Fear Of Vomiting

Emetophobia: A Fear Of Vomiting

Emetophobia is described as a fear or vomiting.  It is also thought to affect people who have already been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder. It is a fear of anything vomit related. It can be a fear of he person vomiting himself or seeing someone else vomit. They may also fear being nauseated in a public place or even watching someone who begins to get nauseated. The fear of vomiting is one of the most common phobias people experience and it is also the least talked about.

The fear of vomiting affects people of all ages and social backgrounds. It is not known what causes this phobia but we already know that phobias are irrational fears of something we had a bad experience with. So people who have a fear of vomiting may have vomited in public when they were younger and were teased about it. Or maybe they saw someone become sick.

A child may have had a sick parent who vomited on a regular basis. This could have been from a simple flu to a life threatening illness like cancer. If the child equates vomiting with extreme sickness or even death, he may become scared to either see someone else vomit or to vomit himself. As he grows up he can equate vomiting with death.

People fear pain and if a person had an illness as a child and remembers constantly vomiting from it, this can cause an irrational fear of vomiting. When anyone vomits more than a few times a day the esophagus can become sore. Over time it may cause real pain. So a person suffering from emetophobia can be relating vomiting to pain.

Control issues may be one reason for a fear of vomiting. When we become sick and vomit, we cannot control the situation. There is no way to stop it and this can terrify a person who has control issues. People who have this problem can also become panicked and scared over other situations when they are clearly not in control. Like riding in a car someone else is driving or eating food not prepared by them.

If a person has motion sickness or any other kind of illness where they become nauseated easily, they also can have a fear of vomiting. If they have had problems throughout their lives with having to vomit often, it can also affect other areas of their lives. They may choose to rarely leave the house or to be social with other people.

Some people who suffer with anorexia can also have a fear of vomiting. These conditions go hand in hand. Once a person with emetophobia realizes with out food in the system it isn’t likely that they will vomit, they will start to monitor what they eat.  Over a period of time significant weight loss will occur but not because the person is purposely trying to starve themselves. They relate food with vomit and want nothing to do with it. These people usually do not like to eat around others and can have other food related issues.


There are no quick cures for phobias. But people who have this condition can probably benefit by talking to a psychiatrist. It is thought that anyone who has an irrational fear of vomiting also has an underlining anxiety issue. With the proper medications and therapy, they can begin to get help for their anxiety problems. Some people with this phobia claim that they were helped through hypnosis. There are also anti nausea medications that doctors can prescribe for people who are suffering with this condition. A psychiatrist may also start exposure treatments. The person affected can slowly get used to seeing people vomit and eventually get over it.