I wish you luck with your future.