Emetophobia is an excessive or irrational fear of vomiting. It is one of the most common phobias. In survey research, six percent of the U.S. population claims to fear vomiting, although a much smaller number suffer from actual emetophobia, which manifests itself through a variety of phobic behavior. Aeronausiphobia is the fear of vomiting due to airsickness. more...
Cause and Lifestyle
Nearly every emetophobic contracted their phobia as a result of a traumatic incident of vomiting that happened to them between the ages of six and ten. Most emetophobics claim they can will themselves to not vomit. A survey of an Internet group of emetophobics found that the average member had most recently vomited over twelve years earlier. Most emetophobics have vomited five or fewer times in their lives.
Emetophobics are known to go to great lengths to avoid people who may be sick, to avoid being in public places where people may vomit, and above all, to practice eating habits in such a manner as to minimize the chance of their vomiting. Most emetophobics are extremely picky eaters, and avoid not only food they once vomited, but also anything they suspect of being a cause of vomiting.
Anxiety about vomiting is a constant presence for most emetophobics, many of whom say they would rather die than vomit. Most emetophobics fear themselves vomiting, but there are a few who claim to be emetophobic who say that vomiting themselves is not their phobic stimulus, but rather seeing other people vomit.
There is no general cure for emetophobia, but phobics report some degree of success by various treatments, including Cognitive therapy and anti-depressants. Some have become cured by vomiting, both natural and induced. Online groups of emetophobics tend to resist the suggestion that they become cured of their phobia. As a result, most of these groups concentrate on coping with emetophobia rather than overcoming it.
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