A phobia of vomiting is a condition where an individual fears vomiting or others vomiting (but commonly both). You may often feel sick but vomit phobics are not actually sick any more than someone without a phobia of vomiting. It may become a preoccupation and the only thing you think about. It may be linked to a fear that you will lose control, become very ill, faint or that others will find you repulsive.
As a result you try too hard to avoid a wide range of situations or activities that you might believe might increase of risk vomiting. These include:
- Being near drunks
- Going on a fairground ride
- Being near people who are ill
- Travelling by boat
- Going on holidays abroad
- Travelling by aeroplane
- Drinking alcohol
- Going into crowded places or using public transport
- Eating certain foods
Some people with vomit phobia have avoided general anaesthetic for surgery.
Many women with phobia of vomiting have avoided getting pregnant or terminated a pregnancy. Women with babies might experience a great deal of distress about their child vomiting.
You might excessively check the sell-by date of foods in a shop or eat only small amounts of food. You might be excessive hygienic; check the health of yourself & others; use superstitious behaviours; seek reassurance about whether others are ill or could be sick; or excessively clean the kitchen area.
If you think you are going to vomit, then you might look for an escape route; try to keep tight control of your behaviour, take anti-nausea medication or suck a sweet. All of these are called “safety seeking behaviours” and maintain your fear as you never find out whether you need to use them or not and increase your fear.