The Fear of Throwing Up: 8 Tips to Overcome Emetophobia

If you’re looking for tricks to assist you overcome emetophobia, you’ve come to the proper place!

While most people dislike vomiting, I have suffered from emetophobia since I was a little girl. The idea of listening to or watching somebody throw up makes my coronary heart race, and if I ever see a pile of vomit in public, I am overcome with fear I’ll get some on my shoes and can bring it into our home and make my household sick. My medicine cupboard is always equipped with anti-nausea medication, I’m actually anal about meals safety, I by no means eat something with mayonnaise in it, and I keep away from sick people simply like the plague.

For a lengthy time, my avoidance techniques labored actually well, however as soon as my daughter began full time school, I quickly learned I had 2 options: I could spend the remainder of my life living in fear of the inevitable, or I could learn how to beat emetophobia as soon as and for all.

It’s been a piece in progress, and whereas I haven’t completely gotten previous my fear, I’ve come to learn that publicity to our phobias actually does help. I’m nonetheless a stickler for normal hand washing, I pay shut consideration to meals expiration dates, and keep away from publicity to sickness as a lot as I can, however I don’t obsess over it nearly as a lot as I used to.

If you’re looking for tricks to assist you or your child overcome emetophobia, learn on for my best tips and ideas!

What Is Emetophobia?

Emetophobia is the fear of vomiting, watching another person vomit, seeing vomit, and feeling nauseas. People who suffer from emetophobia don’t simply discover the idea of vomiting disgusting and unbearable, however they live in fear of it, which can have a significant impact on their lives. They may keep away from issues they affiliate with vomiting, like sick people, doctor’s offices, and hospitals, and engage in different avoidance behaviors. For example, an individual with emetophobia may keep away from sure meals and beverages, refuse to eat in restaurants, and restrict travel. They may wash their hands excessively, be overly cautious when preparing and cooking food, and keep away from shaking hands and coming into shut contact with others. These behaviors make them really feel safe inside the short-term, however actually amplify their fears over time.

What Causes Emetophobia?

Emetophobia is usually triggered by a particular event, such as:

  • Throwing up repeatedly due to meals poisoning or a abdomen bug
  • Throwing up in public
  • Watching another person throw up
  • Having somebody throw up on you

Emetophobia typically develops in childhood, and many people cannot remember the precise incident that triggered their fear.

8 Tips to Help You Overcome Emetophobia

1) Get to the root of your fear
If you want to know how to beat emetophobia, one of many first issues you want to do is determine out what caused you to develop emetophobia inside the primary place. Many people can pinpoint a particular traumatic event, whereas others have been living with emetophobia since they were children and have completely no idea what triggered it. If you fall into the latter category, talk with your loved ones members to see if they've any insight. It can even be useful to consider the precise issues that trigger you to really feel fearful and anxious because it pertains to vomiting. For example, some people are terrified of throwing up themselves, whereas others are solely afraid of watching another person vomit.

2) Challenge fearful thoughts
Once you know what caused your emetophobia and the issues that frighten you most about vomiting, spend a whereas difficult your fears with logic. If you reside in fixed fear of throwing up from a abdomen bug or meals poisoning, ask your self how often you’ve actually suffered from every of these illnesses. Remind your self that even when you do succumb to such a sickness, the precise act of vomiting is usually over fairly quickly, it makes you really feel better, and the incident is unlikely to final greater than 24-48 hours. Think about all of the energy you put into worrying about getting sick and avoiding people and conditions that might trigger an sickness versus the precise time you spend throwing up, and ask your self if it’s worth it.

3) Recognize anxiety isn’t the identical as sickness
One of the challenges with emetophobia is that the fear it creates can trigger abdomen upset and digestive distress, and since these sensations feed into the fear of throwing up, it turns into a vicious cycle. If you or your child suffers from emetophobia, it’s important to learn the distinction between the signs of anxiety and sickness. While anxiety can may make you really feel sick, it doesn’t make you throw up, and that’s an important distinction to make.

4) Learn mindful breathing
If you’re searching for tricks to assist you overcome emetophobia, you’ve probably examine mindful breathing. It’s one of many most common breathing techniques for anxiety, however it’s not always easy for everyone. It does take practice, however when you get the hang of it, you’ll be able to do it with ease.

To get starteed, discover a chair to sit down in and put your arms on the armrests. Take a deep breath in through your nose, lasting for about 5 seconds, maintain your breath for three seconds, after which breathe out through your mouth for 7 seconds. Repeat 10 times, and as you get extra comfortable, you can repeat as a lot as 20 times. Once you’ve mastered this technique, you can use it anywhere and at anytime to assist calm your self down.

If you have a child who suffers from emetophobia, we’ve written an entire post on deep breathing techniques for anxious kids, which you can learn HERE.

5) Make it funny
This technique is geared towards kids and teenagers who suffer from emetophobia, however can be useful to adults as well. Words like, ‘vomit’, ‘barf’, ‘puke’, and ‘throwing up’ can trigger significant anxiety for somebody with emetophobia, however when you discover a way to make these phrases funny, you can counteract these emotions of fear. For example, you could make up a song together, and even replace the phrases of an existing song. Instead of singing ‘Baa, Baa, Black Sheep’, you may sing, ‘Baa, Baa, Black Barf.’

The idea behind this technique is to try and replace fear with humor. This will take time, however can be very useful with little ones!

6) Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, or CBT, is a type of psychotherapy used to assist people perceive how their ideas and emotions affect their behaviors. Cognitive behavioral remedy is a short-term remedy technique that's efficient in treating anxiety, panic disorder, phobias, depression, addiction, consuming disorders, anger management, etc., and is used to assist people overcome a particular fear such as emetophobia.

The goal of CBT is to assist people learn that even although they cannot management everything about their lives and the world round them, they can management how they interpret the issues that occur to them and the way they respond.

Unlike different types of remedy that encourage sufferers to talk freely about their life and the challenges they're facing, cognitive behavioral remedy sessions are very structured. Instead of specializing in the past, CBT is goal-oriented and sessions are aimed at discussing particular issues and serving to sufferers to discover solutions.

7) Exposure Therapy
If you want to beat emetophobia, and not one of the tips and methods you’ve tried are working, Exposure Therapy (ET) is maybe the most efficient treatment choice to consider. ET is a particular type of cognitive behavioral remedy that may be very useful to these that struggle with a particular fear or phobia. It’s usually carried out over a series of 12-16 sessions, and is designed to problem the ‘escape/avoidance’ behaviors that maintain and intensify the fears behind your phobia.

Depending on the severity of your emetophobia, you can attempt to work on Exposure Therapy yourself, however seeking the assistance of a trained publicity therapist is best. He or she will work with you to interrupt down a particular anxiety-producing situation into several, smaller fears, after which rank them so as of intensity. The idea is to publicity your self to every fear – beginning with the least anxiety-producing situation first – and have you ever keep inside the fear-inducing situation till your anxiety comes down. Distractions and/or avoidance behaviors are not allowed, and the train is repeated periodically till it no longer causes you to really feel anxious. Once this occurs, the subsequent fear-inducing situation is tackled till you’ve overcome your phobia completely.

Of course, the idea of being uncovered to vomit can really feel extraordinarily overwhelming to somebody with emetophobia, however relaxation assured that ET is focused extra on difficult the avoidance behaviors that negatively reinforce your fear of throwing up. For example, your sessions may work through a list of issues like this:

  • Saying the phrase ‘vomit’ out loud
  • Touching a doorknob
  • Shaking hands with others
  • Using a public restroom
  • Eating meals ready by somebody else
  • Eating takeout/in a restaurant
  • Sleeping in a hotel
  • Going to the physician throughout chilly and flu season

8) Medication
While there is no medication designed particularly to assist people overcome emetophobia, anti-anxiety medications can assist make the signs of emetophobia extra manageable. Medication can additionally make Exposure Therapy extra tolerable in additional excessive cases, and might be worth discussing with your doctor.

I hope these tips assist you in your quest to beat emetophobia and make you really feel much less alone. The fear of throwing up is extra common than you might think, and whereas you may by no means attain a level the place the act of vomiting (or watching another person vomit) doesn’t make you really feel anxious, these methods will assist alleviate avoidance behaviors so that you can cease living your life in fear of sickness.

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