The word emetophobia itself is derived from the Greek word ’emesis’ which stands for vomiting, while the suffix -phobia means an illogical, debilitating fear of an object or situation. An individual who has this fear is called an emetophobe, and it simply means they are terrified of vomiting or seeing vomit or seeing someone else vomit, even if it’s an imagined situation. Emetophobia treatment is available, but little is still known about this condition.
The fear may extend to stimuli which are related to the feared object – for example, even being in a room where someone could have vomited, or the general fear of people who are sick. This fear is extended to any signs of vomit or vomiting in any type of situation – and this is what causes distress. One common example is needing to control how food is prepared and needing it to be clean.
Emetophobics are usually people that developed this as a result of experiencing severe bouts of vomiting as young children, or being exposed to someone else vomiting severely with a regularity. This might have been due to illness or pregnancy in their mother. Or if the child had a tendency for self-stimulated vomiting that leads to an increase risk. Another factor that is known to lead to phobia in some cases is going through gastrointestinal surgery. And sometimes another underlying mental health condition might be the cause. Whatever causes it, it can indeed be cured and some methods have been shown to be effective. So emetophobia treatment can be found on the market.
There is a famous study by Angela L. Davidson who found that individuals with emetophobia have a higher than average level of perceived internal control over their everyday lives – this is called an internal locus of control. The locus of control simply stated shows where an individual thinks that control comes from. If the locus of control is internal, it means that the person believes they have control over their own actions in a situation, while an external locus of control means that things are out of their control, perhaps in luck or fate. Note that this is a gradual scale, not a black-and-white category.
To find out more about treatments for this phobia that have been shown to be effective, then find out more at this site: http://www.emetophobiatreatment.info.