How to Overcome Emetophobia: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

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How to Overcome Emetophobia: 14 Steps (with Pictures)
How to Overcome Emetophobia: 14 Steps (with Pictures)

Vomiting is not fun for anyone. Although many people have never heard of emetophobia, or the fear of vomiting, this condition is a very common anxiety disorder and is the fifth most common phobia, and is most experienced by women and adolescents. For people with emetophobia, the anxiety that accompanies the possibility of vomiting makes them helpless. In fact, emetophobia has symptoms similar to panic disorder and can cause sufferers to avoid anything that triggers vomiting, such as being near sick people, eating at restaurants, drinking alcohol, and using public restrooms. However, you can treat emetophobia by taking active steps to overcome your fear of vomiting and relieve nausea.


Part 1 of 3: Overcoming the Fear of Vomiting

Deal With Emetophobia Step 1
Deal With Emetophobia Step 1

Step 1. Identify the trigger

In most cases, emetophobia is triggered by something specific, such as a certain smell or sitting in the back seat of a car. Recognizing the specifics that trigger emetophobia can help you avoid them or treat them with therapy. Some common triggers are:

  • Seeing or remembering other people or animals vomiting
  • Pregnant
  • Traveling or transportation
  • Drug
  • Smell or smell
  • Food
Deal With Emetophobia Step 2
Deal With Emetophobia Step 2

Step 2. Avoid those triggers

For many people, emetophobia can be managed simply by avoiding the triggers and anxiety associated with vomiting. But be aware that this may not always be possible, for example if your child is sick, so you should have alternative ways of dealing with the fear if necessary.

  • Know how to avoid triggers from the start. For example, if a certain food stimulates your fear, don't keep it at home. If you're eating at a restaurant, you can ask your dining companions not to order or cover up food that makes you nauseous.
  • Stay away from triggers as long as they don't affect your life or the lives of others. For example, if a public toilet makes you nauseous, make sure that it doesn't prevent you from leaving the house.
Deal With Emetophobia Step 3
Deal With Emetophobia Step 3

Step 3. Accept that you have this annoyance

Emetophobia is a relatively common disorder, but it can still leave you helpless. Coming to terms with the fear of vomiting can relax you, and it can actually help with the anxiety associated with the fear.

  • Accepting that you have emetophobia can also help others accept it.
  • You may not be able to accept the disturbance overnight because the fear is significant. Say to yourself slowly, "This fear is natural, and I'm fine."
  • Consider positive affirmations every day to help strengthen your beliefs and relax you. For example, say, “I can take public transportation every day without any problems and today will be fine too.”
  • Read online forums from sources such as the International Emetophobia Society, which offer tips for accepting your disorder and connecting you with other emetophobia sufferers.
Deal With Emetophobia Step 4
Deal With Emetophobia Step 4

Step 4. Tell people

When you avoid triggers, people may react strangely. Express your annoyance honestly to avoid uncomfortable situations or questions. It also helps you to relax and control your fear.

  • Convey your fears before anything happens. For example, if the smell of cream sauce makes you nauseous, say, “I'm sorry if my reaction was unpleasant. I have a disorder that makes me throw up every time I smell the cream sauce,” or, “Dirty diapers make me a bit nauseous, even though your baby is so cute.” Maybe someone else can help you avoid triggers by not ordering the food or changing your diaper in your absence.
  • Consider using humor. Telling a joke about emetophobia may relieve tension. For example, if you're in a car, say, "May I sit in the front so this car doesn't turn into a vomit comet?"
Deal With Emetophobia Step 5
Deal With Emetophobia Step 5

Step 5. Tolerate social stigma

There are some people who do not understand emetophobia or believe that the disorder exists. Try to understand if they are responding in a negative way and realize that they are acting this way because they don't know about the disorder.

  • Ignore the irritating statement or deal with it with thorough information.
  • Talking to or leaning on family and friends can help you deal with other people's feelings and stigma.
Deal With Emetophobia Step 6
Deal With Emetophobia Step 6

Step 6. Join a support group

Abroad there are many actual and virtual support groups to join as emetophobia is common. Being part of a similar community can help sufferers deal with emetophobia more effectively or get treatment.

  • You can participate in discussions and forums according to your emetophobia type. Try asking your doctor or hospital if there are support groups in your area. You can also search for virtual communities, such as the International Emetophobia Society.
  • Consider a support group for people who suffer from anxiety because emetophobia is a form of anxiety disorder.
  • Talk to family and friends about your annoyance, as they can provide immediate support if your fears arise.

Part 2 of 3: Getting Treatment

Deal With Emetophobia Step 7
Deal With Emetophobia Step 7

Step 1. Schedule an appointment with the doctor

If your fear of vomiting is impacting your ability to live a normal life, schedule an appointment with your doctor. Doctors can provide treatment mechanisms or prescribe antiemetics that can relieve nausea or vomiting.

  • Remember that even if the fear of vomiting is common, you should still seek help if the fear is interfering with your daily life.
  • Ask your doctor if there are other underlying causes for your emetophobia and if there are ways to deal with them, such as a bad experience as a child or pregnancy.
  • Consider seeing a psychiatrist or other mental health professional who can help you overcome your fear of vomiting through various types of therapy.
Deal With Emetophobia Step 8
Deal With Emetophobia Step 8

Step 2. Go to therapy

Emetophobia is not something you have to live with for the rest of your life, although treatment may take a long time. This disorder can be treated until it heals with various types of therapy to help you stop vomiting easily, as well as help you live life the way you like without the fear of vomiting. Some types of therapy that you may undergo are:

  • Exposure therapy that exposes you to triggers such as seeing the word vomit, as well as smells, videos, photos, or eating at a buffet table.
  • Cognitive behavioral therapy that involves gradual exposure to triggers and ultimately helps you let go of associations between vomiting and fear, danger, or death.
Deal With Emetophobia Step 9
Deal With Emetophobia Step 9

Step 3. Take the medicine

If your emetophobia and associated nausea are severe, your doctor may prescribe medication to help with both. Ask about antiemetics that can prevent nausea and vomiting, and anti-anxiety or antidepressant medications to treat the disorder that causes it.

  • Get a prescription for the most common antiemetics, such as chlorpromazine, metoclopramide, and prochlorperazine.
  • Try motion sickness medication or an antihistamine that can relieve nausea and vomiting if you don't have time to see a doctor. Antihistamines that are usually used to treat nausea are dimenhydrinate.
  • Take an antidepressant such as fluoxetine, sertraline, or paroxetine, or an anti-anxiety medication such as alprazolam, lorazepam, or clonazepam, to help fight the fear of vomiting.
Deal With Emetophobia Step 10
Deal With Emetophobia Step 10

Step 4. Use relaxation techniques

Because emetophobia usually has symptoms similar to panic disorder, you can control your reactions and relieve nausea or vomiting with relaxation. Try a variety of relaxation techniques to help calm yourself and ease your feelings. Some exercises you can try are:

  • Breathe deeply to relax tension. Inhale and exhale in a balanced pattern. For example, inhale for a count of four, hold for a count of two, then exhale for a count of four. Make sure you sit up straight with your shoulders pulled back to get the optimal benefits of deep breathing.
  • Progressive muscle relaxation to relax the whole body. Starting at the feet and working toward the head, tighten and contract each muscle group for five seconds. Then release the muscle for 10 seconds to feel deep relaxation. After 10 seconds, move on to the next muscle group until you're done.

Part 3 of 3: Relieves Nausea or Vomiting

Deal With Emetophobia Step 11
Deal With Emetophobia Step 11

Step 1. Eat simple foods

If you are experiencing nausea or vomiting, you may need to apply the BRAT principle, which stands for Banana, Rice, Applesauce, and Toast. These foods are able to survive in the stomach and relieve the fear of vomiting because they are easily digested.

  • Try other foods that are easy to digest, such as crackers, boiled potatoes, and flavored jelly.
  • Supplement with more complex meals once you feel better. For example, you can try breakfast cereals, fruit, cooked vegetables, peanut butter, and pasta.
  • Stay away from trigger foods or anything that causes the stomach to react. For example, dairy products and sugary foods can make you feel nauseous.
Deal With Emetophobia Step 12
Deal With Emetophobia Step 12

Step 2. Drink clear liquids

Dehydration can cause nausea and dizziness, and trigger emetophobia. Drink clear fluids throughout the day to keep the body hydrated and not burden the stomach.

  • You can drink any liquid that is clear or melts into a clear liquid, such as ice cubes or popsicles.
  • Keep your body hydrated by choosing beverages such as water, fruit juices without grains, soups or broths, and clear sodas such as ginger ale or Sprite.
  • Drink ginger or peppermint tea which can keep the body hydrated and relieve nausea. You can use ready-made ginger or peppermint tea bags or brew your own tea with a few menthol leaves or a piece of ginger.
  • Avoid fluids that can cause nausea, such as alcohol, coffee, or milk.
Deal With Emetophobia Step 13
Deal With Emetophobia Step 13

Step 3. Get enough rest and take a nap

Make sure you get enough sleep at night to relax and to control your fears. Consider a short nap to relieve nausea.

Reduce activity if you are experiencing a severe phase because a lot of movement can stimulate nausea and vomiting

Deal With Emetophobia Step 14
Deal With Emetophobia Step 14

Step 4. Wear loose clothing

Tight clothes will press the stomach. This can cause nausea or make you vomit. Avoiding tight clothing will soothe your stomach and in turn relax you and reduce your fear of vomiting.

Consider what to wear if you want to eat out and you might get bloated. Wearing jeans if you're going to eat pizza or other foods that cause bloating may not be a good idea because once your stomach is filled, your clothes will tighten. Instead, consider casual dresses or shirts with open buttons


  • Seek help as soon as possible if emetophobia is controlling your life.
  • Emetophobia will only get worse if you focus more on your fear than on trying to overcome it.

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