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Topic: emetophobia (fear of vomiting)

10 posts, 0 answered
  1. ellierose02
    ellierose02 avatar
    1 posts
    2 February 2019
    My name is Ellie, I'm 16 years old and I've been suffering from severe emetophobia (which is a phobia of vomit, whether it be myself throwing up or watching others throw up) since I was about 9 years old. As long as I can remember I've never liked vomit, pretty much the same as everyone else. It wasn't until I was 9 and in school, we had a Christmas party where each student brought in food and we all ate and chatted. I had eaten a little too much and felt uncomfortably full, but not nauseous. One child had eaten too much and threw up. As soon as I saw that I felt an instant panic and started feeling sick myself. Although I didn't throw up I felt nauseous the whole day and my teacher wouldn't let me go home, therefore, worsening the anxiety. Ever since that day I've never let anyone who was sick near me (which I feel horrible about but can't help) I wash my hands all the time and carry around hand sanitiser, and more often than not suffer panic attacks if I feel I've done something that could possibly result in me throwing up. The worst part is my body's reaction to stress is to feel nauseous, so the more I panic, the more I feel nauseous. It's an evil cycle. I get these attacks at any time of day but they occur more in closed spaces where I can't get out eg. cars, buses, trains, concerts etc. It's really ruined my life. I don't feel comfortable eating in restaurants, I sometimes skip meals to avoid food. If anyone has any tips or ideas to help me it would be much appreciated. Thankyou.
  2. Sezza_H
    Sezza_H avatar
    4 posts
    2 February 2019 in reply to ellierose02

    Hello Ellie,
    Apologies that I am not able to offer any guidance or advice, but I just wanted to say that I can completely relate to what you have written. I’m 19 and I too am stuck in that vicious cycle of panicking about throwing up which only then makes me feel more nauseous and thus, more panicked. I avoid restaurants and I hate being on buses, trains, etc as this only makes it worse. I struggle with anxiety for which nausea is one of my main symptoms. I hate how much it dictates how I spend my day.

    You are not alone, and I hope that others on this forum will be able to offer some helpful suggestions.

    All the best,


  3. romantic_thi3f
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    romantic_thi3f avatar
    417 posts
    4 February 2019 in reply to ellierose02

    Hi ellierose02 - and a wave to Sezza_H!

    Thanks for your posts and I'm sorry to hear that you're dealing with this.

    Having a fear of vomiting can be a pretty terrible cycle. It sounds like you kind of picked up some of it already - panic leads to nausea which leads to panic which leads to nausea...

    Naturally, you want to avoid those feelings, so you avoid those places - like buses, trains, concerts, restaurants - probably anything fun right? But it doesn't really stop the feelings or that terrible cycle.

    So part of 'getting over it' can be seeing a therapist. They can help manage those terrible feelings of panic. Because you'll probably find that in reality, the nausea won't lead to vomiting - it's just the thought and feeling that makes it all so terrifying. Once you're able to learn how to manage the panic, it'll get easier and easier to go out and go and life your life again.

  4. lemi
    lemi  avatar
    2 posts
    9 February 2019

    Hi Ellie, emetophobia is so tough. I have a handful of phobias however the emetophobia is by far the most debilitating for me. It is such a rough cycle to be in, when the anxiety makes you feel nauseous which makes you scared that you'll be sick, which makes you more anxious, etc. It's crazy! Do your friends or family understand your phobia? One piece of advice I can offer is if you are looking to see a professional about your phobia, I would recommend doing a bit of research first and try to find a therapist who has experience working with specific phobias- bonus points if they mention emetophobia on their site! I'm 22 now, however I remember seeing a psychologist when I was 14 who had never heard of emetophobia... needless to say, they weren't the most helpful person for me at that time!

    There is an online forum, like this one that is specifically for people who have emetophobia. I'm not active on that site anymore, however I was for quite a few years when I was around your age and found it helpful to know that there were other people with this fear- although sometimes I would feel more anxious reading other peoples experiences. It was called the International Emetophobia Society. There is also a Facebook group under the same name which you can also join, if this sounds helpful to you.

    Best of luck xxx

  5. duahnos
    duahnos avatar
    1 posts
    9 April 2019 in reply to ellierose02

    Hi Ellie,

    I really feel your pain and I'm sorry you're dealing with this.

    I'm 24 and going through the same thing. This only really became a bad issue for me in the last 2 years or so. My biggest challenge at the moment is trying to figure out if I am actually sick or if I am making myself sick because of the fear and anxiety I'm feeling (the cycle you refer to). It is so hard, and I find that most people think I'm making it up and/or being dramatic. I am going to make a doctors appointment get a referral for a psychologist personally - I don't want to keep living my life like this.

    I hope you find some help of your own soon.


  6. Guest_546
    Guest_546 avatar
    1 posts
    15 April 2019 in reply to ellierose02

    Hi Ellie,

    I'm 13 and have suffered from Emetophobia for almost 7 years... I often find myself feeling really sick and that makes me super anxious. Which then leads to me having a panic attack... My whole life is a mess, I know how you feel! I always take days off school coz I worry about kids being sick... I find distraction really helps. If you ever find yourself getting anxious, try watching something on Youtube or Netflix, it can really help!

    Stay strong! I know you can overcome this!

    Good Luck,

    Esme xx

    1 person found this helpful
  7. Izzy P 5
    Izzy P 5 avatar
    1 posts
    2 May 2019 in reply to ellierose02

    Hi I’m Izzy a 14 year old girl.

    Omg you don’t understand how happy I am to see this not in a good way I do feel bad but I am exactly the same I thought it was just me. I have extreme anxiety over my health and vomiting. So I completely understand.

  8. stephiiee
    stephiiee avatar
    3 posts
    4 May 2019

    Hi ellierose02

    i suffer from pretty much the exact same thing as you and it is so debilitating and it dictates everything in my life. I am mainly scared of myself vomiting and would rather die than vomit. I dont really have any advice as such but you need to know you are not alone in any way. I wish you the best and hope one day this terrible phobia goes away from you

  9. sd1234
    sd1234 avatar
    1 posts
    1 June 2019 in reply to Izzy P 5


    I'm also 14 years old and I have had Emetophobia for a few years. I find it really hard at school when others are sick, and in year 4, I would never want to go to school in case I caught something. Now, I hate going out for dinner and I avoid hanging out with friends where there may be drinking.

    Does anyone have any cures?

  10. sketchii
    sketchii avatar
    1 posts
    3 September 2019 in reply to ellierose02

    Hi Ellie, I'm also 16 and going through a very similar situation. Whenever I'm feeling unwell from panicking my go to things to help calm down are: something like quickez (an antacid) I have a chewy mint one. I also carry around mint gum with me everywhere.

    Recently I've combined deep breathing (get this app called like rootr, it's got this full body scan thing and it goes for 2 minutes, I usually turn down the volume and breath in/out in time with the circle getting smaller and bigger) with smelling an incense. Lavender seems to work best for me, along with having something to distract my hands with. Be it a soft toy or a puzzle.

    or laying in bed, deep breathing w/burner and just watching a YouTube video. Really anything to distract myself.

    I hope you can start to kick this phobia to the curb like we all want to do.