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Direct commentary, information and education on anxiety, OCD, phobias and panic attacks regarding you and the world in which we live.

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Break Free From Anxiety Disorder and Get Your Life Back!
Call The April Center For Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles: (310) 429-1024 or San Diego: (619) 961-1003. Or email Dr. April NOW.

Three locations serving Los Angeles, San Diego and The South Bay!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Emetophobia (Fear of Vomiting) then Panic Attacks Quite Common?

by Dr. Craig April, Director of The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

Emetophobia (fear of vomiting) is more common than you would think often causing panic attacks for those that suffer with this anxiety.

There is so much shame around most struggles with anxiety and yet, so many people are plagued. A fear of vomiting has a lot of embarrassment attached - fear of being embarrassed should one vomit and fear of being embarrassed by sharing a fear that others respond to with diminishment (ex. "what's the big deal if you throw up?") or criticism (ex."Why would you be afraid of such a thing?").

Emetophobia is a phobia that many people don't seek treatment for until they've exhausted attempts to label it a physical problem. However, it is nothing to feel shame over and there is help available.

Here is a list of common struggles and fears attached to emetophobia:

-Difficulty eating in restaurants for fear of being nauseous or vomiting
-Anxiety over having a full stomach
-Panic attacks when eating with others present
-Difficulty concentrating for fear of vomiting
-Often on guard for feelings of nausea
-Avoidance of social situations where food is a part of the event
-Avoidance of long car trips

The origins of emetophobia can be many, but it often begins after a bad experience vomiting long ago, which is why many sufferers have had this fear for years. Interestingly enough, many with this phobia haven't thrown up for longer then they can remember. Most emetophobics, as with other areas of anxiety, struggle with feeling out of control (obviously when vomiting your body is totally out of your control).

The proven treatment for this fear, as with all phobias, is CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) with Exposure and Response Prevention.

If you struggle with Emetophobia, know there is help available. It happens to be a common phobia that I treat at my center regularly. You can get past this!

Follow this link for more on phobias and anxiety treatment

All the best,


P.S. Don't forget to subscribe to my blog in the box below for more tips and info!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

CBT Improves Bravery In Facing Childhood Phobias

by Dr. Craig April, Director of The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles

CBT improves bravery in facing long-held childhood phobias.

What childhood phobias do you still struggle with, if any? Fear has a way of holding on the more you continue to avoid. For example, adults with Dark Phobia (fear of the dark) is more common than you would think.


Any phobia can occur at any age. There are two main ways a phobia develops:

1.) You had a frightening experience where you felt threatened, followed by your avoidance of that now "scary" stimuli due to its association with danger/fear.


2.) You observe someone else with a phobia which you then follow with avoidance of that stimuli.

When does observation have the greatest impact?

You guessed it! In our childhoods. Modeling is the most powerful teacher in childhood. When models (primarily parents) struggle with anxiety and phobias and then avoid facing their fear, children can be greatly impacted through observation alone. Fear of an object, situation or event is then encouraged through observation.

Some parents also teach a child, based on their own fears, to directly avoid what the parent is afraid of. I have seen countless examples of adults in my center who were taught by their parents early on to avoid, for example, flying, dogs, the number 13, etc. And what happened based on this teaching? The creation of fear of flying, dog phobia, 13 phobia, and more.


Take a moment to take stock of fears you've maintained throughout your life. Are they truly yours based on individual direct experience or are they inherited areas of anxiety?

Either way, to live a life of freedom, greater calm and confidence, help is needed. However, the answer to the above question can help you take responsibility and can be a first step in facing a phobia. If you have an inherited area of anxiety, then accept responsibility now and choose to get past it. If it is your own phobia based on individual experience, then you must also accept responsibility and choose to get past this. As adults, we are all responsible for how we respond now - whether we have inherited fear or not.


CBT (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy) addresses unhealthy thinking and behavioral patterns that increase anxiety by teaching strategies to modify both. During anxiety treatment, fear is shown to be a function of false beliefs that lead to anxiety. These beliefs can be modified, thereby increasing bravery and diminishing the hold fear has with regard to anxiety symptoms.

The behavior therapy component of CBT leads to desensitization of a phobia or fear by teaching strategies while helping one gradually face their fear. Anyone can learn to use the proper strategies in order to decrease their anxiety. This is part of what makes anxiety disorders so treatable.

What fear have you been carrying around with you?

Follow this link for more on CBT and phobias

All the best,


P.S. Don't forget to subscribe to my blog in the box below for more tips and info!

The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management - Los Angeles and The South Bay

The April Center for Anxiety Attack Management is committed to helping you remove the destructive barriers of anxiety, so that you may lead a calmer, healthier, happier life.

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