Emetophobia (Fear of Vomiting)

Individuals with Emetophobia experience an overwhelming fear of vomiting. The fear can be of themselves vomiting or witnessing others vomit. Individuals with emetophobia go to great lengths to keep themselves “safe” which usually involves significant avoidance behaviours (see below). Some individuals fear that if they see someone vomit, they will throw up. While others fear not being able to stop vomiting, choking on vomit and/or shame about vomiting in front of others – however social anxiety needs to be ruled out. As mentioned, avoidance tends to be the key behavioural identifier and can include:

  • You avoid foods or drink related to past vomiting or sickness.
  • You avoid certain people that may be prone to viruses or state they feel sick.
  • You engage in excessive handwashing and eat “safe foods” often bland.
  • You use electrolyte ice block and drinks excessive pre and post food/event.
  • You avoid eating foods when you are away from home.
  • You check the locations of bathrooms.
  • You google signs of viruses or causes of vomiting.

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