Overcome Your Fear of Throwing Up and Emetophobia

The Fear of Throwing Up: What You Need to Know if You Struggle with Emetophobia

If you are worried about throwing up, to the point that your fear has overtaken many aspects of your life, then you may suffer from emetophobia. People who suffer from this phobia are so concerned about vomiting that they develop specific behavioral patterns in an attempt to keep from ever having to throw up. Surprisingly, despite their deep and abiding fear of being sick, most emetophobics have not actually thrown up in several years.

What Is Emetophobia?

Emetophobia can strike any one at any time, though usually it can be triggered by a single event. For example, if you have a violent bout of stomach flu, you may develop emetophobia as a response to throwing up constantly while you were sick. Or, you may develop emetophobia after being exposed to someone who vomited incessantly. These traumatic events can trigger the phobic process, which in time can develop into a deep-rooted fear.

Emetophobia is usually accompanied by other disorders. People who suffer from this phobia may also suffer from obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), which is characterized by constant and repetitive thoughts and behaviors. They may also develop cibophobia which is a fear of food. In fact, some experts contend that a small percentage of anorexics suffer from both emetophobia and cibaphobia. Because people who suffer from emetophobia are especially worried about losing control in public, they may have social anxiety disorder as well as agoraphobia, which can result in them being reluctant to leave their homes.

As with many phobias, emetophobia is usually compounded by several other fears. Those who wish to break free of the disorder must address these fears comprehensively, because addressing one aspect will not change the entire issue.

How Emetophobia Can Alter Your Life

People who suffer from an intense fear of vomiting will arrange their entire lives around it. Many will avoid social gatherings, especially any party in which liquor, wine, or beer will be served. Others will avoid travel altogether, as the fear of motion sickness and public vomiting is too great. Many emetophobics admit to feeling uncomfortable around small children, and go to great lengths to avoid these situations. According to an Internet study conducted by Dr. Lipsitz et al, many female emetophobics avoid having children or delay their pregnancies for a great deal of time because of the fear of morning sickness.

Those who fear vomiting will develop specific behavioral habits regarding food. For example, a person suffering from this phobia may wash his or her food constantly to try to keep germs at bay. Other emetophobics may never eat out in restaurants because of the fear of contamination and food poisoning is so paralyzing. Needless to say, these behaviors can have a profound effect on a person’s weight; in fact, many people who suffer from emetophobia are at high risk for developing eating disorders.

Emetophobia doesn’t just constrict your social life; it also can take over your body. All too often, people who suffer from intense anxiety become nauseous and have gastric issues. These physical symptoms are triggered by the emotional intensity of anxiety, but also feed that same anxiety because the nausea causes them to worry they will throw up. This contributes to an endless cycle of worry and nausea that can only be broken by a focused therapeutic regimen.

Misconceptions about Emetophobia and Treatment

The most popular misconception about the fear of throwing up is that it is a simple issue that can be controlled at will by the person who suffers from it. In reality, just like any phobia, the reasons behind emetophobia are complex and other anxiety disorders may be involved. The person who suffers from this disorder cannot simply turn off her fear like a light switch; she must work through it using a variety of therapeutic techniques.

Research has shown three types of therapy to be helpful when treating the fear of being sick: medication, exposure therapy, and self-help techniques. In terms of medication, anti-anxiety medications and antidepressants have been shown to be somewhat effective in reducing the fear of vomiting. However, the fear that the medication itself will trigger vomiting often leads to non-compliance among patients.

Exposure therapy involves exposing the patient to the very situation she fears. In this case, patients are shown a video of people throwing up, thus exposing them to the issue until they are desensitized. This, too, has been shown to help in many cases, but again the success comes down to a question of compliance. Many people are (understandably) reluctant to put themselves through the rigors of exposure therapy and decide not to go that route, no matter how helpful it’s purported to be.

This means that of the three types of treatment for emetophobia, self-help is more likely to be sought out and complied with than medication or exposure therapy.

The Benefits of a Self-Help Regimen

Before embarking on a self-help regimen for your emetophobia, please consult with a physician. If you suffer from an eating disorder or a fear of food, you may need the help of a medical doctor to overcome your issues and get started on the road to good health.

If you suffer from emetophobia, a self-help treatment regimen can help you seize control of your life. Since many people who suffer from a fear of vomiting also suffer from the fear of a loss of control, taking charge of your treatment can be an empowering way to gain back control of your life. A self-help treatment program will employ a variety of techniques proven to reduce anxiety, such as breathing exercises, visualization, meditation, and progressive muscle relaxation. Of these techniques, you can figure out which are the most powerful in treating your fears while discarding those that are of no benefit to you.

In addition, self-help treatment is less expensive and more private than seeking out help from a psychologist and psychiatrist. This makes it more affordable for those seeking help – the cost of an entire self-help regimen is about the same cost you would spend for one hour with a therapist. In addition, since self-help can be purchased without involving an insurance company, your privacy is assured as you conquer your phobia.

What We Recommend

The resource we suggest for conquering emetophobia is the Emetophobia Recovery System.  It does NOT recommend forcing vomiting as a means of desensitization, but instead focuses on both traditional and breakthrough techniques for conquering the fear.  It has been in use for a long time, and has a very good reputation, and even offers a 100% satisfaction guarantee.  If you decide to order, we will be compensated, but we believe it’s truly the best program for emetophobia available and should be on the bookshelf of ANYONE suffering with emetophobia.

Although emetophobia  can be an extremely challenging phobia to endure, we’re fortunate to have high quality treatment options to use during the path of recovery.  Your fear doesn’t have to be a condition you live with or accommodate, it can be successfully overcome.  If you desire to end your emetophobia it is not too late to take back control and start in the road to recovery.

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