What is Emetophobia?
Emetophobia is a fear of being sick or the fear that those around you will be sick. It has also been referred to as specific phobia of vomiting (SPOV). Emetophobia is the most common phobia that clients seek the help of Thrive Consultants for. It is also associated with other disorders such as phagophobia, a fear of gagging, swollowing or choking, a fear of pregnancy, social anxiety and obsessional disorders. It has been estimated that emetophobia affects up to 8.8% of the population (Hout & Bouman, 2011), which accounts for up to 5.5 million people in the UK having emetophobia. Most individuals with emetophobia are female.
Many sufferers of emetophobics never tell any friends or family members they have the condition. They don’t want people to think they are being silly and fear being judged. Suffers of this condition, control their environment to avoid situations where they will come across people vomiting or increase the chances of vomiting themselves. There is often a huge desire for control and a wish to avoid alcohol or going to clubs or pubs as they may see people vomiting. They may avoid public transport, public toilets, avoid eating out or eating certain foods and the list of places and situations to avoid goes on. Individuals with this conditions can feel very powerless and out of control in relation to their emetophobia but all other aspects of life may be very in control. Feeling out of control and powerless is very frightening and stressful, hence the desire for control.
How can the Thrive Programme help?
In recognition of the high prevalence of emetophobia, Rob Kelly and the Thrive Programme, created a book specially to help individuals with this condition. ‘Cure your Emetophobia and Thrive’ has been highly successful in helping clients cure their emetophobia. It is based upon 25 years of Rob Kelly’s clinical experience treating 100’s of emetophobic clients, backed up with psychological research. It works by teaching the individual about themselves and how their belief systems and unhelpful thinking styles, are causing and maintaining their phobia. The programme teaches strong psychological foundations, boosting self esteem, reducing social anxiety and increasing an individual’s sense power and control over their life. Emetophobics tend to display a negative thinking style, they can be catastrophic, think in black and white terms as well as having a huge desire for control. The aim of the Thrive Programme is to show you how to flourish in life and not just manage to control your symptoms. A Thrive Consultant is not there to ‘do’ therapy on the client. Each session is very interactive and personalised to suit individual needs. The aim is to give the client all the skills and self insights within the 6 or so sessions. With persistent and continuous effort the client will then be able to cure their emetophobia and thrive!
Rob Kelly and the Thrive Programme have recently conducted a research survey on emetophobia. Please click on this survey link to view the research paper.
Rob Kelly, author and creator of the Thrive Programme, instigated the first emetophobia awareness day in March 2014. Watch the full presentation here: