Q. I feel like vomiting when I see dirty things or smell dirty things. Please help.

Answered by
Dr. Ashok Kumar Choudhary
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 19, 2014 and last reviewed on: Sep 12, 2020

Hi doctor,

I do not know how to explain my state. Since many years, I feel like vomiting when I see or smell dirty things. I cannot just sit with a drunken person. I cannot even resist when someone is vomiting or coughing or just clearing their throat. To get rid of this vomiting feeling, I started eating too much of mint flavored chewing gum. By too much, I mean nearly one every day or three in a week or so. Also, these days due to the unpleasant weather, I feel very uneasy all the time. I cannot eat properly because I am afraid that I might vomit.

I am actually a very reserved person. Earlier, I used to live with my parents and so the three of us were living in one house. But, just 15 days back, my aunt passed away and so their family also joined us in the same house. I do not know why, but I am feeling very uneasy to adjust to this environment. One of my aunt's children is having the habit of spitting every time and that is the reason I am running away from him every time and if I am sitting with them, I always carry a mint. Can you please tell me the reason for this state of mine?

Earlier this week, I had to go out of station for some office work but I stopped by with the fear of vomiting. I think I am oversensitive to things. Otherwise, I am a very friendly, happy person. I want to be happy always and want to see things in my own way. After a year or two, I will be getting married. So, I do not want to ruin any of my relationships with these habits. Please advise what I need to do to get rid of this problem.



Welcome to icliniq.com.

Your statement of 'I feel like vomiting when I see or smell dirty things and I cannot just sit with a drunk person' are commonly found in normal individuals and does not signify any mental or psychological disorder. But, your statement that you canceled your official trip because of this issue signifies that you have attached too much significance to a trivial problem. At this moment, it seems that your thought process is dominated by ideas of vomiting and you are not able to get rid of this. It is also possible that you are aware that these are not rational ideas, but whenever you try to resist, you get rebound anxiety or increased anxiety or more vomiting feeling.

If you are wasting more than one hour a day on these ideas and that is impairing you in your occupational, academic or social life, this can be due to obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD). In this disorder, people are very particular in regard to cleanliness and not able to stand slight dirt and have a tendency to wash their hands multiple times.

I assure you that this is quite treatable and a lot can be done to improve your thought process. This disorder can be treated with medication or behavior therapy or a combination of both depending on the severity and response to a particular kind of therapy.

At this moment, I suggest you consult a psychologist counsellor online. --->https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/psychologist-counsellor

Thank you doctor,

What you have mentioned is absolutely right. But, I do not have any habit such as frequent cleaning of hands. I can even be in a dirty place but, I cannot just resist it for much time. I surely like to continue with you for the solution to my problem. So, please suggest how to move. Also, is it safe to eat mint frequently to avoid vomiting sensation?



Welcome back to icliniq.com.

What you are experiencing is probably due to OCD and can be treated with medication and psychotherapy or both. Before we start any kind of therapy, a confirmation of the diagnosis is required. For confirmation, I will send a scale known as obsessive-compulsive scale through email and please send it back to me. This scale will give you some understanding of the problem and will help us know the severity of your disorder.

I would like to inform you that anything in excess is harmful to the body. There are some unconfirmed reports of sexual dysfunction secondary to frequent mint ingestion. I recommend you to lower the dose as far as possible and gradually stop taking it.

At this time, try to relax and take simple antiemetic if you have the urge to vomit. This will help you control the vomiting sensation.

I also request you to get the following blood investigations done: thyroid profile, liver function tests (LFT), blood urea, serum creatinine, serum testosterone, blood sugar, lipid profile, and complete blood count.

Revert back with the blood test report to a psychologist counsellor online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/psychologist-counsellor

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