Emetophobia: The Meaning Behind The Fear Of Vomiting

Last updated by Katie M.

I’ve had a lot of incomprehensible fears, but the one that’s won hands down is the fear of vomiting. It’s called emetophobia, and I was traumatized by this phobia for a long time. Not taken very seriously, or even mocked, the fear of vomiting is actually one of the most common phobias in the world! It’s not a harmless fear, which is just temporary, it hides something deeper. All will be explained.

Emetophobia: The Meaning Behind The Fear Of Vomiting

How do you know if you’re emetophobic?

When you’re emetophobic, you feel deep discomfort at the very idea of vomiting. Beyond that, anything remotely related to vomit makes you uncomfortable 😥: talking about vomiting, seeing/hearing someone vomit, etc. Just writing these few lines makes my stomach churn 🤢! We even develop hypochondria as we’re afraid of catching an illness that makes us sick (stomach bug, our biggest dread). In fact, we end up fearing any situation where we’re likely to vomit: transport journeys, pregnancy, epidemics, contact with children, etc.

Limiting yourself because of the phobia

Emetophobia mainly affects women, which doesn’t help us, as vomiting can be a symptom of pregnancy, particularly during the first trimester 🤰. I admit that the idea of being pregnant paralyses me for this… The fear of vomiting is very disabling as it can limit our social contacts, but also change our behavior. Many emetophobics have for example eating disorders, in order to avoid any food that may make you be sick 😔…

Why are you scared of vomiting?

Emetophobia is considered to be related to other anxiety disorders that may trigger a fear of vomiting. It’s therefore mostly treated as a comorbidity (that accompanies other disorders). It’s true that it’s often linked to social phobia, panic disorder and agoraphobia. Nevertheless, it’s good to ask what’s really behind this fear of vomiting 🤔.

Loss of control, one of the reasons for emetophobia

It’s a bodily loss of a fluid that belongs to us and that we’re supposed to keep inside us. In reality, the fear of vomiting is one of the forms of the fear of losing control 😱. When we’re emetophobic, we fear not being able to control ourselves in front of others, we don’t want to lose control of our body. It’s as if our body is scoffing at us by making an unexpected invasion.

Personally, I think this is true, at least in my case 🧐. I feel that it’s unnatural to vomit and that food shouldn’t go back up the other way. I have eating disorders that hide deeper anxieties and of course, all of this is linked. The need to control my body is important as it reassures me.

How can you get rid of emetophobia?

So what can you do to cure yourself and no longer be afraid of vomiting? I’ve done a lot of work on accepting this phobia, and it’s eased a lot. Of course, I’m not 100% comfortable vomiting, and I’d rather turn my head away when I see someone about to be sick. I no longer have anxiety attacks when I feel like I might be in a situation that could make me vomit, and that’s a relief 🙏.

Therapeutic support is the key to being able to overcome emetophobia. Cognitive and behavioural therapy is the most adapted to phobias, as it aims to “reprogramme” our behaviours. The psychologist will identify the mechanisms at the origin of our anxiety in order to help us build a new way of thinking. CBT is particularly suitable for all types of phobias, but also for anxiety disorders such as generalised anxiety. Doing this sort of therapy really helped me to make progress with my deepest fears 🙌.

Editor’s note: Don’t wait!

Emetophobia, the panicked fear of vomiting, is a very disabling fear as it leads us to avoid many situations and thus affects our social life. The good news is that certain therapies such as CBT are very effective, so don’t wait to make an appointment, don’t let your phobia deprive you of beautiful moments with your close ones.

🤗 Understanding yourself, accepting yourself, being happy... It’s here and now!


Be sure to check out these articles too; 

Article presented by Katie M.

Discover the world through my eyes.

Our most popular 'psychology' articles:

Split Personality

Are you familiar with dissociative personality disorder? You may well think of schizophrenia, yet the two conditions are different. What is dissociative personality disorder? We’ll explain all.

What Are The Weaknesses Of A Narcissist?

Each one of us has our own weaknesses that hold us back in life; be it at work or in relationships. However, on a more positive note, most of us have the will to work on them and transform them. That being said, once narcissists are brought into the picture, the idea that they want to work on their weaknesses doesn’t exactly seem feasible. For a deeper understanding of these narcissists and more insights into the workings of their minds, discover their weak spots and which pointers they struggle with on a daily basis, yet aren't willing to admit or work on.

Can A Narcissist Become Obsessed With Someone?

Now, narcissists are known for demonstrating a worrying lack of empathy along with deviously manipulative traits, oh, and before I forget to mention it, HUGE egos too. Yes, that’s right, they love spending hours looking in the mirror and being told how fabulous they are. To put it in other words, people with this personality disorder are firmly in love with themselves, to the point of being totally obsessed with their so-called perfection, but the question is, can they put their self-admiration aside enough to become preoccupied with someone else?

Are Narcissists Insecure?

There is no denying that narcissistic personalities display some deeply worrying and disturbing traits, but what if these devious traits were just a means of protection? What if they were in fact a complete facade, fabricated to keep people away, in the hope of hiding their deepest darkest insecurities? After all, everyone has weak spots, even the most confident and put together of people, so why wouldn’t a narcissist deal with the same niggling doubts as everyone else? It's time we got to the bottom of this and discovered why these folks are so insecure.

How Does A Narcissist React When They Can’t Control You?

You probably know by now that narcissists only ever look for one thing and one thing only; and that’s control! Whether in their personal or professional life, folks with this personality disorder need to be in the driving seat and the one calling the shots, otherwise all hell breaks loose. Although their cunning and manipulative nature means they are often hard to escape, it is still possible to turn the tables on them and take the upper hand. Yet, you’ll need a thick skin to do so because when they feel their power slipping away, they become even more dangerous and abusive; here’s how they react when that happens.

What Does A Narcissist Hate?

Narcissists are experts in the field of duping and manipulating their victims, yes, that’s right they are true chameleons, which explains why many of them often go undetected. Their behavior is definitely dangerous and means we definitely need to figure out what makes them tick and, in this particular case, what they hate. Understanding what these entitled personalities dislike is one of the keys to best exposing them and freeing their victims from their grip. Now, we all get angry for one reason or another, but people with this personality disorder have different triggers related to the things they despise.

How To Heal From The Pain Of Being Rejected

Whether it’s the breakdown of a relationship, a family dispute, or even being fired dismissal... We have all experienced the feeling of being rejected, excluded, or left out. Whilst some people manage to bounce back quite quickly, others suffer from it in a persistent way. As for me, I understood how to move on, because I was able to recognize my rejection wound. So, how can we overcome the fear of rejection and move on from it?


“He’s lying through his teeth!” You’re confronted with a mythomaniac in your close circle. You had no doubts about what they were saying and after conducting your own little investigation, you’re stunned! They’ve been leading you on since the beginning… They invented a life for themselves. But why? How do you recognize a liar, and how can you protect yourself? We’ll tell you everything.

Why We Feel So Socially Exhausted After Lockdown

“Are you coming to the party on Saturday?” After months of restrictions and several lockdowns, I must admit that I wasn’t expecting to hear this question. So I did a series of things, I had drinks with my girlfriends, I went to parties, lunches, etc. And without realizing it, I felt exhausted. Why do I feel like I've been running on empty since the end of lockdown?

More insights into our personalities:

6 Differences Between Being Self-Centered And Being A Narcissist

When it comes to mental health disorders, the parameters of each condition often seem blurry, and this explains why many of us have trouble identifying them. Plus, certain disorders frequently encompass similar symptoms and traits, making recognizing and therefore understanding them even more complicated. Let’s take being selfish and having a narcissistic personality disorder, for example. Because they overlap on such a huge scale, upon first glance, they do in fact seem indistinguishable to many of us. That being said, when you dig a little deeper, the differences do become more and more apparent.

6 Reasons Why Narcissists Never Apologize - They Hate Saying Sorry

I’ll be the first to admit that my stubbornness means I’m not exactly the most willing person when it comes to uttering the words ‘I’m sorry’, but I always push through my pride; although unfortunately, the same can’t be said for narcissists... Indeed, people who suffer from this personality disorder will simply never hold their hands up and accept responsibility for their actions, despite how deeply they’ve hurt your feelings. You know the idiom getting blood from a stone, right? Well, when it comes to apologies from these toxic personalities, nothing is more appropriate, and here are 6 reasons why!

Ergophobia: When The Fear Of Work Eats Away At You…

I know the real fear of work. I suffered from it for a long time, but I’m happy to say that today I’m cured. It’s an illness that can make others smile, as you can easily be seen as lazy. However, it’s not the case for people suffering from ergophobia, the fear of work. Where does this fear come from? How can it be treated? All will be explained.

I Have Fits Of Anger

Anyone who’s never felt anger can close this article! We’ve all felt this virulent emotion at one time or another 😡. It’s neither bad nor good, but it has the right to exist. It’s healthy to feel angry when you’re betrayed or a victim of an injustice. However, when anger attacks are recurrent, it’s good to learn how to control them. When anger hurts others or ourselves, it becomes a problem.

I’m Scared Of Failure

“I won’t manage it”, “I can’t do it”… I often say this because I doubt my abilities tremendously. Being so negative allows me to calm my fear of failure a bit. By doing nothing, I don’t run the risk of failing. I prefer to do nothing and remain in a state of waiting, for fear of not succeeding. So I procrastinate, thinking about the fact that I didn’t take the plunge out of anxiety. How can I overcome this fear to really start doing things?

Why I Hate Conflict And What I Need To Do To Face It

As soon as I feel tension build up with someone close to me, I take flight. I don’t like conflict, even if I don’t agree with the other person, I run from it. As a result, I keep it all inside of me, which can generate a lot of annoyance. Rather than this eating away at us from the inside, we need to learn to overcome this fear of conflict to make our voice heard. Why do we run away from conflict? How can we overcome this fear? Here are some explanations.

What Are The Signs That You Are Unhappy?

I sometimes feel bad, I don’t have the energy anymore… When we encounter financial, family, or other difficulties, as well as serious events such as bereavement, we accumulate psychological wounds. We can be resilient and move on, but we can also be overwhelmed by a growing sense of unease. There’s no shame in feeling bad psychologically, it happens to us all. However, spotting the signs of unhappiness enables us to be alert and to take care of our mental health.

8 Reasons Why Millennials Feel So Lost

If you ever find yourself watching the news or reading traditional journalism outlets, you’ll no doubt have picked up on the bad rep that millennials get. That’s right, we millennials (those of us who were born between 1981 – 1996) are often criticized for being ‘woke’, overly sensitive, entitled, and lazy. Now, isn’t that a bunch of adjectives you’d instantly like to forget! As you can probably tell, I don’t agree with the evaluation regarding our age group and am here to explain why we feel so lost and disconnected.

Why Do We Like Being Scared?

Making up ghost stories, talking about horrible legends, wanting to talk about spirits… I think we all did it when we were children. Even as adults, if we like watching horror films or documentaries about serial killers, it’s because we love scaring ourselves! 😱 However, the question we may ask ourselves is why we like being scared? There are neuropsychological and sociological reasons behind this attraction. All will be explained!

How To Get Rid Of Your Horrid Complexes

Legs too fat, lips too small, scars or even shyness, whether it’s physical or psychological, complexes often have the bad taste of spoiling our lives and making us unhappy. But we won’t let them do that to us! We’re worth more than that, right?

Wengood's favorite tunes 🎵

How to detect a narcissist

"Be yourself; everyone else is already taken." 

- Oscar Wilde