Have you ever looked up pictures of vomit because you were feeling brave and wanted to challenge yourself? Some people do this without realizing that they are actually embarking on a common type of Emetophobia treatment. Desensitization or exposure treatment is a treatment type in which you “expose” yourself to your fear gradually. You begin with things that might seem a little silly and just make you slightly uncomfortable, and slowly progress to increasingly more serious challenges, trying to acclimate to each step along the way.
Usually this involves images, sounds, and videos, but could also involve more difficult real life scenarios towards the end of the treatment. For example, you might start be looking at a cartoon strip that is simply suggestive about the concept of vomit in a comical way. You might progress to a cartoon depiction of vomit, through a animated clip in which vomiting occurs, through sounds of the act happening, and eventually a real video clip of someone becoming sick. Obviously this is oversimplified, and there would be many more steps involved to make the process more gradual, but you get the idea.
Densensitization treatment or exposure treatment is not for everyone, though, because it requires a certain degree of mental toughness. If you can not muster the willpower to handle the discomfort you will experience, than desensitization could cause you more harm than good. The phrase “No pain no gain,” often used in weight lifting circles, is very applicable here with the exception that this kind of pain, if you can not handle it, does not go away like muscle soreness, and can be very detrimental to you.
So what kind of discomfort or pain should you expect to deal with, and how should you deal with it? In a given day, you might go through a couple steps of the desensitization, until you reach a step which bothers you and might make you nauseas. At this point, you need to collect yourself, and practice strategies to fight anxiety and fight nausea until you have relaxed and can continue with your day. The next day, you should probably start with the step before the one that disturbed you, and then move on to the final one from the day before. If it still upsets you, end again on that step, handle your nausea and anxiety, and continue this each day until you are comfortable moving onto the next step.
A huge advantage to this exposure treatment is that you can do this on your own, and at your own pace. You can do it without paying for expensive therapy, or being confined to the schedule of a doctor or therapist.
If you are ready and think you can tackle exposure/desensitization treatment that I will give you the link to. This site is very safe and provides warnings about what you will see every step of the way, so you will never find yourself surprised or accidentally seeing something you did not want to. So if you are feeling brave, want to challenge yourself, and are serious about kicking your fear of vomit to the curb, than check out the desensitization series at: