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Emetophobia is an intense fear of vomiting or vomit and, if left untreated, may eventually drive a person away from certain social situations. According to experts, emetophobia can be triggered by a single traumatic event, such as a long bout of stomach flu, accidentally vomiting in public, or having to witness someone else vomit. While most people who have emetophobia haven’t actually thrown up in years, the fear of doing so will cause them to develop a specific set of rituals and change their lives so that they can avoid triggering the fear.While quite common around the world, emetophobia can be treated through various methods and should never stop you from enjoying your life the way you would like to.
Symptoms of Emetophobia
The fear of witnessing someone vomit or vomiting themselves will often make many people dealing with this phobia detour from certain social situations. Here is a list of some situations that an emetophobic person may have trouble with:
- Extended air or car travel, with a fear of motion sickness.
- Travelling to an unfamiliar place, usually in fear of different foods or preparation methods.
- Being around someone who is ill.
- Being around young children or babies.
- Crowded places or social scenarios where alcohol or other drugs may be involved.
- Eating at unfamiliar restaurants, again questioning preparation methods or other sanitary concerns.
Treatment of Emetophobia
One of the most popular methods used to treat emetophobia is desensitization treatment. This regimen usually involves a patient being exposed to people vomiting through different forms of media. The goal here is to expose the individual to the act of vomiting on such a frequent basis that the act will eventually lose all of the meaning it has created within the person. This type of treatment has had a very high success rate in treating a fear of vomiting. Self help groups can also be found locally through the Internet, where you are allowed to openly discuss your fears and get tips from others who have overcome the phobia. Since this phobia is entirely mental, therapy methods will often deal with some level of exposure to the problem coupled with discussion about vomit and why it may instill fear within you.
Although emetophobia may be very common, it is something that can be treated and managed. Seeking out one of the treatment options above is the best way to start your recovery. Doing Internet research is a good way to find the best methods available to you and will help you explore self-help options before you commit yourself to a professional treatment plan. Overcoming your fear of vomiting will take effort but is entirely possible if you are motivated in finding a way to modify your behavior and conquer your fears.