What is Emetophobia?
Emetophobia is the fear of getting sick or of vomiting. It is a common type of phobia and can begin at any age, but most sufferers state that the condition arose from a set of childhood experiences relating to being sick. Most sufferers actually rarely vomit. As a matter of fact, most people with emetophobia a lot of the time haven’t vomited since early childhood, but still they worry that it may happen. It is a debilitating condition. I can talk from personal experience after suffering from it!
Symptoms of Emetophobia
Individuals with emetophobia may display these following symptoms:
- experience digestive upsets and nausea frequently
- feeling of anxiety during long road trips and other such journeys.
- avoidance of alcohol or places or gatherings where alcohol could be present
- do not want to be around children
- do not welcome the idea of being in a public vehicle like buses, aeroplanes etc
- women with emetophobia often delay or avoid pregnancy for fear of morning sickness
Who Comes to See Me?
Men and women in their twenties and thirties typically come to see me to address the issue.
Because it is a complicated type of phobia, emetophobia is not very easy to diagnose, let alone to treat. Many patients suffer from other types of phobia in addition to the fear of vomiting. Some doctors may prescribe medication. Some patients react positively with exposure therapy. Exposure exercises usually involve inducing the sensations of nausea, watching videos or looking at photos of vomiting, and even frequently using the word “vomit” or “sick”.
Hypnosis as a Form of Treatment for Emetophobia
There is no significant number of research papers directly linking hypnosis as a form of treatment for emetophobia. However, there are studies conducted showing that hypnotherapy could help improve various cases of phobias and anxieties. I have treated a great number of individuals who have suffered from this condition previously. I was able to treat myself using hypnosis for this condition. I developed the phobia during childhood where at one stage, I refused to drink water because I thought it would cause me to be sick!
“Emetophobia.” Wikipedia. Wikimedia Foundation, 26 May 2014. Web. 26 May 2014. <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Emetophobia>.
Fritscher, Lisa. “Fear of Vomiting or Emetophobia.” About.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2014. <http://phobias.about.com/od/phobiaslist/a/emetophobia.html>.
Fritscher, Lisa. “Hypnotherapy – Understanding Clinical Hypnotherapy.” About.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 27 May 2014. <http://phobias.about.com/od/therapy/a/hypnotherapy.html>.
Kluft, Richard P. “Hypnosis in the Treatment of Phobias.” Psychiatric Annals 16.2 (1986): 96-101. PsycNET. Web. 27 May 2014. <http://psycnet.apa.org/psycinfo/1987-26082-001>.
Crawford, Helen J., Arreed F. Barabasz, and Judith W. Rhue. “Phobias and Intense Fears: Facilitating Their Treatment with Hypnosis.” Ed. Steven Jay Lynn and Irving Kirsch. Handbook of Clinical Hypnosis. (1993): 311-37. PsycNET. 2012. Web. 27 May 2014. <http://psycnet.apa.org/books/10274/015>.