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Fear of Vomitting - Emitephobia

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Old 01-04-2007, 08:22 AM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: UK
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aiso HB User
Re: Fear of Vomitting - Emitephobia

I've had this for nearly 20 years and I've known what its called for most of that time. It comes and goes but at its worst I'm frozen with terror, can't leave the house and can't even touch my boyfriend. the last 'crisis' was so bad I just wanted to die. Other times I've no idea why I act so strangely. I'm even scared of telling my doctor, he thinks I'm so rational, but I'm so fed up that I may just make an appointment today, while things aren't so bad. I'm 35 and the media is full of how I'm getting too old to have children, but I been too frightened for years to consider having children to incase I get morning sickness and also I may not be able to look after them if they're ill. I hadn't realised that this aspect was common and you've given me some comfort. I've not particularly enjoyed reading your posts, even the word 'v***t' frightens me. Even the sound of someone coughing or just watching some drink or eat too quickly can make me run. But knowing that I'm not a total freak has really helped. Thank you, I hope you have found some solutions!

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Old 01-05-2007, 10:09 PM   #2
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Join Date: Jan 2007
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bachiach HB User
Re: Fear of Vomitting - Emitephobia

I am terrified of throwing up myself or seeing, hearing or smelling it. I always wanted to sit in the back row in school for fear I would be puked on. My friend snorted some kind of powdered candy on a field trip and said he was gonna throw up. I was sitting right next to him and freaked out. Was yelling for the teacher to get me out of there. Finally the idiot said he was joking. But I can still remember it cause I was petrified of it happening.
The last day of 12th grade I can also remember my thoughts being, I made it through school without ever being vomitted on.

Old 01-06-2007, 10:03 AM   #3
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krisdance83 HB User
Re: Fear of Vomitting - Emitephobia

I just want to let everyone know that I am in the same boat. There is a post about this entitled "Emetophobia" on the anxiety board of Healthboards. My story is in there and I can't bear to type it all again, but you are all in my thoughts because I relate to each and every one of you. When I was I child I considered it a "successful" year if nobody in the classroom threw up that year.

I actually laugh when I read about what people do when they have this phobia, or what I personally do because of it. I laugh because it seems so ridiculous, but to us it is real and terrifying. For instance, one of you posted that you get nervous just watching someone eat or drink too fast, I do that too! I hate the sound of someone swallowing!! I cringe when I hear someone swallow. I guess it just reminds me of the whole digestive system and whatnot. I don't know. I wish I could always laugh about it and stop obsessing over it. When I feel well I say, "oh I could do it, I could get through it." If even two seconds later I feel slightly nauseous I panic and say "no, no I can't!!" and basically pray for relief.

This is just getting too out of hand for me.

Check out the post at the anxiety board, there are a lot of us there with this problem.

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Old 01-25-2007, 07:12 PM   #4
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Iowa
Posts: 69
Rayvin400 HB User
Re: Fear of Vomitting - Emitephobia

The excitment and calmness I felt at the same time the second I found out this was a normal fear was almost beautiful!

I had been going through this phobia since I was in first grade, Im 23 now.
I felt like I couldnt tell anyone about my fear when I was little because they would think I was crazy.

Kids would throw up all the time in school then, and I like another poster would run out of the class as fast as possible and hide! Often times, I would pretend I was sick too, just so I could go home and be safe.

One time I got so freaked out by some kid who threw up on his desk, I faked sick (first grade) for a whole week. Soon, my cover was blown when my parents realized I wasnt sick, but they had no idea why I was scared to go back to school.

I would even remember where kids had thrown up on the floor and I wouldnt step on that spot for the whole rest of the year.

I even stopped eating much of anything for about a year. From 11 to 12 years old, I thought that If I didnt eat I couldnt throw up. The only thing I can really remember from these delicate years are the pains of hunger. Oddly enought, the pain made me feel safe and calm. I was on edge if they were not there.

My case of the crazies continued on as I linked throwing up to germs and couldnt eat unless I had washed my hands. If I wasnt able to wash my hands I would pick up the food with a napkin and eat it that way. I remember eating my french fries all the way down to part where my finger held it and then I would put that little tainted nub into a discard pile. My mother would look at me like I was crazy.

Perhaps this fear has ruined me in another way, socialization. With many college age students drinking tends to be a common bonding experience. People get drunk do stupid things and talk about it the next day, and then plan for the night ahead. I however have bowed out from drinking. I dont drink, I never have and I never will. People look at me like I have tail when I tell them that I dont drink. I tell them I have allergies so its a little better. I cant imagine their faces of horror if I told them, "no I cant drink, I am deathly afraid of throwing up, or even worse watching your disgusting body heave up the poison liquid you couldnt handle."

Besides not drinking, I am scared of having children for obvious reasons and I carry a Puke Prevention kit around at all times. Contents: gum, ginger, dramamine and asprin. Of all things to get with this fear, I suffer from motion sickness. Thats a pure joy to all I travel with, trust me. "Stop, pull over....I need you to stop...please...can you take me home?"

Well thats my story, a few months ago I threw up and I didnt die, and I seem to be getting a bit better, however the minutes before the deed is done, my mind is still flooded with thoughts.. "dont go near the toilet, its over if you do...youll feel better after, but who cares...breathe in calmly...out...crap."

I love reading makes me feel better!

Last edited by Rayvin400; 01-25-2007 at 07:16 PM.

Old 02-02-2007, 06:04 AM   #5
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: uk
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traffic HB User
Re: Fear of Vomitting - Emitephobia


I am exactly the same - I have more fear of someone else 'doing it' rather than myself although thats bad enough. I have a 2 year old some and for 24 hours a day I am waiting for him to do it. I would love some help. I recently started to coach myself but its taking a long time.

Old 02-06-2007, 03:31 AM   #6
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jenny38 HB User
Re: Fear of Vomitting - Emitephobia

Hi there - at last, someone else like myself who is absolutely terrified beyond belief of vomiting. I have had this phobia for as long as I can remember...and like you, have not actually physically 'thrown up' since I was a child, although I have had the rare occasion of retching.

At the moment, there are lots of viruses and bugs etc., doing the rounds and I am petrified that I will catch something. Like you, if I even talk to someone on the phone who has been sick even if I have not seen them or been in contact with them, it makes me feel terrible.

I think of vomiting throughout the day.... Here is an example.....My Mum phoned yesterday and told me that she had been sick all Sunday afternoon....I could feel my pulse racing while I was on the phone.. For the rest of the day, I was so conscious of my stomach....I almost started imagining that my stomach didn't feel right....I felt anxious and scared.

How do you cope day to day? Do you have children? Please keep in touch because this phobia is so weird and I don't know anybody else with it.

Last edited by moderator2; 02-06-2007 at 06:34 AM.

Old 02-06-2007, 09:59 PM   #7
Join Date: Oct 2004
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Sillygrl HB UserSillygrl HB User
Re: Fear of Vomitting - Emitephobia

Oh my gosh! I am so there with all you guys! I am terified of throwing up and getting the stomach bug. As the other post said, that icky stuff is going around right now and I am pretty much freaked out. I too hold my food with a napkin if I am unable to wash my hands. If I have an itch on my face or anywhere near my face I use the inside of my shirt. I hate when people stand really close to me when they are talking to me, they will get their germs all over my face and then it will go in my mouth or in my nose. Yeah pretty much I am weird! Oh and yeah when someone throws up even if it is several feet away from me, I feel like I have their throw up on me. As I sit and type I dont want to go to bed and put my head on my pillow because my hair touched a door that another guy touched who sounded like he threw up around the corner of the store I was walking into. Wow, that sounds even crazier written out, haha. Oh and I always get even more anxious about the whole throw up thing when I have something important or fun coming up. This weekend I am moving, so I have seriously been praying whenever I think of it, to not get sick!!!

Old 02-08-2007, 06:48 PM   #8
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Trixibel HB User
Re: Fear of Vomitting - Emitephobia

I had this phobia when I was 10. I was terrified of throwing up and couldn't cope when someone else was. I think I cured myself of it when I went to uni and got drunk a few times and threw up. I have had OCD episodes in my life and for some reason they just cure themselves. Luckily the v..... one did, though the first time my eldest child really had a gastro episode I had to call my husband home from work because I was so freaked out. Now I'm an old hand at cleaning it up. I was on a school excursion as a student teacher and one of the kids threw up and I was the only one who'd go near her to clean her up.

So there is light at the end of the tunnel. For the person who wants to get pregnant but the fear is getting in the way my heart goes out to you so much. If it's any comfort I didn't throw up in my second and third pregnancies. Not once. And I've friends who never did. But of course there's no guarantees that you won't, but some people do it more than others and I don't throw up much (except when I drink to excess which I've now learnt not to do!!) My husband recently had labyrinthitis and I had to drive him to the dr's around roundabouts and he was throwing up in to a pan right in to my ear!!! It was gross, but it didn't freak me out.

I wonder if it is possible to get to the root of the fear? What has caused it? Is it a fear of being out of control? Because when you throw up - like childbirth - is one time when your body takes over and you just have to go with it. You don't have an option.

Do any of you fear, like I do, being out of control?

Old 02-08-2007, 10:45 PM   #9
Join Date: Apr 2005
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cbr HB User
Re: Fear of Vomitting - Emitephobia


I must say in reading all of these posts I have experienced all of your stories and more. This fear has consumed my life. It started somewhere around 10 and I am 49.

I agree with the fear of not being in control. When I was younger I was emotionally and sexually abused. Maybe the fear of vomiting was what I latched onto. It causes many anxious moments as well as the obsessive behavior. I feel like a mess sometimes and other times it seems to be not as bad.

I think maybe some kind of therapy may help you. The weird thing is in all of my therapy time I never brought up this all consuming fear. I covered all of the other issues but seemed to neglect to share this one. I am not sure why either. It just is so weird to me almost embarassing.

I had two pregnancies with no vomiting. I managed to take care of the kids and clean up after them, although it was tough. I worked at a school for years but gave that up this year because I just got tired of staying away from the sick kids, I worked next to the nurses office of all places!!

Again I can relate to all of you.


Old 04-26-2007, 09:13 AM   #10
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: TN,USA
Posts: 3
knoju HB User
Re: Fear of Vomitting - Emitephobia

Hello all:

I am new to this forum. I know how all of you feel. My emetephobia began a few years ago and escalated to a complete panic in Jan of 2007. Like a few of you, I too have children. My husband travels a lot and my daughter became stomach ill during one of his times away. I went into a full scale panic attack. I had to see my physician right away the next morning for something to calm me down. He prescribed prozac and xanax. The combo helped and then I was referred to a psychiatrist. He diagnosed me as germophobic, emetophobic and OCD and prescribed Luvox. The meds help some, but I just cannot get the ideas of the "V" word out of my head. Anytime I see my children I think of when will they be sick again. If someone coughs near me, my mind assumes the very worst right away. I hate to visit public places for fear that I or someone in my home will contract something. It truly has become a disability to me, especially if I know there are sick people within 2 miles of me. I worry constantly that one of my family members will get sick. I wish so much I could just be normal and not have to deal with this. The Luvox makes me sooo tired. All I want to do is sleep and I feel very guilty for wanting to sleep sooo much. Do any of you have any advice?


Old 04-27-2007, 01:22 AM   #11
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seriousperson HB Userseriousperson HB User
Re: Fear of Vomitting - Emitephobia

Go back to your doctor and bring him a copy of your post above.
It took my psychiatrist and I at least a year of trying different medications to find some that worked. Therapy can help too.

Old 04-30-2007, 06:43 PM   #12
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Sehsun HB User
Re: Fear of Vomiting - Emetophobia

I also have emetophobia. I get extremely panicky when I'm around someone who may v*. If I even hear someone v*, I plug my ears and try to get away from the situation, with my heart pounding. Even watching a cartoon of it makes me feel like....ugh.

I'm also afraid of getting food poisoning and salmonella poisoning. Maybe this is why I cannot stand to be near or touch raw meat. Maybe that's one of the subtle reasons why I am a vegetarian.

I'm afraid to have kids one day because of this. It's also one of the reasons why I'm scared to go to nursing school (if I choose to go).

Last edited by Sehsun; 04-30-2007 at 06:45 PM.

Old 05-04-2007, 10:36 AM   #13
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: TN,USA
Posts: 3
knoju HB User
Re: Fear of Vomiting - Emetophobia

I cannot even fathom the idea of going to nursing school. The meds I am taking seem to be helping, but after hearing the news this week with regards to psychiatric drugs reducing ones lifespan, I am a little panicked about continuing to take them. I will not lie to you that having emetophia and having children is easy. It is not. Anytime one of my children as much as cough around me my thougts turn directly to the big "V" word. If I had this disorder when I was younger and was aware of it, I would never have had children. Morning sickness alone would probably have put me in the hospital.

I wish you much luck.


Old 05-04-2007, 10:37 AM   #14
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: TN,USA
Posts: 3
knoju HB User
Re: Fear of Vomitting - Emitephobia

May I ask you, what medication finally did work for you?


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