The fear of vomiting is called emetophobia. This phobia can be particularly distressing because it can make everyday activities frightening and stressful. The clients we work with have a persistent fear of getting nauseous, particularly in public places where it would be embarrassing to get sick. They get panic symptoms (such as hot flashes, dizziness, changes in breathing and heart rate) in triggering situations that can elicit nausea and make all the sensations worse. Some of the behaviors clients will exhibit include but are not limited to:
- Avoiding certain foods and alcohol, restaurants and bars, movie theaters, public transportation, and amusement parks.
- Reliance on excessive cleaning behaviors, such as washing hands, using hand sanitizer and avoiding public bathrooms or medical offices, to avoid coming in contact with germs that could make one sick.
- Female clients often worry about being pregnant and managing morning sickness and having to take care of ill children one day.
An important part of our work involves taking steps to confront the fear of vomiting, which could include watching videos and slowly getting used to uncomfortable body sensations. We often go out of the office with clients to help them re-engage in activities that they have been avoiding. These steps help clients learn to manage their fears and symptoms, making everyday life more manageable and enjoyable.
Contact us if you’d like to know more about how to get past your fear of vomiting.