Skip To Content

    22 Things You Need To Know About Emetophobia

    Warning: Symptoms of emetophobia — an extreme fear of vomiting — will vary from person to person. Hearing about people's experiences may be triggering.

    1. People who live with emetophobia have an extreme fear of vomiting or seeing/hearing other people vomit.

    2. Living with emetophobia can be extremely debilitating.

    3. Emetophobia often leaves people in a constant state of worry.

    4. Even a joke about throwing up can send someone spiraling into a panic attack.

    5. A film, TV show or a video game where characters are sick can be an absolute nightmare.

    6. Emetophobia is very hard to talk about because a lot of people have never heard of it before.

    7. Some make light of the phobia or say things like: "Well, no one likes vomiting, do they?"

    8. Emetophobia can feel totally inescapable: Sufferers are essentially afraid of their own bodies.

    9. Emetophobics often feel like they have to "suck it up" and be brave.

    10. Some people have had their emetophobia for as long as they remember, whilst others have had their condition triggered by a specific event.

    Emetophobia is sometimes caused by a traumatic experience such as a stomach virus, food poisoning or seeing someone else be sick. Dr. David Veale adds: "Their experiences of vomiting may have also occurred before clear memory."

    11. For a lot of emetophobes their fear of vomiting has to do with the fear of losing control.

    12. They rarely leave the house without their safety kit, which often includes: antacids, peppermints, airsickness bags and headphones (to cancel out the sound of anyone else being ill).

    13. Some people only drink alcohol in small amounts or avoid it all together.

    14. Food can be tricky because some food textures trigger nausea.

    15. Because of this a lot of emetophobes are misdiagnosed with an eating disorder.

    16. Emetophobes may also avoid venturing outside due to fear of catching a stomach virus.

    17. Emetophobia can make it difficult to socialise.

    18. Some will avoid saying or thinking about the word "vomit" whilst others embrace it in the hopes that it tackles their fear.

    19. Some emetophobes will avoid travelling.

    20. When a loved one of an emetophobe has the flu it can be very tricky to look after them.

    21. However, for some, caring for a loved one or becoming a parent has actually helped to ease their condition.

    22. People who live with emetophobia don't have to to live with the condition forever.

    Although this list represents only a handful of experiences, we hope you find some solace in knowing others might be going through what you are.

    Symptoms of anxiety disorders and phobia vary from person to person but talk to your GP if your emetophobia is affecting your day to day life.

    For more info go to Anxiety UK or Emetophobia Help.