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Joe90
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04 Jan 2022, 12:57 am

Emetophobia is the fear of vomiting, and it exists. I thought I should spread some awareness about it, as I am a classic emetophobe.

Warning: DO NOT READ WHILST EATING.

Things not to say to a person with emetophobia:-

"Nobody likes vomiting"
Yes, we know vomiting isn't anybody's idea of fun, but us emetophobes have a harder time emotionally recovering from the last time we vomited and we carefully plan out our lives to avoid vomiting as much as we can. There's a difference between not liking vomiting and being phobic about vomiting.

"Just having a couple of drinks won't make you vomit"
A lot of emetophobes are teetotal because although one or two drinks won't hurt us we still would rather not take that risk, especially with more stiff drinks. For some people a headache or a stomachache can be all it takes to trigger nausea and even vomiting. Sticking to a glass of orange squash instead is much more mind-easing. Don't make us feel pressured into anything we don't feel comfortable with doing.

"If you get motion sickness the best thing to do is to vomit"
This is bad advice for any emetophobes, sorry to say. I wouldn't mind feeling nauseous if I knew it were physically impossible for a human to vomit. The dread of feeling nauseous is that it could lead to vomiting, which is what we want to AVOID, not encourage.

"Vomiting ain't that bad when you're drunk, because at least you know what it is"
Excuse me, but vomiting is vomiting. I do not want to vomit at all, for any reason, ever.

"Vomiting is good for you, it's your body flushing out dangerous toxins"
As an emetophobe I think I'd rather die than vomit (but I don't mean die from choking on vomit). I think mother nature should have not invented vomiting at all. That way maybe people will be more inclined to look after their bodies a bit more.

"How do you manage to go years, even decades, without vomiting?"
That's a skill a lot of emetophobes develop. It might be because we are cautious and tend to go out of our way to avoid vomiting, such as checking to see if food is cooked properly, not drinking too much alcohol, and taking rigid precautions when the stomach flu is going around. Many of us might even carry antisickness pills or ginger around with us.

"It's just vomit, you just have to put up with it and let it pass"
No, it's not as easy as that. When I last vomited some 4 years ago, I spent an hour battling nausea, then I finally started vomiting, and it was so frightening for me. It was painful and it took longer than it should to come up so I started lacking oxygen, then as it was coming out of my mouth my lungs involuntarily took in a load of air, causing the vomit to suck right into my lungs and I almost choked to death. I do not want that unpleasant experience ever again. Some people just give a coughing noise and that's all it takes to spew up. Me, it takes a few long minutes of gagging and hawking and other awful noises that sound like I'm being strangled under water.

I hope this has spread some awareness about emetophobes and how much it affects our day-to-day living. Emetophobia is REAL.


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autisticelders
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17 Jan 2022, 7:41 am

I would rather have broken bones than to vomit. I don't worry or have anxiety over it, but It is one experience I hate with a passion.


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Emily S
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18 Jan 2022, 10:25 am

I had food poisoning a couple of years ago and was violently sick for days. Made me really scared of it so now I go out of my way to avoid vomiting. Never eat new foods or drinks and I avoid people in case they've had a stomach bug



Joe90
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18 Jan 2022, 6:34 pm

I'm glad someone finally took the time to reply. I'm not saying emetophobia is more common for Aspies but sensory issues could play a part in it so I thought some people here would relate.

I reckon my emetophobia is the reason I managed to not catch covid (yet). Before covid I took the same precautions people take now; washing or sanitising my hands before eating or after arriving home and making sure I'm kept away from people who have had a vomiting bug within the last 3 days.

Some people who recently had a vomiting bug seem to think it's best to not tell me when they see me. That's the wrong way to go about it. When you know you're around an emetophobe, ALWAYS tell them if you or anyone in your household have the vomiting bug (better yet over the phone, but if you are face to face with an emetophobe then just keep 6 feet away and tell them straight). Be honest and upfront. The emetophobe will greatly appreciate it and will keep their distance until you're feeling better. Do NOT hide it from them. And do NOT take it personally if they are avoiding you.


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renaeden
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23 Jan 2022, 8:20 pm

My record is 12 years without vomiting. Then I had a migraine and was sick because of that. It was really awful because I had to clean the toilet all while sweating and shaking with a tremendous headache.

I hope to beat my 12 year record.



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24 Jan 2022, 5:59 pm

@Joe90 , thank you for a very thoughtful and excellent post. :D



blueroses
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02 Feb 2022, 10:04 pm

This is a very real thing. I haven't thrown up since 1997, even when curling up in a ball from stomach cramps when my refrigerator in my last apartment malfunctioned and I got food poisoning. It's amazing what you can manage to make your body do when fear is your motivation.

I also get freaked out being around people who are vomiting. I avoid drunks, amusement parks, people prone to motion sickness, etc. for this reason. I'll break out in a cold sweat, just being around it. And, since I'm pretty convinced from personal experience vomiting is something people can control to a large extent if motivated, I sort of get angry when people subject me to it.



Kanashiihawk21
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04 Feb 2022, 3:17 pm

I am sorry the OP is dealing with that. I don't have the "phobia" but my heart breaks for any who do. I know with epilepsy sometimes if I get sick badly and vomit to much it causes seizures, when then causes me to end up wedged between the wall and toilet thrashing and convulsing and it is traumatizing for husband and son to have to pull me out.

If I saw someone who was looking ill/nauseaus I would never be so rude as to tell them, "just get it out!" I would ask them "What can I do to help you feel better?"
Warmly,
Jackie


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Joe90
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04 Feb 2022, 5:25 pm

blueroses wrote:
This is a very real thing. I haven't thrown up since 1997, even when curling up in a ball from stomach cramps when my refrigerator in my last apartment malfunctioned and I got food poisoning. It's amazing what you can manage to make your body do when fear is your motivation.

I also get freaked out being around people who are vomiting. I avoid drunks, amusement parks, people prone to motion sickness, etc. for this reason. I'll break out in a cold sweat, just being around it. And, since I'm pretty convinced from personal experience vomiting is something people can control to a large extent if motivated, I sort of get angry when people subject me to it.


I'm not too bad when around drunk people because I know that I can't catch it, so I can offer more sympathy. Same with people with motion sickness. But the sound of any vomiting frightens me, so I'll still panic if someone is being sick, and I don't like the look of vomit either. It's not as bad when someone is drunk sick because usually their vomit doesn't have lumps of food in it.


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