If you have a fear of vomiting, just reading the title of this article might make you a bit queasy. The mere mention of the "V word" might send you into a state of anxiety. If you can relate, I encourage you to press on despite your worry, so you can take the first steps to overcoming it.
No one enjoys vomiting and everyone thinks it’s disgusting, but most people are not afraid of it. But if you suffer with this type of phobia (specifically known as emetophobia), you are not only repulsed by the idea of vomiting, you fear it. Many people say that the anticipation of vomiting is often worse than the act itself.
And because you don’t know when it will happen, you are constantly on guard, rearranging your life to ward off any possibility of puking.
What Causes Nausea?
Stomach discomfort and nausea can be caused by motion sickness, a stomach bug, food poisoning, excessive eating or drinking, food intolerance and…anxiety!
That’s right. Anxiety and worry can cause stomach discomfort and nausea. And if you don't vomit when you’re anxious…you won’t!
Treating vomit phobia is best accomplished through cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure and response prevention (ERP). Treatment involves correcting faulty beliefs, reducing avoidance, and confronting challenging situations step-by-step. You are given tools, a new perspective, a winning mindset, and a strategy for facing your fears. Your motivation for ending your suffering is important because the therapy does take time, hard work, and courage. You must have self-discipline and determination to win. And if you do…you can beat emetophobia!
Also by Ken Goodman:
- Learn more about vomit phobia.
- Ken Goodman hosts an ADAA webinar on "Overcoming the Fear of Vomiting."
- Ken Goodman is quoted in these articles:
- This Is Why Being Anxious Makes Some People Puke - Tonic.vice.com article
- How to Get Over It: Fear of Vomiting blog post - Real World Health Care
- This Anxiety Disorder Makes People Afraid of Vomit - Health.com article
- Learn more about specific phobias
- Fear of Vomiting - Child Mind Institute
- Read personal stories of triumph
- Join ADAA’s free, anonymous online peer-to-peer support group
- Subscribe to ADAA’s free monthly email newsletter
About the Author
Ken Goodman, LCSW, treats anxiety and OCD in Los Angeles. He is the author of The Anxiety Solution Series, a step-by-step audio program, and Break Free from Anxiety, a coloring, self-help book for anxiety sufferers. Ken Goodman is an ADAA Clinical Fellow. Visit his website.
Now available- Ken Goodman hosts an ADAA webinar on "Overcoming the Fear of Vomiting." Watch the video on ADAA's YouTube channel.