Emetophobia is an intense irrational fear of vomiting. Most sufferers of emetophobia fear vomiting themselves, while some fear seeing someone else vomit. The standard treatment for emetophobia, as any anxiety disorder, is Cognitive-Behavioural Therapy (CBT), which involves cognitive restructuring and gradual exposure to feared stimuli. This treatment does not require that the individual actually vomit. The person learns to stop avoiding situations, objects and activities that they fear might lead to vomiting.
Emetophobics frequently suffer from agoraphobia and ritualistic behaviour that may look like OCD. They may wash their hands until raw for fear of germs from an illness that may make them vomit. They may fear seeing someone vomit or catching germs so much that they will not leave the house. Many emetophobics have a variety of rituals to keep from vomiting or to reassure themselves that they are not sick (i.e., obsessive temperature-taking), or superstitions about numbers and dates (especially the date they last vomited). It is, therefore, important to see a therapist who has an understanding of this disorder and is able to provide differential diagnosis and create an appropriate treatment plan.