**Warning – if you are emetophobic, this post may contain quite a few trigger words**
It’s taken me a while to decide if I wanted to write a post about this because I feel like it’s a strange phobia to have, but I decided that emetophobia needs to be more recognised and accepted.
What is emetophobia?
Emetophobia is the fear of vomit, to put it plainly. Usually when I tell people this they reply with “yes, well nobody likes being sick” but this isn’t just a case of not liking it, it’s an intense and irrational fear that effects sufferers greatly.
Emetophobia is different for everyone. Some sufferers are scared of anything involving vomit, or for some it is just a fear of their selves vomiting or a fear of just other people vomiting. There are a lot of different types of emetophobia.
I have only recently started to share with family and friends that I have emetophobia and even the people that I have told, I don’t think they quite get the extent of my phobia.
At the moment it’s almost winter in the UK, and for people with emetophobia, this time of the year is terrifying, it’s the time where stomach bugs and norovirus are everywhere.
How does someone develop emetophobia?
For a lot of emetophobics, it is developed after a traumatic experience involving vomit. Although, for some people (including me) there is no reason for the phobia, it just develops.
How does this phobia effect a person?
For someone with emetophobia, every day is a struggle. From the moment we wake up we are wary about feeling nauseous and we analyse every little thing that our body does that we consider abnormal, just in case it means that we are going to get sick. A lot of suffers avoid certain foods, and many of us refuse to eat out at restraunts. We avoid leaving the house, for fear of catching a stomach virus, and the rare time we do leave the house, we carry a bottle of hand sanitizer everywhere, then when we arrive home we count down for the next 72 hours (stomach bug incubation period). If after 72 hours we are not sick, we will accept that we haven’t caught a stomach bug, but the 72 hours leading up to that moment are hell. We avoid alcohol, and the thouht of going out clubbing surrounded by drunk people, is an absolute nightmare. We will avoid family and friends that are ill, and possibly be scared to go anywhere near them for the next few weeks. When we are out and someone mentions that they don’t feel very well, panic stations set in, and we can’t help but ramble 20 questions to the person, to try and analyse whether they are feeling sick, or just have a cold.
There are a lot more ways in which emetophobia effects daily life, but I don’t want to go on, for fear of rambling. I may make a separate post on it if anyone is interested!
If you are suffering with emetophobia, you are not alone. There are many of us, it is actually one of the most common phobias, which is hard to believe seeing as though many people have never heard of it.
Emetophobia is a real thing, and very hard to live with. We need to speak up about this phobia! X