Tel: 01582 484444   Mob: 07875 751960

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Telephone: 01582 484444
Mobile: 07875 751960

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Fear of Vomiting – Emetophobia

Emetophobia Hypnotherapy

Do you avoid eating out, in case the food causes you to be sick, or because you might witness someone else vomiting?


Is traveling something you try to do as little as possible, due to the fear that you or someone you’re traveling with might experience motion sickness?


Perhaps you’re reluctant to become pregnant, even if you would like to have a child, simply because you want to avoid the potential for morning sickness?


These are all examples of the way a fear of vomiting can seriously affect a person’s quality of life. Certain situations represent danger for a person with a fear of vomiting, and bring about intense feelings of anxiety and stress. And there are lots more ways this phobia can manifest itself.


If you can say yes to any of the following, or if the situations described above apply to you, there’s a very good chance you suffer from emetophobia:


  • I do not drink alcohol at all, or I restrict myself to a single glass of wine.
  • I dislike pubs, clubs, dinner parties, weddings, social events and crowded rooms
  • I frequently check sell-by dates on food packaging
  • At a cinema or theatre, I have to sit at the end of a row of seats
  • I avoid anyone with a sickness bug, at home and/or in public places
  • I avoid hospitals and nursing homes, even if it means I don’t see loved ones
  • I worry about taking medication that has nausea or vomiting as a listed side-effect
  • I clean myself and/or my home frequently, to get rid of germs that may cause sickness


This specific phobia can also include sub-categories, including a fear of vomiting in public, a fear of seeing vomit, a fear of watching the action of vomiting or, the fear of being nauseated.


Don’t worry, it’s not just you!


Emetophobia (derived from the Greek word “emein” which means “an act or instance of vomiting”) is not uncommon. In fact the fear of being sick is actually the fifth most common phobia – which perhaps explains why the UK support network, EmetOnline receives over 70,000 visitors a month.


And yet, it’s one of the least talked about phobias, meaning this isolating condition is often overlooked or misdiagnosed. In one study (Van Hout & Bouman, 2006) professionals’ (including psychologists, psychiatrists, nurses and social workers) were asked about their views of emetophobia. Although nearly half of them had come across patients exhibiting the symptoms, 30% of the 111 participants had never heard of the phobia.


Often, people with emetophobia are mistakenly diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, depression, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), agoraphobia (fear of going out), and even Post Traumatic Stress Disorder – usually because the avoidance tactics used by emetophobes result in behaviour that mirrors the symptoms of these disorders.


Why am I scared of vomiting? The causes of emetophobia…


When you have emetophobia your mind has been conditioned to believe that being sick, others being sick, or vomit, all equal danger. Your mind becomes acutely aware of any situations that could trigger what it now understands to be danger, and part of your mind’s job is to ultimately protect you. Therefore your fear of being sick, of others being sick, or fear of vomit is a direct reaction to the message your mind is currently sending you.


Interestingly, most people with the condition rarely, if ever, vomit. Some sufferers report that they have not thrown up since childhood, yet they constantly worry that it might happen.


Where did this phobia come from?


Emetophobia is generally caused by one of three experiences, although this may not always be the case. Sometimes the person cannot even remember the root cause of their fear of being sick, others being sick or their fear of vomit.


  1. Direct learning experience: Negative childhood sickness experiences where the unpleasantness was intense enough to produce a single or multiple learned experiences. Or, as a child they witnessed a person close to them being sick or even being sick on them, causing such negative emotions that they learned to subsequently avoid all these perceived ‘dangerous situations’.


  1. Indirect learning experience: A child observing a parent’s or sibling’s fear of vomit can lead to them also developing this fear


  1. Imaginative learning experiences: With an absence of vomiting, a child, does not learn that it is a normal part of life and the body’s way of recovery by rejecting what is inside. They may ultimately fear vomit because it is alien to them.


Treatment: The key to overcoming your emetophobia and being able to enjoy life again


One of the problems for many emetophobes, when it comes to treatment, is the fear that the treatment itself will bring about sickness. Even if they can bear to talk about vomiting (which a lot of emetophobes can’t), they might worry that they’ll be given medication that will make them sick, or worse, be encouraged to actually be sick or watch someone else vomit (a form of exposure therapy).


Fortunately, the unique hypnosis techniques developed by Elliot Wald can help provide almost immediate, long-term relief to sufferers – WITHOUT them having to face their fears head on.


“I had lived with emetophobia for 15 years, I was always avoiding situations for fear of being sick, or contracting some sort of sickness bug or contamination from someone or something. It’s incredible that Elliot was able to help me overcome something I put up with for so long, in just two sessions! Thank you, Elliott.” (Mrs T Woods, Coventry)


Why hypnosis works for people suffering from emetophobia


The proven hypnosis methods developed and mastered by Elliott Wald effectively ‘recondition’ the mind, so that it interprets ‘danger signals’ (eg. eating at a restaurant, drinking at a pub or club, or visiting relatives in hospital) in a completely new way.


Elliot helps ‘reset’ the mind, so that instead of sensing danger when confronted with one of the scenarios listed above, it responds rationally – just like someone with no the fear of vomiting.


Hypnotherapy is widely regarded as a reliable technique for helping people with debilitating ‘situational phobias’ like emetophobia, to overcome their fear and get their lives back on track.


In a 2013 study into the efficacy of hypnotherapy for treating such disorders, David Kraft reported that Patients were able to [re]gain…control through systematic desensitization, by using coping strategies, by re-framing the feared stimulus or by uncovering and understanding the source of the phobia… Hypnotherapy, therefore, offers a rapid and cost-effective form of treatment for these conditions, and it is recommended that these procedures are used as a first-line treatment approach.”


How long does it take for hypnotherapy to have an effect?


In two one hour sessions Elliott can help you build a new set of responses to help you break free from your emetophobia. It does not matter how long you have been living with your fear or phobia, or how severe it appears; hypnotherapy can help you overcome it.