No one enjoys throwing up or seeing others be sick. But some people have an intense fear of vomiting (no matter how unlikely it is to occur), or seeing someone else vomiting. Sufferers of emetophobia can feel physical symptoms of nausea or dizziness at just the thought of vomit in any form.
You may think that this phobia would be fairly easy to manage as a healthy person. But in fact, emetophobia can have a dramatic impact on people’s lives. Avoiding social situations, delaying visits with family or friends if you fear they might be sick, and not failing to take care of your own health, (such as not visiting a doctor when there’s a genuine need for fear of catching a bug) are some common consequences of this debilitating condition. But it doesn’t have to be this way.
Emetophobia is not such an uncommon problem — although unlike conditions such as OCD, there is still a lack of statistical research on it. According to the DSM V, phobias as a category have a 7-9% prevalence in the population. Studies cited in the Indian Journal of Psychiatry point to an estimated female-to-male ratio of 4:1 for incidence of emetophobia.
Symptoms of this condition may include: obsessing about the possibility of contracting food poisoning, avoiding eating in restaurants, postponing travel, and not visiting family or friends who are ill (or who you imagine might be ill) for fear of witnessing them being sick — as well as general anxiety around the very thought of vomit. Emetophobia can affect people of all ages and backgrounds.
Why am I so afraid of throwing up?
It’s sometimes hard to understand what might be causing such intense and specific dread of throwing up. Emetophobia, although ostensibly contained to regurgitation, may actually be rooted in something completely unrelated. Trauma from prolonged illness in childhood is one unsurprising reason some people develop this phobia — but it could also have developed to ‘stand in’ for, or mask, a more deeply rooted issue that needs to be addressed. It’s therefore imperative to seek individualised treatment from a professional therapist for this debilitating condition. While the outward symptoms may be the same, the origins and indicated treatment can differ widely from person to person.
The experienced therapists at Bayside Psychotherapy may be your key to overcoming emetophobia.
Don’t let emetophobia rule your life and steal your happiness!
How can we help you with your fear of vomit?
This awful phobia not only restricts your activities, it can impact relationships too. People with emetophobia may have trouble caring for others, or enjoying social occasions due to their unrelenting anxiety that they may encounter vomit. The good news is, it can be addressed with therapy.
We don’t believe in one-size-fits-all treatments or band aid solutions. Using treatments such as counselling, hypnotherapy, cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) or depth psychotherapy, the practitioners at Bayside Psychotherapy will work with you explore the causes of your emetophobia in order to resolve them. Our broad training and experience give us a range of tools to help you cope with situations that could trigger your emetophobia, and teach you strategies to reduce the feelings of panic, anxiety, and fear it causes.
We offer treatment from the comfort of your own home with secure online counselling sessions, or at Melbourne offices in Highett. Self hypnosis can also be a valuable tool, and we offer a downloadable self hypnosis MP3 recording for emetophobia you can listen to at home to enhance your therapy. However, self-hypnosis alone is no substitute for individual therapy in this case.
Let’s work together to help you overcome emetophobia
When will I start feeling better?
Many people start to feel better as soon as they take the first step toward treatment. The act of taking control of your situation (instead of continuing to let it control you) can be empowering enough to make a noticeable change. But there’s a difference between feeling better and getting better. For long term change, a program of customised counselling or psychotherapy is generally the best way to ensure lasting results. Regardless of the complexity of your case, your commitment to the process will also be a big factor in how long the treatment will take to show results.
If you are open to addressing your underlying issues, counselling could be what you need to regain control, and enjoy life again. We also recommend our emetophobia self-hypnosis MP3 recording to complement your therapy sessions.
Please call us on (03) 9557 9113 at our Melbourne clinic, or use our contact form if you have any questions. Your call is completely confidential and there’s no obligation to proceed.
Or if you’re ready to commence online therapy you can also book your initial session here.
Note: Whilst we will do our best to assist you, we will rely upon your commitment to and participation in the treatment process in to optimise results. Although some of our therapists work with people presenting with this condition, no guarantees of any outcomes can be made.
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Monday – Friday
(closed on public holidays)
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- Tuesday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Wednesday 8:30am to 8:00pm
- Thursday 8:30am to 8:00pm
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