Fear of being sick hypnosis for Emetophobia

Do you suffer from an intense fear of being sick, or seeing someone else be sick?

I specialise in many kinds of phobia problems and have seen many Emetophobics (to give it its proper title) from Warrington which is where I am based, but I have had people come to see me from all over the North West, including Manchester and Liverpool. This fear is an anxiety disorder and I carefully use a blend of hypnosis and psychotherapy within hypnosis, to give you the best possible chance to overcome this problem.

If you suffer from a fear of being sick you will probably go out of your way to avoid situations where you feel vulnerable. You may avoid eating certain things, swallowing tablets where you may have a feeling of choking. You may fear going to the doctors waiting room or schools. In winter time, you may be highly anxious thinking about the winter Flu or the Norovirus and will avoid going out.

You may adopt a lot of safety behaviours to help you feel better and most people with a fear of being sick will obsess about it and these obsessive thoughts can be intense and feed right back into the fear. Rituals are normally performed, such as keeping yourself clean of bacteria and hand washing. Checking dates on food, or overcooking food. Keeping away from long car journeys or flights can also really affect the Emetophobic.

In extreme cases, the person with a fear of being sick, may experience a panic attack, which is where the person experiences the fight or flight response. The fight or flight response is our in-built protection mechanism for real life danger and is triggered when we face a frightening moment such as being in an accident or if we are threatened in some way. However, in the case of emetophobia, it is only your thoughts that trigger the fight or flight response.

Most people with a fear of being sick will know that the fear is irrational, but this doesn’t stop it from being very real and scary. It is the obsessive nature of this problem that also links it to OCD or Obsessive Compulsive Disorder.


Below is a list of behavioural rituals that you may identify with:

  • Hand Washing and cleanliness
  • Not eating outside of the home
  • Overcooking foods deemed to be safe – Avoiding things like fish or seafood
  • Fighting anxiety, especially if the anxiety makes you feel nausea
  • Avoiding certain medications which may have a side effect of nausea. Or avoiding tablets that may get stuck in the throat
  • An irrational fear of young children, or places where young children are
  • A fear of becoming pregnant due to morning sickness feelings
  • Fear of doctors surgeries or hospitals
  • Fear of travel sickness, in cars or other forms of transport
  • Avoidance of alcohol, due to fact that too much can cause nausea
  • Avoidance of watching certain films or TV shows, such as Holby City or Casualty
  • Some people actually avoid seeking help due to the nature that the subject is difficult to talk about
  • Choosing a safe vocation in an environment where sickness is limited
  • Avoiding anyone who has an impairment or physical disability
  • Fighting nausea, trying to control it, doing anything to try and control it


If you come across someone who looks ill or is about to be sick, you may:

  • Panic or feel intense fear
  • Try to escape
  • Become tearful or scream, the anxiety may make you feel a sense of unreality
  • Feel, or begin to feel nauseous and this causes the fear to rise


If you do feel nauseous, you may:

  • Refuse to eat or drink anything, believing that an empty stomach is less likely to cause you to be sick
  • Feel more anxious leading to a churning stomach which will indicate a greater risk of being sick
  • Panic for a long period of time
  • Cry, try to escape to somewhere safe
  • Shut yourself away for long periods of time or seek reassurance from a loved one
  • Keep smelling salts with you as a way of controlling the sickness.
  • Take over the counter medications known to ease the stomach, such as Motillium or domperidone or antacids.