Emetophobia fear of vomiting
Emetophobia, commonly referred to as the fear of vomiting is much more pervasive than commonly believed. Although it is hard to get an exact number of sufferers, it is believed by professionals to be one of the most common of all the anxiety type disorders.
The Symptoms Of Emetophobia
There are a wide variety of ways that people suffering from this particular disorder display their symptoms. The most common is simply the fear of vomiting, but there are other variations. It can also be the fear of looking at vomit or even hearing the sound other people make when they vomit. The common theme of the disorder is vomit, in all forms.
It is not just a case of being irrationally afraid; emetophobics may also actually feel nauseated themselves so there is also a physical component that can compound their irrational fears.
Emetophobia strikes people of all age groups. There is no particular pattern as far as age or maturity is concerned but appears across the board. There have been some preliminary studies that suggest that children who suffer from this disorder may also have other psychological problems as well.
Children sometimes mention that they developed this fear after having severe cases of vomiting themselves. Serious nausea as a child may well trigger a feeling of a lack of control over their actions that then becomes a full blown disorder, but that does not appear to be a universal reaction.
For people with a particularly severe case, attempting to avoid those situations where their symptoms might appear can make life difficult. If you are afraid of the mere sight or sound of vomit, you might be tempted to shy away from crowed places where that would be more likely to occur. Certainly some types of jobs would be out of the question.
Developing anorexia is another possible symptom. Eating can cause a fullness of stomach that can trigger a fear of nausea. Avoiding eating allows the sufferer to avoid this fear and they may become a full blown anorexic.
Possible Treatments For Emetophobia
Despite the fact that it is a very common disorder, very little is actually known about the cause, let alone the cure for the disease. Like other forms of anxiety disorders, the underlying cause is probably psychiatric in nature. That doesn’t mean the symptoms aren’t severe or even real, but it does make the search for a treatment more difficult.
One of the more common attempts at treatment is to desensitize the person to vomit. This is usually accomplished by repeated exposure to whatever they are afraid of until it they can become used to it. The success rate with this type of treatment is open to debate but there are not many other options available.
Hypnosis has been tried as a possible cure but there has been no real evidence that it is affective.
Because emetophobia is a type of anxiety disorder, medications have also been studied as a possible treatment. Certain anti depressants have been tried and their study continues.