Symptoms of Emetophobia in Children

Emetophobia usually occurs in children in the age group of six to ten years of age. Though some causes of emetophobia are well-known, in a number of cases there may not be any particular cause that triggers the development of the condition.

It is not a hereditary, but anxiety could pass on to the child if any one of the parents suffers from the fears and problems of an unsettled stomach, or inadvertently shows signs of disapproval or panic.

It is important to remember that the act of throwing up at that particular time may not be very severe. However, it is the reaction in the unconscious mind of the child to that specific event that plants the seed of anxiety. As a result, a large number of emetophobic adults are unable to recall how they acquired this phobia without help and regressive hypnosis.

Children who develop Emetophobia  show a wide variety of specific symptoms:

  • Your child starts showing major fluctuations in their moods and temperament. They could also show signs of depression.
  • The child starts talking and discussing about vomiting very frequently with the parents and this is something that he or she never discussed before.
  • It appears as though the child is getting obsessed with stomach upsets.  There is an overreaction when anyone talks about vomiting or throwing up.
  • Not only does your little one not want to meet any friend or any members of the family who are sick, they do not even want to discuss anything related to this topic.
  • It is time to get concerned when the child starts behaving in a little strange fashion. He or she exhibits some signs of odd behavior that have never been witnessed before and there are no possible explanations for it.
  • The child becomes a “picky” eater.
  • The child seeks to avoid school or children’s parties.
  • Another  signal may be if  the child starts carrying a wide variety of “crutches” and showing sign of significant agitation at the though of them being taken away. Some of the common examples of these crutches are vitamin c tablets, antacids, charcoal biscuits, peppermint sweets, ginger candy and numerous types of tablets and pills associated with stomach conditions.


However, it is important to remember that simply because your little one is showing one or more of the above mentioned symptoms should not necessarily lead you to the belief that they are suffering from this condition. Like all parenting decisions, it is a matter of judgement.

They will go into their own shell and will be embarrassed to tell anyone about their fears because they are convinced that other children will make fun of them and consider them dirty. This might result in their becoming introverts and housebound since they are comfortable only in places they are familiar.

Children can be helped to overcome their fear of vomiting with proper and effective techniques and treatment.

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