Any advice for emetophobia?

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reno_delacey

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Hey everyone. So I've had emetophobia (fear of people being sick/vomiting) for a few years now. It used to be bad if I was unwell myself, but my poor physical health has led me to get over that part of the phobia. However, my fear of seeing/hearing other people throwing up is still terrible. Every time I've heard/seen someone get sick since the phobia started, I've had an awful panic attack. Sometimes they've been so bad that people have called for an ambulance or other medical assistance.

I'm getting really fed up of this phobia, because it makes me extremely paranoid and unwilling to go to a lot of places. For example, I love going to concerts, but the idea of people getting sick on the public transport on the way there or at the concert because of alcohol makes me extremely anxious. I don't go to any parties any more because I know people might get sick if they're drinking, and this has caused me to lose the majority of my friends. I can't even be around someone if they say they just feel a little nauseous. I never watch movies without having a friend check them thoroughly beforehand, and don't go to the cinema to see them any more even though I absolutely love film.

Does anyone know anything I could do to help myself with this phobia? I have reason to believe it originated from a traumatic incident I don't really want to talk about on this post, but I just really want to be able to go out and be with people without freaking myself out about this. Advice from anyone with severe phobias is welcome, but if people have emetophobia advice specifically I'd be extremely grateful.
 
Poopy Doll

Poopy Doll

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Well, if you ever have kids, the kids will get sick. They will throw up. And you're the only adult there. They have to be taken care of. It has to be cleaned up. You would be forced to get over it.

Get yourself a dog. Dog's throw up too.
 
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reno_delacey

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never gonna have a kid, i've got cats and i can sort of deal with them being sick but i can't cope when it's people
 
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Perseida

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I never had to deal emetophobia but I would strongly suggest to confront yourself with your fears in little steps.

Listen to people on the internet who throw up. Watch videos of people throwing up. Use public transport despite the possibility of people throwing up.

Nobody likes throwing up. It feels awful and this bitter-sour taste in one's mouth afterwards is just nasty. But it's not deadly. Not even close. In the end it's just an uncomfortable experience which won't last for more than two minutes.
 
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Kbuckman

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Hi there, I also have emetophobia. It became so bad I had to drop from university for a semester. I first recommend seeing your primary and being honest about your phobia, and ask about an anxiety med, I'm on Flouxetine 20mg. Then you should seek a therapist. I feared seeing a therapist but realized I needed to do this to get better. We did some exposure therapy, but it was not as bad as it sounds, and we first began with saying words associated with vomiting. So we moved at a pace that was comfortable for me, and she was amazing at helping me manage my anxiety symptoms and develop mentally healtly thoughts surround the phobia. I'm still recovering as I've returned to university but it has gotten immensely better. I also have a very wonderful support system who understands and celebrates my sometimes ridiculous milestones haha. Please do let me know if this helps or if you have questions about anxiety meds or finding a therapist. Be proud you took this first step!
 
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RyanC1997

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Hey

Don't be scared. It's normal to carry some sort of baggage around, unfortunately your baggage hasn't been dealt with yet. Totally suggest seeing a therapist!

Ryan
 
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Emma97

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Hi ! I have absolutely the saaame problem, and well, i cant even read or hear or write THE word (i rode the post very anxiously and by hiding some parts...). I check the food that im eating too, do you ?

I don't know what to do anymore, i have anxiety in public places, transports at the university, i dont go out the night in clubs or whatever, im always near an exit, like i don't know if you have the same feeling, last time a drunk guy were in my tram i was so scared that he might be sick my whole body froze like a chill going from head to toes.

And social media? Whats the deal with people filming others being sick ?! Im litteraly crying right now
 
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Neverhappy

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Hey. Long term Emet here!
Totally understand you. Im 43 and have suffered as long as I can remember. I did have a good few glorious years of being fine after therapy, then some shit happened and I slid back down.
Cannot believe someone just said "Have some kids" bit like saying "Heres a spider to an arachophobe". Those people are legit the worst to give advice. And I would strongly recommend anyone with zero experience of phobias to just keep your advice.
The lady/man above was spot on. Its exposure therapy you need. CBT although looks and feels pointless, it isnt. You start with a Hierachy of things manageable. Like above, saying words, watching videos. The thing at the top of the list is what you fear most! Mine is being s**k myself. And you work through the steps desensitizing yourself. They also work on thoughts and how to notice yourself catasrophising and how to change those thoughts with evidence that is positive.
I have 3 children and cannot recommend it with this phobia. If one so much as mentions they feel ill im a state. Recently my 20 year old son had chest pains and felt s**k and an ambulance was called. I couldnt even help my own son and just had a massive panic attack in my room. They had never known before as I hid it so well, im a single mum too and I felt I had to tell them!
All 3 pregnancies were almost terminated due to fear of morning sickness. I consider myself lucky I never had Hyperesis Gravadium! But even now my daughter is 11, any sounds from her room at night has me panicking.
I have been abroad once! Straight after my therapy so that shows you it CAN work! I had an amazing time too.
I too dont go out much, mine is the same, fearing I will see someone be ill or I will feel ill. You are not alone. In fact its one of the more common phobias, after blood!
If you need to chat please feel free.
Wishing you to recover soon!
 
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Emma97

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Exposure therapy really ? It seems impossible to me ...
 
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Neverhappy

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Emma it only has to start with tiny steps. You would be surprised how quick it works. I was home watching ratemyvo*it.com after a few sessions and this was after years of not even being able to hear or see it on films. I was oddly shocked when I found each contender to be a bit naff!
 
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Emma97

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Wow ... i cant really, I need to start with a therapy maybe bc just imagining it I'm starting to feel really really bad ... but thank you very much for the advices
 
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Neverhappy

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I know what you mean. I dreaded doing it and used to work myself into such a sweat. The therapist made it clear she would not tolerate me cancelling and messing her about. I hated her at first! 🤣🤣
 
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Neverhappy

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I restrict eating and things I wont eat, such as so much meat and stick to very beige things! Its awful as its very restricting. If my kids school announced a bug I would keep my kids off for a week which is so pointless. Its my understanding that Emet usually happens to the less s**kly people. Im not sure about anyone else but I can pretty much count my occassions on one hand (thankfully) I often wonder if this is because it happens much rarely so it becomes frightening???
 
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