What the heck is Emetophobia?

Emetophobia is an irrational fear of vomit or the act of vomitting. It goes beyond the “I really don’t like vomiting” or gross factor behind it, as it is more of an ‘obsession’ with not wanting to vomit in my case. I can be doing fine one second and then another I feel intense anxiety come over me and I begin to think of the possibility that I might vomit, as unfortunately my anxiety causes nausea. I was officially diagnosed last summer, however, I have memories as early as preschool regarding the phobia. Personally, I have no issue with seeing or hearing the word vomit, however, occasionally sounds of retching or sight of it in film or TV bothers me. Burping as well bothers me (it sounds how it feels…yuck!). As a child I recall viewing those who reported a stomach bug or had vomited that day as contaminated and I would tell them not to talk to me for 24hrs.

I am not a hypochondriac or germophobe (although if it could potentially make me vomit I may exhibit similar behavior). I have panic attacks and currently take an SSRI to combat the OCD and dermatillomania (involuntary skin picking disorder) that I developed as unhealthy coping habits for my phobia.

Some of my posts on here might be tailored to living with this phobia and they will be under the tag “emet”.


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