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Vomit Phobia – Fear of Vomiting (Emetophobia)

Fear of Vomiting (Emetophobia)

Emetophobia is the fear of vomiting. Although vomit phobia may appear to be a simple phobia, it may actually be a symptom of OCD, social anxiety, or agoraphobia.

Flu season will be quickly upon us and with it comes an unfortunate increase in the likelihood of experiencing fevers, coughs, runny noses, vomiting, and the like.

Although no one enjoys being sick, this time of year poses particular challenges for individuals suffering from “vomit phobia”, or emetophobia, the fear of throwing up.

The fear of vomiting can affect individuals of all ages. It sometimes emerges in childhood and, if untreated, may follow a relatively chronic course. However, it can also develop well into adulthood, sometimes taking root after a negative health experience (e.g., after getting food poisoning or after experiencing an episode of severe or uncontrolled vomiting).

Vomit Phobia in Children and Teens

Consequences associated with the fear of throwing up can be extreme. In children, vomit phobia can lead to school refusal and avoidance. Academic performance may suffer, and children may miss out on certain developmentally important social milestones. If a child or teenager is afraid of getting nauseous or throwing up, he or she may avoid birthday parties, sleepovers, dating, and eating out at restaurants. Missing out on these activities can affect relationships and impact social development, which may lead to chronic social impairments. Even when longstanding social problems do not develop, children with vomit phobia still experience a great deal of unhappiness, fear, anxiety, and distress.

Fear of Vomiting in Adults

Adults with the fear of vomiting may also be significantly impaired by their symptoms. They may have more absences from work and may avoid work-related travel, which can affect opportunities for advancement. They will often dread meetings, during which they may feel trapped and uncomfortable, and may avoid certain job responsibilities like public-speaking or presenting.  This can leave otherwise bright and capable individuals stagnating in jobs that are beneath their true capabilities. Vomit phobia also affects travel for leisure and dining out, and can wreak havoc on romantic relationships.

Women with the fear of vomiting may experience extreme distress at the thought of becoming pregnant and experiencing morning sickness. Women with the fear of morning sickness may delay starting families, and some may choose to never have children at all due to the fear of recurrent vomiting during pregnancy. Clearly, this can have profound and lasting effects on one’s life.

What is Emetophobia?

Emetophobia is defined as an excessive or irrational fear about the act, or possibility, of vomiting. However, this relatively straightforward definition belies the many, rather complex factors that may explain the development of the fear of vomiting in different individuals.

In my South Florida psychological practice (Palm Beach County, FL), I rarely encounter cases of “vomit phobia” that truly represent simple phobias.

In the individuals I typically treat who have the fear of vomiting, symptoms are often best explained by another underlying condition, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), social anxiety, or agoraphobia. In this post, we’ll discuss these different possible etiologies. But first, let’s talk about some of the behaviors that are common to these different manifestations of vomit phobia.

Symptoms of vomit phobia are diverse and include 1) behaviors that are designed to reduce the possibility of getting sick or throwing up, 2) checking behaviors used to detect early signs of illness, 3) health-promoting behaviors used to reduce the impact of illness, and 4) avoidance of situations in which vomiting might be particularly embarrassing or distressing. Common symptoms of emetophobia include:

Symptoms of Vomit Phobia


  • Avoidance of foods or smells associated with past vomiting episodes.
  • Avoidance of germs, hospitals, and sick people.
  • Holding one’s breath when around other people.
  • Refusing to shake hands with others.
  • Avoidance of garbage and other foul-smelling or dirty things.
  • Excessive handwashing or bathing.
  • Excessive use of vitamins.
  • Excessive cleaning of foods.
  • Excessive cleaning of food prep surfaces.
  • Avoidance of non-packaged foods.
  • Throwing away food before it has reached its expiration date.
  • Checking other people for signs of illness.
  • Excessive smelling and checking of food.
  • Overcooking food to kill potential pathogens.
  • Avoidance of eating new foods (or extreme anxiety when eating new foods).
  • Eating the same (limited) foods over and over again to avoid stomach upset.
  • Avoidance of foods that look “weird.”
  • Anorexia, i.e., the complete avoidance of eating or severe restrictions in eating.
  • Preemptive use of antacids.
  • Avoidance of eating foods when away from home.
  • Checking for the locations of bathrooms (when away from home).
  • Restricting travel away from home (staying at home, avoiding social activities).
  • School avoidance or work avoidance.
  • Taking one’s temperature excessively or monitoring one’s body for other signs of illness (e.g., checking lymph nodes).
  • Superstitious rituals designed to avoid getting sick.
  • Only eating foods after other people have already eaten them.
  • When eating in public, monitoring other people’s reactions to their food.
  • Excessive concern about non-documented food allergies.
  • Avoidance of public speaking responsibilities or other situations in which one is the center of attention.
  • Avoidance of meetings or other situations in which one might feel trapped, or situations in which one could not easily escape if they became ill.
  • Avoidance of planes, cars, and/or public transportation in order to avoid feeling trapped.

Vomit phobia may develop spontaneously, or it may develop following a traumatic vomiting experience. Ironically, some of the rituals and avoidance behaviors that people develop in response to the fear of vomiting may actually lead to increased nausea sensitivity.

In many cases, emetophobia is a sign of another underlying condition. To clarify the underlying cause of your vomit phobia (if any), you might ask yourself this simple question:

What would be so bad about vomiting?

Your answer to this question might help you determine if your vomit phobia reflects underlying OCD, agoraphobia, or social anxiety. See if your answer to the above question is similar to any of the answers below:

A) What could be worse? Vomiting could be the sign of something seriously wrong with me. People die of influenza every year.

B) It would be humiliating. What if I can’t make it to a bathroom in time, and my friends or co-workers see me throw up? It would be too embarrassing, and I don’t know how I could face them again.

C) I could get trapped somewhere. What if I couldn’t find a bathroom in time?

D) Vomiting is just too awful, and I just couldn’t handle it.

Fear of Vomiting as Agoraphobia

People with agoraphobia would most likely relate to options B and C. Remember that although most people think about agoraphobia in the context of panic attacks, agoraphobia can also be conceptualized more broadly as the fear of having a physical symptom attack in a setting in which escaping or getting help would be difficult.  If your primary fear is not focused on the act of vomiting itself but rather on the possibility of getting sick in a situation in which escape would be difficult, embarrassing, or impossible, then agoraphobia might underlie your vomit phobia.  As such, people with agoraphobia might cope well with vomiting when at home but would be fearful of vomiting when outside of their own household.

OCD & Vomit Phobia

People with OCD may be more likely to endorse items A and D.  People whose vomit phobia is driven by OCD may consider vomiting as a sign of something dangerous and may also underestimate their ability to cope with the act of vomiting itself.  People with OCD-related emetophobia may tend to exhibit more global fears about vomiting relative to those with agoraphobia or social anxiety.  Vomiting may be experienced as equally dangerous or distressing regardless of the setting in which it occurs.  Other characteristics of OCD-related fear of throwing up may include a greater variety of cleaning and checking rituals, as well as avoidance behaviors.  Individuals with OCD often recognize logically that their rituals are excessive and yet feel powerless to reduce them.

Fear of Throwing Up Associated with Social Phobia (Social Anxiety)

People with social anxiety are more likely to select B and C, which can make it hard to differentiate from agoraphobia.  This is understandable, given that many individuals with the fear of throwing up have symptoms consistent with both social anxiety and agoraphobia.  The difference between these two possibilities is that individuals with vomit phobia related to social anxiety would be relatively okay with the idea of getting sick in a remote or secluded place (e.g., when walking alone in the forest).  People with agoraphobia would likely find this possibility distressing because it might be difficult to get help (if needed).  Thus, social anxiety-related vomit phobia is primarily concerned with the social consequences of being sick in public rather than the availability of help/escape.

Please note that the above descriptions are oversimplifications of complex phenomena.  OCD, agoraphobia, and social anxiety are not mutually exclusive, and individuals may have symptoms consistent with several different forms of anxiety at the same time.

Treatment of Vomit Phobia

Treatment of emetophobia is best accomplished through cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), which uses specific tools to reduce symptoms of vomit phobia. Treatment of vomit phobia involves correcting faulty beliefs about illness and disease, reducing avoidance behaviors, confronting challenging situations, and ultimately overcoming your fears.

For more information about cognitive behavioral treatment of emetophobia, please contact my South Florida psychological practice in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

Questions? Comments? Struggling with the fear of throwing up? Sound off below.

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  1. I fear vomiting because of the contamination issues–with my contamination OCD, I want to avoid situations where I have to clean up after a vomiting episode.

  2. Tina, until I just read your comment, I did not think that I feared vomiting. Oh, but you are right!!! The idea of touching the toilet totally grosses me out, and then there are the germs of the vomit itself. Ugh. I’m cringing just typing about it!

  3. I also fear vomit. I am not talking about the act of vomiting, but the vomitus itself, i..e, the contents of the vomit, which usually consist of mild hydrochloric acid and pepsin, as well as other digestive enzymes.
    I am afraid that they will touch my belongings and damage them. For example, I am afraid that the pepsin (a catalyst, which means that they will not be eaten up once it has reacted with the substance) will eat away my wool sweater. Or to be more general, I am afraid the hydrochloric acid will bleach the clothes.
    I constantly “see” vomit everyhwere. The other day I went to Target and it was raining. And there was this puddle of liquid / mushed something on the street by the parking lot. and I might step on it. Usually, I will just throw away my shoes (I have thrown multiple shoes; albeit expensive.) This time I will keep them. I feel that now the are of where the boots are sitting is contaminated with vomit. But I determined to wearing them again tonight. I can conecentrate at the moment at work, but I guess this is what ERP is all about…
    If you guys have any consoling thoughts about it, or insights, I would really appreciate it. And yes, I am going to start with a new therapist next month.

    • Really good for you for wearing your boots again. I’m sorry this is so hard for you. I too have thrown out TONS of stuff, including many pairs of shoes. Ugh. I can’t even tell you how much money I’ve wasted and I feel terrible about that. But with CBT/ERP, these types of things have gotten much easier. Yes, I definitely do still struggle at times, but not nearly as bad as I used to. Good luck with your new therapist and with working on ERP. You CAN do it.

      • Thanks for sharing, Sunny. You’ve worked very hard at this! It’s always great to hear a story of hard work that has paid off! 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing here. Your story provides a great example of how individualized emetophobia can be. Keeping the boots is an incredible victory! Way to go!

      As you move forward, you’ll want to make sure that the fear of having your personal items damaged is reflected appropriately on your hierarchy. You would likely benefit from many of the same exposures that would be completed by someone with a fear of illness, but you’ll also want to target your feared outcome directly. To do so, you will want to determine if the consequences of clothing damage are more social (e.g., “It would be embarrassing if people noticed my bleached out clothing.”), perfectionism (e.g., “I feel like I need to look ‘right’.”) or loss-related ( “I’ll never find a shirt like that again.”). ERP can then be used to target the appropriate domain. In addition to in vivo ERP, imaginal exposure will probably be very helpful.

      All the Best!

      • Thank you guys for your encouragement!
        Yes I cannot really wait to start the new therapy!
        Dr Seay, I think my fear of clothing damage is related to the three factors you mentioned;
        1. Social (I feel people will regard me highly if I look nice – I am fully aware of it because I live in a superficial metropolitan city)
        2. Perfectionism
        3. Loss-related (Following point #1; that is too look nice, I have tendencies to buy extra expensive clothes. Plus I am petite. So if they are damaged, not only I see it as a financial loss but also another pain searching for a new replacement).

        And I believe the trigger because I relocated for job. (I moved from a superficial warm city to another 4-season metropolitan city, which is dirty and need a lot of walking). I was feeling homesick. I did not have this fear before I moved here. One day my bathroom bathtub was clogged, a maintenance guy came and proceed to use chemical drain cleaner recklessly. Due to my nature, immediately I did some research online and learned the beauty of some “corrosive” chemical components. That’s when the fear became full blown. From lye (NaOH), the fear started growing into fear of any corrosive chemicals. That’s when I start reading about HCl / gastric juice, as well as pepsin.

        I apologize that this respond becomes more like venting! 🙂
        Thank you for this website. I really like what you write.

        And pardon my grammar. I am typing as I try to finish a client’s report 🙂

        • Ok, I see. So in this case, you’re really targeting something more general than strict emetophobia. Think creatively about how you might develop exposures that transcend vomit content, so that you cover all the relevant domains. Exposures involving other chemicals, as well as socially-relevant situations, will be helpful. If you haven’t done much reading about OCD, you might consider doing so, as I think an OCD conceptual model will allow you to pull these different areas together.

    • I have to admit, that’s an interesting angle as far as where your emetophobia stems from…since it requires the vomit or other caustic material to come in contact with you, and I take it the obsession/fear stems from the overwhelming feeling that it might no matter how careful you are?

      I’m amazed to see my entire life listed out like that. It really demonstrates to me how much this fear has affected my life. It started in early childhood for me, and primarily answers A and D apply to me (I have health anxiety and contamination-centric OCD, so that makes sense). So…wow. Thank you for these articles, and thank you for going so in depth about these topics. So many experts and writers seem to stop short on what’s -really- going on when we’re struggling with anxiety over a particular issue.

      • Thanks for reading, Flower. Anxiety can certainly be astounding in all the different forms it can take. It sounds like in your case, it’s more the unpleasantness of the act itself rather than the social consequences.

  4. Hi I’m Olivia I’m 10 years old and in sixth grade, I have a severe problem with throwing up. I don’t understand why this happens I saw a boy do it in class in 1st grade, then tested for different dieseses. All of the tests turned out negative, except for hpilory which is a stomach diesese by bacteria trapped in you intestines. I was tested in 2011 again And every thing was negative thank God. At school when ever I tend to think about it my stomach hurts and I miss my Mom. Can you tell me some tecniques on how to stop.

    • Exposure therapy is the best treatment for emetophobia. As the article suggests, approaches are tailored to your specific fears. Talk with your Mom about your worries and consider getting a therapist to help design a program specifically for you. Your program might include looking at pictures/videos of vomit, smelling things that smell like vomit, imagining what it would be like to throw up in class, etc.

      • Only the person who is not emetophobic and doesn’t understand this condition at all can suggest exposure therapy. I see a lot of articles on the web written by psychologists advocating for the same treatment approach, but that only shows how little they know about this particular phobia. That’s not spiders or heights or bodies of water we are talking about. Hearing the words “exposure therapy” for a true emetophobic is like suggesting a regular person to be sprinkled with gasoline, set on fire and let him know there will be no help available until he turns into ashes.
        Emetophobes know that this fear is irrational and vomiting wouldn’t kill them, but for many of them a quick death would actually be preferable to picking up norovirus.

        May be exposure therapy works for other phobias, but this is a clear example of one size not fitting all. I understand that psychologist are trained to deal with phobias by exposure therapy, and that would make their lives much easier: Oh, you say you’re scared of dogs? Fine, I’ll gradually expose you to some dog sounds, smells, hair, images, and then the actual beast you are currently terrified of… However, exposing an emetophobe this way would literally mean torturing this person and reinforcing his phobia.

        • Liza,

          It sounds like you might have the wrong idea about what exposure therapy for emetophobia entails. It DOES NOT involve forcing you to do anything you don’t want to do, nor does it involve trapping you or tricking you. Rather, the goal is to help empower you to get better at handling situations that your emetophobia has affected. In other words, ERP is designed to build you up and help you become more confident in facing challenging situations.

          Have you ever formally consulted with a psychologist about this? I would recommend someone who specializes in treating emetophobia and/or OCD rather than a general practitioner who doesn’t have expertise. Someone without experience may misunderstand what exposure therapy involves, and thus, implement treatment in the wrong way (i.e., your gasoline analogy). If something like that happens, it’s bad therapy. Those types of outcomes reflect the skill of the practitioner (or lack thereof) rather than the true effectiveness of good ERP.

          It’s important for you to understand that exposure is built around a hierarchy of feared situations and/or stimuli. This hierarchy is different for each person — it is not one-size-fits-all. You would learn to handle and cope with easier situations before progressing to the more difficult ones. Treatment is calibrated precisely to what bothers you and how your symptoms affect your daily life.

          No need to take my word for it. Attend the IOCDF conference, go to some emetophobia workshops, and talk with people who have actually completed exposure therapy for emetophobia.

          In the end, it’s your choice. You always have the option of continuing to avoid. But that life isn’t easy, either. There’s a cost that comes with avoidance, as avoidance forces you to give up many of the things that you may care about.

          But really, it’s all up to you.

          • Thanks for responding. I know that the exposure therapy is not for me as I wouldn’t be able to trust anybody when it comes to this. Lately there was an influx of information on mindfulness as a treatment for emetophobia. Some articles claim that it’s as effective as CBT if done by a trained professional. Unfortunately, very few of us can find these professionals. But this is something I would love to try.

  5. Hi,
    I have been suffering from emet for 21 years… I’ve been in and out of hospitals for eating disorders, stemming from my fear, and I’ve been on and off anti-anxiety medication since age 9. The fear has completely taken over my day to day living. I still go to work and go about my regular day, but the thought is CONSTANTLY in my mind. I work in a school district so I am constantly exposed, my daughter attends daycare so she brings a lot of lovely things home, and I am constantly aware and avoiding things because of this. I wash my hands so much they are cracked and bleeding, I will not enjoy a glass of wine, I will not eat with my fingers. I panic if there’s a flu going around for fear of catching it. As we speak, my daughter is recovering from a stomach flu and I was probably the worst mother on the planet. I relied on my mother to care for her – I was afraid to hold her, touch her and really be near her. This is a little 2 year old girl that I love with every ounce of my being…and it breaks my heart to know that I let this phobia get in the way of what she needs from me. Yet I can’t seem to stop it. IT’s awful.
    I am afraid of vomiting but not so much afraid of others…. just the fact that I might catch the bug from them. If someone said that I wouldn’t catch it, I would be right in there helping them.
    It’s very frustrating and I have had little to no success in therapy. i’m at my wits end and very discouraged as a mother.

    • Hi Lisa,

      This sounds like OCD, rather than pure emet, and I suspect that you would be most likely to benefit from concentrated exposure and response prevention (ERP). You’ve been living with this for many years, and it certainly sounds like it has greatly affected your quality of life. is a great place to find providers. If you’re willing to consider more intensive therapy, I would recommend that you check out their list of intensive outpatient programs (IOPs) for OCD.

      Wishing you the best in your recovery…

      • Thanks. I looked at the website but nothing in my area. I’ll do some research into other therapists in the area though.

        Thanks again!

        • Another option would be to check out the website of the Anxiety Disorders Association of America.

  6. Hello, I’m Nadja and I had the fear of vomiting since I was 7 when my brother decided to throw up in the back seat of our car, beside me. I never screamed like that in my life. I’m 13 now, and the fear has been haunting me for these past 6 years, but it was weaker, till this summer. I started eating less and loosing kilos(I’m slightly overweight). I was always used to consuming alot of food and this suddent change really stresses me out, and it still does. I even started keeping away from food, eating really small portions and really avoiding anyone who is potencially sick(publick buses are a major problem). I am always sick and tired. My parents are refusing to belive in my fear, saying it is just a silly irrational feeling. I dont think so, and Im sick of beeing like this. Is there any way to treat this?

  7. Wow, I KNEW emetophobia could share traits with OCD. No wonder why I’ve suffered so much before.

    I’ve had emetophobia (I might as well still have, but in a lesser degree) for over 10 years of my life, and it was also linked with agoraphobia.

    Great article!

  8. hey..I am from greece,24 years old and isuffer from emetophobia .I can’t to anything,Im stuck inside my home, I stop hanging out with my friends and I can’t even attend my college lessons.I was taking tavor and lexotanil until I became a “junkie” and now im only taking antidepressants which I find useless. I will start therapy but I can;t be optimistic because I have tried everything(reiki,yoga,etc) and they seem to work for the first couple of days and then , my phobia is back. Please give me some courage because Im sick of my life, Im afraid I WILL end up all alone,a prisoner inside my home.

  9. I’m just scared if throwing up because I don’t want to know how it feels. I really don’t know why I’m afraid. I just freak out and it stops me from going to summer camp and places. I wash my hands all the time and shower twice a day. School hasent started yet and the fear has gotten so much worse since last year. Last year I missed a lot if school because of this but I’m afraid I will miss a lot more school this year unless I get major help. Also I freak out when someone says the work throw up or vomit or something-I can’t believe I’m writing it know-and I take an extra vitamin everyday. Please help

  10. Hi,
    I am looking at this information because I THINK my 7 year old daughter may have a fear. I want to help her sooner rather than later. She has stopped staying out overnight at family’s homes because her Auntie was sick when she last stayed. (She finally told me this was the reason 2 months later). Her Daady and I have been separated for 2 years but she cried for her Daddy for the first time last night at bedtime, I think because, As we walked up the stairs to bed I had said I felt sick…? I think these maybe the early signs but I want to help her before it gets out of hand.
    Anything I can do at home to help her?

    Many thanks in advance

  11. I am wondering if my 6 year old daughter may suffer from one of these disorders. During school (last May) a classmate of hers threw up after eating lunch in the lunchroom. Ever since then, she struggles with going to school without crying. Up until this point, she has loved school. It has now become a huge ordeal getting her to go to school without worrying and/or crying. She begs for me to come during lunchtime to eat with her and expresses her concern with the lunchroom. She even has to sleep with a bucket by her bed at night, fearing she’ll get sick during the night. Are these characteristics of something I need to address with professional help, or is this simply a phase that she will ‘get over’? Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    • Hello, I wanted to see how things were going for you. I have a very similar incident with my daughter. She just turned 7 and after the first week of school she, without warning, started to cry going to school. She never had a day with worry or issue in kinder or about school. I didn’t understand what was going on. Every day since the third day of school, she would be fine to go, but once she hit campus, for first grade would cry quietly in line. She would not talk to anyone. She begged my husband and I to come at lunch or recess. We found out that someone threw up right in front of her at lunch recess and again the next morning in morning line. It has gotten worse each day. I finally got her to open up about the issue…after months of thinking she was bullied or something. Things got so bad we pulled her from school for a few weeks because she was so distraught. She wants to be there, but can’t. We are not in counseling and starting all kinds of things to help her. I am wondering how things are going for your daughter..I guess looking for hope? I mean, she was perfectly normal before issues…and now is afraid of school (recess and lunch or morning line) and now it’s spilling over in crowded situations where there are a lot of kids.

      • We are having the same issues with our 9yr old daughter…she hasn’t been in her portable for 2 weeks…she just sits in the office…we don’t know what to do

  12. My daughter is more fearful of getting vomit ON her from someone else getting sick due to being in a tent and not being able to get out of the way fast enough and woke up this way! Now, as a teen, she won’t eat! Whenever her tummy hurts because of not eating enough, she thinks she may vomit so she never eats and I do not know what to do and I am scared because she keeps dropping pounds!

  13. Thank you for the break down on vomit phobia. My daughter just turned 10 yrs old today and for the past 5 yrs she has been seriously afraid of people throwing up. She has missed an enormous amount of days at school because of children throwing up. We were good this year until this past Friday and a child threw up right beside her in her class. Now she has severe anxiety and doesn’t want to go back to school. She wants me to get her a babysitter and have her homeschooled. Well I don’t want that to happen because I don’t want this disorder to get the best of her. I don’t know what to do anymore. I have had her to the doctor, psychologist and had blood test done. Nothing has worked so far. Please tell me what else I can try>>>>>>

    • Hello, how is it going..see my post above…we are going through the same things. My daughter (7) begs me also to not make her go to school…due to the same situation. I wanted to see if you had any successes or advice. This also happened to us for the first time this August when she started first grade…same situation….someone got sick right in front of her. We hope to start behavior therapy this week. We already sought counseling, looked into medication to help and also been consulting with the pediatrician. Thanks for any updates you can provide.

  14. Hi I’m writing this as I’ve been anxious since my little girl was sick yesterday. I can’t stop worring . I want to be there for her 100% and feel so weak ! She is the one sick not me!! As soon as I know some one is sick I shut off and go into complete anxiety mode . Help!!!!!

  15. Well, I’m sure that my fear is related to a bad experience I had as a kid. I used to suffer terribly from the phobia of thunderstorms, but now that has receded some what and the fear of throwing up has taken its place. I only get scared at night when it”s time to go to bed, which was when i had the bad experience as a kid. I’m not exactly sure if this is related to OCD or a social phobia. What do you think?

  16. The idea of the act of vomiting, vomit itself, and other people’s vomit isn’t very pleasant. But I find the way I think of it is obsessive. It didn’t really bother me up until September of 2013. My parents were out of state at the time and my grandparents came over to watch my siblings and I. During the night, my little sister vomited multiple times due to the stomach bug and I felt helpless and was ridden with anxiety since my parents were away. They make me feel safe and secure, and my grandparents do not. Pretty much the entire night I was on the phone with my parents crying and extremely anxious. I was too afraid to let my sister sleep alone, because I was so fearful of her throwing up in her sleep or choking on her own vomit. The night my parents came home, my grandpa got the stomach bug (a horrible case that lasted days), and around 3 p.m. that same night, I did too. It wasn’t very traumatic for me though. Then my other sibling, (whom I was sharing a bed with since my grandparents were using her bedroom) an hour later woke up coughing and I jumped out of the bed and asked if she needed to throw up. She ran out of the bed but didn’t make it the the toilet and threw up on my bedroom floor. THIS is what completely traumatized me. I was so wired up from my sibling being sick while my parents were gone, and then once they come back, everyone is sick! I hate the thought of other people throwing up in my presence, on me, and just in general. Then the next day my dad got the bug and so did my grandma. Right now at this moment, I am awake in the early hours of the morning for the third night in a row because I can’t shake the thought of the possibility of vomiting or one of my family members vomiting. I went to a theme park earlier today and could not enjoy myself because of the fear of seeing someone vomit or of myself vomiting. I think about it so much, that I actually get nauseous. I’m 14 years old. I’m tired. My parents think I’m a hypochondriac and do not take how I feel mentally and psychologically, seriously. I know I’ve been suffering from social anxiety ever since I switched from a private school to a public school. It was a huge change for me and made me lose self confidence and lower my self-esteem. I freak out in my mind whenever someone casually says, “Hey we should hang out sometime!” Because I know I’ll have to make an excuse as to why I cannot hang out with them. I’m pretty much isolating myself and I hate this. On a happier note (lol), I’m just starting to eat healthier and excersize more to maybe decrease the possibility of getting an infection that will cause me to vomit. I’m pretty sure I just read that changing your life to avoid dealing with vomit it bad, but how bad and excersizing and clean eating be?

  17. My 7 year old daughter recently has developed an extreme fear of others vomiting. She experienced a rather nasty episode of another student vomiting in the classroom about a month ago. Since then there have been at least 2 additional instances where she has witnessed someone vomit at school. Thus, she is struggling on a daily basis with the anxiety of it all. She gets nauseous and then fears she herself is going to get sick. She complains of a stomachache daily and gets tearful around lunch time daily. I have tried peppermint and antiacids to calm her stomach as well as creating a book of pictures that make her happy and help her forget. However, this does not seem to be helping. The hard part is that there continue to be cases of vomiting among students in her hallway which doesn’t help.. Any suggestions would be helpful…

  18. Hi, My name is Morgan and I am 11 years old, Going to be 12 in a month from tomorrow. So here are some experiences of vomiting I have had in my life from all I could pretty much remember from a long while go. 1st, I first got the bug when I was 2 in the back of the car on my way home from my mothers old job which was at a daycare. my 2nd experience was when I 5. That was when I really had the bug, Vomiting and having excessive diarrhea but It was really cool that day because I got an xbox with a game called crash my dad have gotten my and my brother. I ate chicken noodle soup when I woke up from a nap which was from 1-pm to 5-pm . I was better the next day. So my 4th experience of vomiting was when I was 6 or 7 in the first grade. My friend Adriana Got sick and was throwing up. My teacher asked If I could take her in the elevator (She had a broken leg) up to the nurse. I refused because I wasn’t scared but I was very grossed out. 5th experience really wasn’t that bad.I In 2nd grade, My friend vomited during a spelling test all over the floor. I wasn’t grossed out, nor terrified. This isn’t really bad but, I puked when getting over headed at a beach 6th experience was a terror! Which was third grade when I was 9. For our whole glass getting a 95% or above on a test we had a pizza party. That was the worst! A boy threw up for 20 minutes While I ran back to the hanging thingies where our backpacks were and put my ear muffs on and shoved my head in my backpack LOL. My teacher was so grossed out she threw up in another trash can. The whole class ran out of the classroom and sat on the stairs to get fresh air. It was funny but that’s when my Vomit-Phobia started. So, March 31st 2013 my whole house got the stomach bug except for me. My brother threw up all day and all night for 2 days my mom got the bug with diarrhea and feeling like vomiting but never did. My 1 year old brother (Who is 2 almost 3 in may now)He only threw up once but had a high fever of 103.3. my dad got it a few days later. My other time from throwing up I Had the but I vomited 2 times about 11:45 pm on October 2nd 2013 c: I stayed home from school the next day, No fever or any vomiting my mom just wanted me to be sure if I was well enough, Which I was better the first day. Now today I was playing a game called I went to get my lunch a honey-ham sandwich and potato chips and when I finished I took my last bite then gagged it out. I ran outside in the freezing rain with no shoes on and got a cup of water from the sink and took sips slowly. Apparently I felt so bad I was out there for 25-30 minutes then my mom and dad forced me to came inside. I was all stiff in the legs scared I was going to puke I took a thousand sips of water and I fell asleep on the kitchen table. I woke up now I feel completely fine. My mom said I had acid re-flux as a toddler and it may be coming back. I took a tums and feel way better now. I Am very very scared to vomit because it makes me feel like I am going to die, pass out and have a panic attack. I am terrified I lock myself in my room sometimes skipping dinner when a family member is sick trying to avoid getting sick with this crappy bug. I don’t know what to do. neither does my mom. She wanted me to post this online here to see if I can get tips and replies on what to do. So If any of you out there in this world have any tips or advice it will be helpful. Thank you.

  19. My son is 11.we went out to a local beauty spot and he had and ice cream,chocolate brownie and a lge milkshake over the space of about two hours.He then started to complain about feeling sick,he didnt actually throw up but he was retching and felt terribly sick,I put this down to a mixture of overeating and being overtired.Since this happens everytime he eats he gets stomach cramps and starts to fret and panic that he is going to be sick.I have booked him for an appointment with my gp and am hoping he may help.My son is a very anxious and fearful over sensitive little boy so I think this may well have a bearing on his feelings.I was the same at his age and have needed antidepressants and ibs medication for 25 yrs.I wondered if this looks like the start of sickness phobia.many thanks

  20. Hey, I’m 21 years old, I’ll be 22 in a week and I am BEYOND terrified of throwing up. It goes back as far as I can remember, I used to do anything just to get the nurse to call my grandma to come get me from school. In Kindergarten I would actually eat lunch in my homeroom class just to keep from going to the cafeteria and smelling all of the different foods and seeing everyone else eating. It was bad then, but its getting worse and I’m really starting to get worried. The fear is so bad that I can recall actual dates of when I threw up. I don’t throw up often, maybe once every 6 years, but I recently found out that I have severe acid reflux, I can drink water and it feels like my stomach is on fire. So I was prescribed anti acids everyday and just as a precaution I sleep with rolaids on the table beside my bed and this isnt helping the phobia at all, instead its just like pouring gasoline on a fire. Im worried that if I keep this up I’ll develop a serious eating disorder. I refuse to eat out, stay the night at places, be around sick people anything to keep my chances of throwing up to a minimum. But for about a month now I’ve began to eat less and less in a day. When I do eat, I’ll force myself to stop, I even stay up sometimes all night just to make sure I’m not sick. I feel ridiculous, and i know when im working myself up, but by then I’m just too scared to do anything about it. My grandma knows how bad it is so she’s always checking on me and asking if I’m OK. She’s the only comfort I feel like I have. I’ve told a lot of people but they just don’t understand and they’ll say things like “Oh jeez, I throw up all the time its no big deal” or “yeah I don’t like to either I know how you feel”, but i know that they just don’t know what I mean. Even my girlfriend of 5 years doesn’t understand. I have another huge fear, needles, but I’d take 5 shots every day for the rest of my life just to keep from throwing up. This is my first internet post ever, but after reading this article and some comments I just wanted to add my story and how bad this can get…

  21. Hi I’m Olivia and I’m 13 I have a real issue with vomit I don’t think I have a problem with me vomiting like it scares me to vomit but I can’t even Bear to be in the same general area as someone who even says they feel like vomiting its getting so bad that I get really really scared when someone says that they feel like vomiting or do vomit I can handle looking at vomit and smelling it but when I hear people vomiting I just freak out PLEASE HELP!

  22. Iv`e alway been scared of vomiting, but Iv`e had the fear increase as Iv`e gotten older. I think that mostly it`s about control for me, because nothing is more frightening than losing control as far as I`m concerened,plus the gross out factor. The other thing is vomiting in public, that`s the worst case scenario. I remember that I had a stomach virus when I was ten years old,& threw up at school infront of my classmates, not once but twice. They teased me about it for the rest of the school year, & I felt so disgusted with myself & ashamed for doing something so gross in front of other people. I still cringe when I think of it.

  23. I’m VERY scared of ______ __. I can’t even bare typing the word. I’m a 13 year old girl. I’m so scared that someone will at school or on the bus. When ever someone in my family does it I just plugg my ears, close my eyes and run away. I can’t enjoy anything. I won’t have sleepovers with my friends, or go to the movies. It’s flu season and lots of kids at my school are getting sick so when ever I hear someone say they aren’t feeling well I just sit at my desk plug my ears and try not to cry. I’ve never had the flu and i hope I never will. one of the only things that makes me feel better is CHEWING GUM!!!! Polar ice to be exact. Whenever my tummy or head hurts as soon as I start chewing gum it automatically helps and makes me feel better. I chew at least a pack daily. One of the only times I remember _______ __ is when I was like 7/8 maybe I ate oatmeal the night before then I got sick that night. Now I refuse to eat oatmeal and I hate blue buckets. Well, that’s my story. I hope my fear gets better.

  24. Hi. My name is Lacey and I am 30 years old. I’ve suffered from fear of vomit since childhood but recently had a bad episode and now it’s ruining my life. I hide in my bathroom at the thought of a stomach cramp I cry and I don’t for out much. I need help but my area doesn’t really offer a lot of help for people like me. I am so desperate for relief. I am so unhappy and my relationship of 10 years is suffering. I don’t know what to do anymore but I just can’t keep living this way. If rented anybody out there Who has any solutions for help and support it would save my life. Please anybody. Somebody. I’d also like to say it’s very refreshing to hear stories of success. It does give me hope. I am struggling and desperately need help. Thank you for this website all of your stories and everything.

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