The Psychopathology of Vomit Phobia
A survey of individuals was conducted on self-diagnosed vomit phobics compared to panic disorder and non-clinical controls. Vomit phobics were overwhelmingly female and had had symptoms for over 25 years. They were significantly more likely to fear themselves vomiting (in public and private situations) than fear others vomiting. The vomit phobics interpreted sensations of nausea as impending vomit and had a wide range of safety seeking and avoidance behaviours that were maintaining their fear. Although the vomit phobics reported feeling nauseous more often, there was no difference in their frequency of vomiting compared to the control group. The clinical implications of the study for therapy are discussed.(Published Online February 15 2006)
Key Words: Specific phobia; vomit; descriptive psychopathology.
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