Emetophobia. The fear of vomiting.

blue integerblue integer Registered User
edited July 2007 in Help / Advice Forum
Hello all.

I've suffered from a fear called Emetophobia for the past five or six years – it's really just a fancy word that refers to the fear of vomiting. While I often tell myself that getting sick is natural – y' know, that shit just happens sometimes – the self inflicted pep-talk really doesn't help.

I can link my fear to a traumatic experience in high school. I ate some bad chicken in the school cafeteria, and needless to say, I was down for the count. Couple that with a 3.5 hour ride on a bus that resulted in perpetual motion sickness for the entire duration of the commute, and presto...I was – and am – scared of a repeat experience.

The fear often controls my activities. I'm careful where I eat out, hesitant where I go socially, very reactive towards any sort of stomach discomfort, and generally anxious about feeling ill sometimes. I don't want to live my life like that.

From what I know, this isn't necessarily uncommon. However, given the great advice that HA has give in the past, I'd appreciate any suggestions that you have.

Thanks.

blue integer on

Posts

  • FeralFeral MEMETICHARIZARD interior crocodile alligator ⇔ ǝɹʇɐǝɥʇ ǝᴉʌoɯ ʇǝloɹʌǝɥɔ ɐ ǝʌᴉɹp ᴉRegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Find a therapist. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is highly effective at treating phobias.

    Also, there are drug therapies. Antidepressants and antianxiety medication can reduce the anxiety related to a phobia. You may find it helpful to take an anti-emetic (anti-nausea) medication, like compazine or Reglan, preventatively before you go to a restaurant or a party. However, you don't want to take them every day, as some of those drugs (particularly compazine) can have side effects if you take them for a very long time (it usually takes years for side effects to develop, but you still want to make sure you're working on non-pharma solutions at the same time to reduce your reliance on drugs).

    Feral on
    every person who doesn't like an acquired taste always seems to think everyone who likes it is faking it. it should be an official fallacy.
    the "no true scotch man" fallacy.
  • DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Have you puked since the incident blue integer?

    Demerdar on
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  • blue integerblue integer Registered User
    edited June 2007
    Demerdar wrote: »
    Have you puked since the incident blue integer?

    I have not. Which only reinforces why this is an unreasonable fear...but, that doesn't change the fact that it still feels real to me.

    It's funny how, if I weren't the context of this phobia, I'd have a totally different perspective...that's the benefit of rationality.

    blue integer on
  • Mr PinkMr Pink I got cats for youRegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    Demerdar wrote: »
    Have you puked since the incident blue integer?

    I have not. Which only reinforces why this is an unreasonable fear...but, that doesn't change the fact that it still feels real to me.

    It's funny how, if I weren't the context of this phobia, I'd have a totally different perspective...that's the benefit of rationality.

    My guess is, had you thrown up since then (in less stressful situations) your fear might actually subside a bit. You seem pretty rational, I bet that part would take over instead of the irrational fear.

    But see a therapist. I'd stay away from medication for now, on the off chance that your body doesn't react well to it (thus creating the problem you are trying to avoid).

    Mr Pink on
  • KhavallKhavall British ColumbiaRegistered User regular
    edited June 2007
    The DSM has a shitton of anxiety disorders and treatments available. See someone who works in Psychology or Psychiatry.

    Khavall on
  • Sci-Fi WasabiSci-Fi Wasabi Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    One time I had the worst flu in my life. It was like I was dying. So horrible. Well, when I had this Flu, I was playing Chu Chu Rocket on Dreamcast. Now, if you've ever heard a DC in real life you know it lets off a pretty potent white noise effect from it's fan. Well, the game's hypnotic score combined with that white noise, plus me in bed playing it sporting the worst Flu ever...well, every time I played the game after that, I actually felt as sick as I did that day playing it, purely via association.

    Years later, feeling much better and not putting much thought into it, I played it at a friend's house, and without realizing it at the time, had no such reaction to it. I later realized that with the association gone, I no longer feel sick while playing it.

    The mind is a weird thing and tends to keep things it fears away from it. Sometimes facing those fears head on is the key, and other times, they work themselves out naturally. Frankly, the last time I puked, it was quite a relief.

    Sci-Fi Wasabi on
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  • DemerdarDemerdar Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I used to be sorta the same way, really afraid of it. But after I puked I felt a lot better about it. And now, while I won't throw up easily, my fear had subsided somewhat.

    Demerdar on
    y6GGs3o.gif
  • RevolutionaryRevolutionary Registered User
    edited June 2007
    I had an experience where I puked up a rather unpleasant meal of dinner, it is only four years later, without having that food again. that my throat doesn't feel jumpy when I think about it.

    However it was the food and not the act itself I was fearing; but I think the same applies here. Give it a few years.

    But then again, I'm not sure if this is an association issue or a real phobia that can last a life time.

    If it is a real issue, see a doctor.

    Revolutionary on
  • SceptreSceptre Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I have a friend who has this, and I'm a bit interested to see where this thread goes. Certainly seeing a psychiatrist couldn't hurt (Except the wallet) but it would be interesting to see if anybody has any techniques or what not that they have used to help themselves.

    I think the only way I can relate to the problem is that I almost throw up almost at the smell of Vodka.(One really bad experience too many)

    Awful story, I once started to make out with a girl, who had been drinking vodka, and I almost threw up in her mouth.

    That would have been fun.

    Sceptre on
  • tardcoretardcore Registered User regular
    edited June 2007
    I suffer from Emetophobia. I did a google search for it and there is an online forum for other sufferers.

    It started in elementary school when I puked in front of the whole class. Everyone made fun of me. Then, whenever I was in a place that I couldn't leave whenever I wanted (like school or something), I'd start to feel nauseous like I was about to puke again.

    Whenever I feel the need when it's not an issue of my anxiety, I am scared shitless. I guess I just really really hate the feeling.

    Anyway, I got put on Effexor for my Anxiety, but whenever I get sick from something, a wave of panic consumes me and I'm completely terrified.

    You aren't alone in this. Search google for the Emetophobia forum. They can help.

    tardcore on
  • blue integerblue integer Registered User
    edited June 2007
    tardcore wrote: »
    I suffer from Emetophobia. I did a google search for it and there is an online forum for other sufferers.
    Then, whenever I was in a place that I couldn't leave whenever I wanted (like school or something), I'd start to feel nauseous like I was about to puke again.

    Thanks for sharing. I can appreciate this, because my anxiety is often triggered by the same thing. It's like the fear of losing total control, so maybe that's an additional issue that I'm facing.

    I guess at this point, the best thing I can do is share my experience with others, so those forums are probably a good bet.

    I appreciate all of the suggestions thusfar. At this point, I'd like to stay away from medications, as a few of the posters have suggested. However, I'm certainly not opposed to some sort of therapy.

    blue integer on
  • joshuadewaaljoshuadewaal Registered User regular
    edited July 2007
    Don't most people say that you should confront your fears? So induce the vomiting in a controlled situation, like your bathroom. That might be more difficult then it sounds, but I think you should try it. Didn't James Bond do something in his last movie to make him vomit?

    You know why rat poison works? because rats can't vomit.
    Be glad you can vomit, its your bodies way of purging harmful things.

    good luck.

    joshuadewaal on
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