What is Emetophobia? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

 Some people are fearful of a certain types of diseases and it makes them feel anxious. Today, we’ll discuss what is emetophobia; its symptoms, causes, and treatment.

What is Emetophobia? 

Emetophobia is a type of phobia comprised of fear of feeling sick, vomiting, watching others vomit, or seeing vomit. People with emetophobic conditions behave in a certain way and live in a state of anxiety that impacts various actions in their routine life.

Many people don’t like vomiting, but it doesn’t make them fearful or the fear overtakes their minds. People with emetophobic conditions worry about vomiting all the time, even though everyone around them is feeling well and healthy. The thought of vomit or someone’s vomit would make them feel anxious and distressed.

Distress and anxiety have a great impact on how you perform various functions in your routine life. For instance, you would check your health constantly, avoid the company of other people that are feeling healthy or sick, not try a new type of food, avoid visiting crowded places, and stop limiting your food intake out of fear. In short, it impacts almost every part and area of the person’s life.

The anxiety and distress you would feel would be overwhelming, and you can treat it with the help of any trained professional.

Symptoms of Emetophobia 

Some of the behavioral symptoms of emetophobia are as follows;

  • Speedy heart rate, chest tightness, and breathing difficulty at the thought of vomiting
  • Ignoring the bad smell of soiled items or garbage
  • Asking the health of others and avoiding them if seem sickly
  • Stop using certain types of words like puke or vomit
  • Not traveling through public transport, parties, or schools, and avoiding the crowded places
  • Avoiding medications and usage of alcohol that would cause the feelings of nausea
  • Cleaning the food preparing tools, food items, dishes, and hands repetitively
  • Checking on your health in terms of temperature and other activities
  • Taking antacid to avoid stomach upset and nausea feeling long before their happen
  • Not visiting the clinic or hospital where other people are probably vomiting or feeling sick
  • Avoiding touching the surface of public computers, handrails, toilet seats or flushes, or doorknobs that may comprise of germs leading to illness
  • Food overcooking to kill the germs
  • Checking out and smelling the food items to make sure they’re fresh, and throw them out long before their expiration date
  • Eating at home, slowly, and alone
  • Not trying a new type of beverage or eating the food items
  • Avoiding places and food items that have any type of relevance to vomiting

The behavioral symptoms along with mental health issues are as follows;

  • Linking irrational thinking and actions with the previous experience of vomiting like not wearing the plaid shirt or clothes that you throw up in the public
  • Fearful of going back to the hospital or becoming sick
  • Distress and anxious feelings when you think about vomiting or nausea
  • Getting panic at the thought that you can’t leave the crowded place if you see someone vomiting
  • Embarrassing and distressing thoughts that you would throw up
  • Extreme fear of vomiting and choking
  • Fearful of not getting control over your vomit
  • Fearful of not finding the bathroom and vomiting in the public
  • Getting extremely fearful of seeing someone vomiting

The feelings of experiences of emetophobia are different for different types of people. For instance, you have the worrisome feelings of vomiting yourself rather than seeing others vomiting. The knowledge and experience of others’ cooking, cleaning, washing, and living style won’t help you, and it would make your experience more distressful. It would result in the form of “shame feelings” and it makes you hide your symptoms and feelings from others.

Causes of Emetophobia 

Emetophobia and other types of phobias develop after experiencing any type of incident. Some of the main causes of emetophobia in this context are as follows;

  • Experiencing panic attack during the event of vomiting
  • Someone throws up on you
  • Seeing someone else vomiting
  • Vomiting experience during the important holiday season
  • Bad experience with food poisoning
  • Getting sick in the public places

The condition develops in you without any particular cause. Many researchers say that environmental and genetic factors play a significant role in the development of this condition. However, it increases the possibility of developing this condition if you have got a family history of anxiety disorder and other types of phobias. Often, it starts in childhood.

Treatment of Emetophobia 

When it comes to the treatment of phobia, it doesn’t always require any specific type of treatment plan. Some people find their way out to deal with it, and others avoid the feared objects. Some of the main treatment plans for emetophobia are as follows;


It is difficult to prescribe any type of medication that would make the phobic symptoms go away. Since emetophobia is a rare mental health condition; you won’t find any standard medication for it. Some of the main medicines that your doctor would prescribe are as follows;

  • Beta-blockers: normalize the heart rate, blood pressure, and other physical symptoms,
  • Benzodiazepine: they would help you to be less anxious

Exposure Therapy

It is a very effective treatment method to deal with any type of specific phobia. It exposes you to fearful objects and things unless you become used to them. However, the treatment plan comprises of trying different types of foods in the restaurant until you feel nausea. When you keep on exposing yourself, it would help you to develop the coping technique.

Conclusion: What is Emetophobia? Symptoms, Causes, Treatment 

After an in-depth study of what is emetophobia; its symptoms, causes, and treatment; we’ve realized that the emetophobic condition could badly impact your life. If you’re experiencing its symptoms, then you should see a therapist to work on your treatment plan.