What is Emetophobia?

Emetophobia is the fear of either being sick or of others being sick. It’s known by many different names, including specific phobia of vomiting (SPOV), vomit phobia, sickness phobia and fear of vomiting. It’s also associated with other fears and disorders such as phagophobia (the fear of gagging, swallowing or chocking), fear of pregnancy, social anxiety and obsessive disorders.

Who does it affect?

Emetophobia’s severity can be measured on a spectrum, ranging from a relatively mild fear of vomiting/nausea through to a severe and debilitating phobia. Research suggests that the fear of being sick affects between 0.1 to 8.8% of the population, meaning there are up to 5.5 million sufferers in the UK alone. Unlike the majority of phobias which typically see a 50:50 spilt between the genders, emetophobia predominantly effects women, who account for at least 85% of all sufferers.