Are you afraid of sick people? If someone has the flu, is feeling a little under the weather, or has a family member who is sick, do you avoid seeing them? This is not uncommon.
People living with emetophobia often fear sick people. In fact, it is probably the most common manifestation of this vomiting phobia. This is an understandable and often logical jump to make, from a fear of vomiting… most of the time. This fear of sick people can generally be categorized into two types of instances.
Fear of Sick, Contagious, Individuals
This form of the fear can be understood by most people even without emetophobia. No one wants to get sick, and it is common sense to avoid those who are. This is especially true for parents, who are often concerned about getting their kids sick, in addition to themselves.
This kind of sick phobia occurs when people have caught the flu, the cold, or other viruses that spread through touch or airborne-means. While this is understandable, emetophobes often take this fear of sick people to levels of extremity beyond what the average person would do. You should avoid close proximity with these people, to some degree, these conditions exist in the world outside of the specific people you might temporarily be aware of. What that means is that it is just important for you to practice good hygiene. Wash your hands often, avoid excessive contact between your hands and eyes/mouth, and maintain a well-balanced diet with vitamins.
Fear of Sick, Non-Contagious Indiviuals
Any phobia is by definition and “unreasonable” fear of something. This category is where the unreasonable portion of emetophobia comes into play. Many times people are sick due to things that are not contagious, such as food poisioning, too much alcohol consumption, a migraine headache, or over-exerting themselves after eating too much.
All of these scenarios may frighten you as an emetophobe, and understandably. If someone vomits in your proximity, it will alarm you and make you uncomfortable. Typically the most unsettling aspect of it is that is often completely unexpected.
However, what you need to try to keep in mind is that there physical sickness, is not the result of anything that can affect you. There is no chance of you getting sick. It is simply an unfortunate state that someone else must suffer through.
Emetophobes have a hard time controlling their immediate fear of this vomit or sickness, which is to alarm, and an urge to get away, instead of realizing that this kind of sick is not in any way a threat to their well-being. This is why emetophobes need to learn and practice ways to control anxiety, as anxiety is really at the core of how their fear of sick people functions. If you fear sick people, practice these techniques to help yourself stay calm in sticky situations.