Emetophobia is not such an uncommon clinical feature, though unlike conditions such as OCD, incidences of the phobia is presently a little lacking in statistical research. According to the DSM V, general specific phobias have a 7-9% prevalence. Studies cited in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry, point to an estimated female to male ratio of 4:1 for incidences of fear of vomiting.
The specific vomit phobia is characterised by an intense fear of vomiting (no matter how unlikely an occurrence) or anxiety about being in a situation where you might witness someone vomiting and "get sick". Avoidance of social situations, delayed interactions with family or friends who "could be sick", and not taking care of yourself (such as visiting a doctor when there's a genuine need in case of "catching a bug in the waiting room") are common consequences of this debilitating phobia. But it doesn't have to be this way.
Symptoms of this condition may include: obsessing about the possibility of contracting food poisoning, avoidance of eating in restaurants, postponing travel, and not visiting family or friends who are ill or who you imagine to have gastro, out of fear of witnessing them being sick as well as general anxiety regarding the very thought of vomit. This can impact people of all ages: adults, mothers, children, fathers…
It's sometimes hard to understand what might be causing such an intense and specific phobia. But it's important to recognise that emetophobia does not arise out of the blue. In fact, the cause can seem to have nothing to do with food or vomit, which is why so many sufferers don't know why they have emetophobia. It therefore requires thorough uncovering and treatment of the deeper causes.
And of course, unlike some other phobias, for example a fear of spiders where there's a clear object of obsessive fear, emetophobia, while also contained to areas affecting digestion/regurgitation nonetheless can be more complex to understand. It's imperative to seek individualised treatment since this phobia is dibilitating, complex and usually signifies deeper issues to which the phobia stands in for or covers over. While there may be common symptoms, the underlying causes and indicated treatment methodology (counselling, hypnotherapy or depth psychotherapy for instance) differs from person to person.
The trained psychotherapists at Bayside Psychotherapy can help you uncover the causes of your emetophobia and aim to help you resolve them. Our training and knowledge puts us in a position to help you better cope with situations that would set off your emetophobia and we can help you reduce feelings of panic, anxiety, and fear related to such issues.
Don’t let emetophobia rule your life and steal your happiness!
Call us on (03) 9557 9113 or use our contact form to book your confidential appointment.
How can we help you with your fear of vomit?
Whether you prefer to address your fears in a traditional counselling setting at our Melbourne clinic, or receive assistance from the comfort of your own home with online counselling sessions, our psychotherapists can help. Self hypnosis can also be a valuable tool and you can download recommended hypnosis recordings to help you cope with the effects of your phobia by simply listening (however self-hypnosis is no substitute for individual therapy).
Let’s work together to help you overcome Emetophobia
This awful phobia not only restricts what you want to do, it can impact relationships too. People with this phobia may also have trouble caring for others and have problems directing their own lives because of the continuous preoccupation with the digestive process and perceived vulnerabilities. And the frustrating thing is often the more you or others tell yourself, "don't worry", the worse you feel! The good news is that counselling and mindfulness therapy help can work and help you manage this, and in depth psychotherapy may be indicated to address the deeper causes.
When will I start feeling better?
Many people start to feel better as soon as they take the first step toward treatment and start talking. The act of taking control of your situation (instead of continuing to let it control you) is empowering enough to make a vast difference. But there's a difference between feeling better and getting better and for long term change, in depth psychotherapy might be recommended during the initial assessment session.
How is Bayside Psychotherapy's emetophobia treatment different?
We treat people with this phobia and understand some of the common pitfalls. We were recently interviewed about this phobia on The Project (note however much of the original interview was edited). But treatment types and timelines will vary based on the individual. Our therapists don’t subscribe to “one-size-fits-all” solutions. Instead, we offer a number of treatment options based on extensive training and expertise and we tailor our approach to your unique situation. A combination of treatments help us to understand you and try to overcome your phobia, anxiety attacks, and feelings of panic.
Our therapists help you look beneath the surface to address the real issues. They can apply a combination of counselling, Buddhist Mindfulness Meditation exercises, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Dream work, NLP, Hypnotherapy and other such methods, depending on your unique history.
If you aren’t in the Melbourne area you can set up online counselling via Skype. If you are open to addressing your underlying issues, you could regain control, and enjoy life again.
Please call us on (03) 9557 9113 (Melbourne) or use our contact form to see if we can help you overcome the source of emetophobia. Your call is completely confidential, and there's absolutely no obligation.