Do u have any tips on writing an emetophobic character??









Disclaimer: not a psychologist, not emetophobic

Or anything phobic really im not exceptionally emotional

Emetophobia is a phobia that causes overwhelming, intense anxiety pertaining to vomiting


There aren’t a lot of trigger warnings for vomit (think- pitch perfect), which probably is going to mean your character will have added anxiety over going to the movies, especially comedy as it tends to be a thing. 

Things like amusement parks are likely to be a no-go, and riding in a car can be extra stressful, especially if the character or another person in the car has carsickness.

Going to the doctors office or a hospital is going to be an incredibly stressful experience, alongside food poisoning or any kind of stomach sickness. This is where I’d say emetophobia would get the most notice- when dealing with an illness. The anxiety of potentially becoming ill could lead the illness to become worse, or could actually cause nausea, which will make the phobia worse, which will-

It’s a vicious cycle

Vomiting doesn’t really come up in fiction that often, so I’d say the places where it would get the most attention is during an arc where the person is very ill/ injured

this isn’t the greatest answer I’m sorry! I’m just not sure where/ when vomit would be an issue in your story. If any of my followers can add on please do!

I’m not emetophobia but vomiting is a trigger for several of my own medical conditions so I thought I could add some things in!

First of all; I know some emetophobics who have aversions to even the word vomit, barf, or throw up. It depends on the person. Sometimes even mentioning it can be a trigger (tossing your lunch, upchuck, other slang). So that depends on the person.

Movies do tend to give a little warning before someone vomits (gagging, holding stomach, covering mouth) so you can sometimes get enough times to close your eyes and plug your ears to avoid it. If you’ve got supportive friends, you can have them check out movies, shows, or videos beforehand.

Another thing to keep in mind is food! If a character who is emetophobic has thrown up a certain type of food before, they might get an extreme aversion to it. They might not want to see it, smell it, or eat it ever again. Any type of food that has ever upset their stomach can become off-limits. Again, this depends on how badly your character is affected by emetophobia.

Simple stuff like brushing your teeth can even become pretty stressful, as brushing in the back can sometimes cause you to gag. Your character will analyze situations by thinking “will this lead to me vomiting?”

I hope that was helpful! Like Corvid said, there’s not much vomiting in fiction, but its a phobia, so it can show even in things that seemingly have nothing to do with the actual phobia.

Don’t apologize for hijacking! This is a really good add on!

@corvidprompts I am an actual emetophobe, and while my experience is probably not universal it’s something that I have dealt with my entire life.

I have no problem with the word ‘vomit’ or any variation of it.

I’m not really afraid of movie vomit as it is fake and for some reason that is enough not to scare me.

Any gagging or even some coughing will put me on edge and I might have to leave the room if it’s bad.

I have a panic attack when others vomit but not when I vomit. The lead up to me vomiting is super stressful but once I’m sick i tend to calm down since I’m too sick to care.

If I vomit wearing a certain outfit or in a certain place I will get anxious wearing that outfit or going to that place again. As an example I used to be afraid of going to book fairs because I threw up at one once. I’m also incredibly hesitant to eat the same food I had that made me throw up.

I’ve had OCD tendencies where I will do things that I believe will make me not throw up.

Going to the doctor is not stressful because I can avoid sick people, so that’s not a problem.

Generally, I get freaked out when I feel like I’m going to throw up, someone around me acts like they’re going to vomit or someone actually vomits.

Thank you for adding on!

My MIL is like this, and she won’t go anywhere near anyone who is sick with throwing up as a symptom. She wouldn’t even take care of her kids when they had the flu as children because of this. So hopefully that helps a bit.

Thanks for the addition my guy!

Just wanting to add on:
I have social anxiety-related emetophobia from past experiences as a kid. While it’s better right now, sometimes all I can do is stay home or escape from a situation. If this character has had some past experience with throwing up while with friends/on stage/in attention/anything relating to social issues, this may effect their ability to go outside. They may also go out of their way to make sure they can escape a situation beforehand. Example; they have a band/orchestral concert coming up, and they know it gives them anxiety, so they check with a band teacher before to make sure they can leave if they need to (this happened to me, lol), or meeting with a trusted adult before a field trip or final exams, etc, to make sure they can leave and have some privacy.

Hopefully this helps, I know emetophobia can be different for everyone!

This is a great addition, thank so much for adding on ❤


Author: corvidcraft

What's up! I'm a northern Canadian artist/writer. Poli sci student by education, acrylic painter by passion.

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