Anxiety Support

Emetophobia - fear of vomiting

Hello community, I've recently joined this social network and wanted to explain my anxiety to the group to see if anyone else is experiencing what I have been for the past two years. For as long as I can remember, I've had a fear of vomiting (both for myself and/or seeing others vomit). It wasn't until two years ago (I'm 29) that this phobia started to cause me daily anxiety and impact my everyday life. Ironically, the way my body experiences anxiety is by feeling nauseous. I know, right? It's awful. The anxiety causes me to feel nauseous and then the feeling of being nauseous makes the anxiety worse. It's a vicious circle, and on some days, it's debilitating. On other days, I feel fine. It took me over a year to realize my anxiety is caused by this vomit phobia, and after lots of research, I learned that other people have this to. It's called emetophobia. I've since started working with a therapist who specializes in emetophobia and I'm really hoping it will help. It's essentially CBT and exposure therapy (it does NOT involve making me throw up lol). I'm currently feeling down because I'm sitting here nauseous, knowing it's my anxiety, and am worried that I'll never be able to kick this phobia. I fear getting the flu, food poisoning (so every time I eat I'm questioning if it will make me sick), motion sickness, etc. If you think about it, there's a lot we do in life that could make someone throw up. It's ridiculous, and I get so frustrated with myself that I have such a silly phobia for something that's a normal bodily function. I don't want to live my life with this anxiety all the time, feeling nauseous like I have morning sickness. I'm not even pregnant nor have I ever been ( although i'm almost curious if morning sickness will cure my phobia one day). If anyone can relate or offer any advice, I'd really appreciate it. Thank you!

5 Replies

I understand how you feel. I fear vomiting but it doesnt stop my everyday life but other anxieties do. So when I have an anxiety or panic attack.. feeling like throwing up scares me more.. then i attack gets worse and the feeling gets worse. It's a horrible feeling. My therapist and medication prevent me from getting like that a lot but it happens once in a while. The first step for you is lessening your anxiety so you're on the right track. It takes time. YOU GOT THIS

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Thank you !


Definitely became a fear of mines too since this anxiety got worse. My anxiety makes me nauseous to on top of the fact that i have acid reflux. Not sure if the stress and anxiety caused it but definitely when my anxiety high i have upset stomach. And oddly enough before my axiety ever got like this i never was afraid of vomiting and to add i dpnt even recall the last time i actually vomited. And the last fpur months or so i have begun to have all kinds of health anxiety. Fear of vomiting, fear of foods might harm me or poison me, scared to even eat certain things, fear of insect bites now because i think they are carrying a disease. And its worse if i feel any things in my body. So one day last week for the first time i vomited just a little came put because i bent over too fast and my acid reflux was already bad i could feel it in my throat and i guess i bent over too fast and a little bit just spit out my mouth (sorry tmi). But soon as that happened i freaked out and was even more afraid of vomiting up again or it being a bigger vomit like over the toilet vomit. I didnt eat nothing else because i was scared if i ate anything i would vomit whatever. So the next two days i barely at a full meal all day drank nothing but water. And i got on the scale at publix yesterday and basically lost like 7 lbs in 3 or 4 days. Smh. So i can definitely relate.


Thanks for your reply. I'm sorry to hear that you go through this! My therapist who is helping me with my vomit phobia let me know that many of her patients are not actually "vomit people", meaning they can count the number of times they've thrown up in their life on one hand. I'm certainly like this (it sounds like maybe you are too). I've thrown up twice in my life and I'm almost 30. I think this is partly why my phobia developed. Vomiting is very unknown to me and therefore I somehow associate it with being scary. Just know that if you do throw up, it isn't dangerous! In fact, it's a normal bodily function. In my therapy, I'm slowly realizing that my anxiety about the potential of it happening is so much worse than the act of vomiting itself (so I hope). Also, in my experience, having an empty stomach can actually make me feel MORE nauseous. I would try mindfully eating and seeing if that helps you. I've also found so much value in talking to my therapist. If you continue to struggle with food, I would certainly recommend this! Sending positive vibes!


I 100% understand where you’re coming from, this affected me hugely during sixth form to the point where I wasn’t eating because I was afraid if i ate I would be sick because I felt sick 24/7 which I now realise is because of anxiety, during my exams I had to be put in a separate room so that I could have the windows open, so that I wasnt too hot and minimised me feeling sick, having the door nearby so I knew I could escape quickly to get outside if I felt sick, it controlled my life. I spent my 18th birthday in tears at TGI Fridays because of how much is was controlling me and I couldn’t even eat a meal. I’ve seen 3 different doctors and each one has dismissed me which has only made me feel worse. Recently I found that having chewing gum helps with the sickness because mints help you stop feeling sick, this has helped me but also hindered as now I constantly have to have some gum in my mouth or in my bag, basically obsessed to it. After finishing sixth form I now have just started a new job which as you can imagine is extremely anxiety provoking and I am just trying to push myself through it but I find it so draining constantly worrying where the nearest exit is or the toilet, do I have my water or my stomach settling tablets or my chewing gum on me? I feel so lost with myself and what to do, I barely sleep because I’m terrified of waking up in the night and being sick, after finding this forum though it is some comfort to see that their is other people who suffer with emetophobia


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