Emetophobia is the fear of vomit. Emetophobia can involve the fear of vomiting yourself or the fear of being in the presence of others vomiting.
Emetophobia is a form of social anxiety and often evolves around the fear of vomit being specifically in a public situation.
Emetophobia can have a crippling effect on ones life. Sufferers will often go out of their way to avoid certain situations such as travelling, being in the presence of children, eating out and going to social events. Some sufferers even find it hard to hold down a job.
Many woman are also said to have put off pregnancy due to worry about coping with morning sickness.
Meal preparation is also another aspect of daily life that affects emetophobia sufferers. Meals may have to be prepared in a specific way with excessive washing in order to reduce the fear that the food could potentially cause sickness.
The restrictions emetophobia sufferers put on food preparation often causes the individual to become overweight and it is also thought that emetophobia sometimes leads to anorexia.
There is no known cause of emetophobia. It is thought serious bouts of childhood vomiting or witnessing extreme cases of vomiting can help lead to emetophobia but there is no single identifiable cause.
As emetophobia is a fear, techniques used to treat phobias in general are often used on emetophobia sufferers.
Medication is a potential treatment, but many sufferers find that the thought of taking medications causes them to become anxious about the medication causing them to vomit.
Exposure techniques have shown varying success levels. This is where the individual is exposed to the feared situation of witnessing vomit. This level of exposure is increased overtime to desensitize the individual to the fear.
There is an online digital product called the Emetophobia Recovery System. This aims to address the specifics of emetophobia rather than social anxiety in general, which may lead to greater success. The article was produced by Rich Presta who has been featured on many media outlets such as CNBC, CNN, Fox News, Discovery Health and The New York Times.