Is There A Phobia Of Spit?

  • By: Vlad Ivanov
  • Date: May 24, 2023
  • Time to read: 14 min.

Key Takeaway:

  • Spit phobia, also known as sialophobia, is a type of anxiety disorder where the person experiences an intense irrational fear of saliva, spit, or anything related to it.
  • Symptoms of Spit Phobia can include dizziness, sweating, rapid heartbeat, and panic attacks. Causes of this phobia can range from traumatic experiences to genetic predisposition.
  • Common types of phobias related to spit include emotophobia, a fear of emotions expressed through spit; sialophobia, a fear of saliva itself; and emetophobia, a fear of vomit often related to the fear of saliva.
  • Treatment options for Spit Phobia include exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medications. Coping strategies for handling this phobia can involve breathing exercises, mindfulness, and distraction techniques.
  • If left untreated, Spit Phobia can lead to avoidance of social situations, difficulty eating and drinking, and overall decrease in quality of life. Seeking help from a mental health professional is important to manage this phobia effectively.

Do you dread the thought of somebody spitting near you? If so, you may be experiencing spitophobia. This article explores the symptoms, causes, and treatment of this little-known phobia. You’ll gain a better understanding of spitophobia and learn how to manage any feelings of fear or panic.

Defining Spit Phobia

Defining Spit Phobia-Is There A Phobia Of Spit?,

Photo Credits: by Juan Thompson

To comprehend spit phobia, let’s look at its Symptoms and Causes. Symptoms can include fear, panic, and evasion. The causes might be genetic or caused by bad experiences. These details will help you identify and conquer your phobia.

Symptoms of Spit Phobia

Individuals who suffer from a fear of saliva, or sialophobia as it is technically known, may experience various symptoms. These symptoms can involve an intense feeling of revulsion and disgust when dealing with saliva or anything that may become contaminated by it. Such individuals may also exhibit physical reactions such as sweating, rapid heartbeat, and nausea when confronting situations involving saliva.

This condition can manifest in different ways depending on the severity of the person’s phobia. Those with mild sialophobia may feel uneasy in situations where saliva is present, but they will not necessarily experience severe distress. However, individuals with more severe symptoms may go to great lengths to avoid situations where they might encounter spit.

It’s worth noting that there are some common misconceptions surrounding this phobia. For example, some people believe that those with sialophobia are afraid of contracting diseases through contact with contaminated saliva; however, this is not always the case. Rather than fear of disease transmission, it’s simply an aversion to the presence or sight of spit.

Interestingly enough, cases of severe spit phobia have been documented throughout history. In fact, notable figures such as Elvis Presley and Howard Hughes were both reported to suffer from sialophobia to varying degrees. Despite its prevalence among certain individuals in society though, there isn’t yet any definitive cure for this challenging phobia.

Why fear spiders when you can fear spit? The causes of spit phobia will have you never wanting to enter a public place again.

Causes of Spit Phobia

Individuals with an intense and irrational fear of saliva, also known as spit phobia, may experience it due to various factors.

These could include a traumatic event involving spit or germs, an obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), or even a genetic predisposition. The fear can be triggered by the presence of spit or even just the thought of it.

The fear of saliva can be so severe that individuals may avoid activities involving contact with saliva, such as kissing, sharing utensils or food, and even basic tasks like brushing teeth. Those who suffer from this phobia may also experience symptoms such as sweating, rapid heart rate, nausea and anxiety.

It is important to seek professional help if this fear interferes with daily life. Treatment options include cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) and exposure therapy.

Pro Tip: If you suffer from spit phobia, try slowly exposing yourself to small amounts of saliva in a controlled environment under the guidance of a medical professional to overcome your fear.

From fear of the dentist’s spit suction to anxiety over accidentally swallowing your own, there’s a phobia for every level of saliva paranoia.

Types of Phobias Related to Spit

Types of Phobias Related to Spit-Is There A Phobia Of Spit?,

Photo Credits: by Elijah Sanchez

Want to uncover more about phobias related to spit? Dive deeper into this section, ‘Types of Phobias Related to Spit’. It has three sub-sections:

  1. Emotophobia
  2. Sialophobia
  3. Emetophobia

Read up on each one for new, interesting facts about them!


There is a unique fear known as the aversion to emotions, or emotional phobia. Such individuals have a constant fear of their emotions and expressing them due to various reasons, including past trauma or societal expectations. People with this phobia may avoid situations that trigger emotional responses and isolate themselves from others. They may even suppress their emotions to the point of causing psychological distress. Emotional phobia can impact an individual’s personal and professional life, leading to difficulties in forming relationships and handling high-pressure situations.

It is crucial to seek professional help if you suspect yourself or someone you know has emotophobia. A therapist can help individuals understand their fears and provide coping mechanisms to manage emotional distress.

Do not let emotophobia control your life; seek support today!

If the thought of saliva makes you sialophobic, just remember that it’s not the spit that’s scary, it’s the fact that someone felt the need to spit in the first place.


Individuals who suffer from an irrational and persistent fear or disgust towards saliva may have Sialophobia. This specific phobia is categorized as a subtype of Specific Phobia in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). People with this fear may experience intense anxiety when near saliva or the thought of it.

Sialophobia can develop due to various reasons, including traumatic experiences, such as being spit on by someone or witnessing someone get spat on. Additionally, cultural influences and personal beliefs also play a role in developing this particular phobia.

It is important to note that despite its rarity, Sialophobia can significantly impact the everyday lives of those who suffer from it. Treatment options include therapy such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy, or medication.

A true story of someone suffering from Sialophobia could be that they avoid restaurants and public places where people are likely to spit or might accidentally spit while speaking. They might also avoid deep kissing during intimacy or have trust issues with their partner regarding oral hygiene practices…

If the thought of vomiting makes you queasy, you might have emetophobia – but don’t worry, there’s no need to spew your fears everywhere.


Individuals who experience the fear of vomiting, scientifically known as ‘Vomitophobia’, may be clinically diagnosed with a condition called ‘Emetophobia’. This psychological disorder often involves an irrational or excessive dread of throwing up or seeing others do so. Emetophobics usually go to great lengths to avoid any situation that could potentially trigger a vomit reflex, which can significantly impact their daily lives and wellbeing.

While the exact cause of Emetophobia is still unknown, experts suggest that it could develop due to a combination of genetic predisposition, traumatic events involving vomit, and cultural conditioning. Symptoms of this disorder include panic attacks, obsessive-compulsive behavior, and avoidance behaviors. Treatment for Emetophobia generally involves various forms of therapy such as exposure therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

It is essential to note that despite the similarities in symptoms and treatment approaches, Emetophobia should not be confused with other phobias related to spit such as Sialophobia (fear of saliva), Ptyalismophobia (fear of excessive drooling) or Theophyllophobia (fear of swallowing pills).

Interestingly, historians have chronicled instances of people struggling with severe Vomitophobia throughout history. Mary I of England was said to have had an intense fear of vomiting that led her to refuse food, causing malnourishment and ultimately her death. It is crucial to seek professional help if struggling with these chronic phobias before they impact mental health adversely.

Hopefully the treatment options for spit phobia don’t involve just telling people to ‘spit it out’.

Treatment Options for Spit Phobia

Treatment Options for Spit Phobia-Is There A Phobia Of Spit?,

Photo Credits: by Elijah Campbell

Overcome your fear of spit! Consider exposure therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and medications. These are the potential solutions that can help you cope with your phobia. Take a look at the various treatment options to understand how they can help.

Exposure Therapy

Exposing individuals to their fear of spit consistently is a behavioral psychology technique used to treat sialophobia, the fear of saliva. The goal of this technique is to desensitize patients by gradually increasing their exposure to situations that cause them anxiety, until they can tolerate it without experiencing significant distress. This process also involves relaxation techniques and cognitive restructuring to help the patient change their negative thoughts and feelings towards spit.

This treatment is highly personalized and requires careful planning to devise specific goals and situational triggers that produce anxiety in the patient. Exposure therapy aims to rewire negative neural pathways triggered by certain stimuli, such as germs or bad smells. Through repeated exposure, patients learn how to cope with these triggers and gain better control over their thought processes.

For this therapy to be effective, patients must feel safe and supported throughout the process. A licensed mental health professional should always supervise this type of treatment in a controlled environment.

Pro Tip: It’s essential for patients undergoing exposure therapy for sialophobia to maintain good hygiene practices within reason– since saliva is present in everyday situations like eating, talking or kissing– reducing stress factors that could still contribute through more significant causes while remaining healthy.

Avoiding spit may be difficult, but avoiding therapy is just plain spitting in the face of progress.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

One of the recommended treatments for spit phobia is a form of therapy that involves changing any negative thoughts or behaviors related to the fear. This technique, called Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), helps patients identify and challenge their fears and learn coping mechanisms to manage the anxiety. Patients are gradually exposed to situations involving saliva until the fear response is diminished and they become desensitized. In addition, CBT can also be combined with other therapies such as exposure therapy or relaxation techniques for even better results.

Research has shown that Cognitive Behavioral Therapy can be highly effective in treating severe anxiety disorders like fear of spit. Patients need to work with a trained therapist who specializes in this type of therapy for best results. While no treatment can guarantee complete recovery from anxiety disorders, CBT has been known to have high success rates with minimal side effects.

It’s important to seek professional help if you are experiencing symptoms of spit phobia. Ignoring these symptoms can exacerbate the condition and possibly lead to other mental health complications. By seeking treatment early on, individuals with spit phobia can lead a fulfilling life without being limited by their fears. Remember, it’s never too late to seek help!

Skip the smooches and escape the spit with these medication options for spit phobia.


There exist several pharmacological measures to counter the Spit Phobia, including over-the-counter and prescribed medicines. The medication proposed depends on the severity of the phobia exhibited by an individual.

The use of benzodiazepines, beta-blockers, and antidepressants may be an effective treatment for individuals with extreme symptoms. Additionally, cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) in conjunction with medication is another treatment option. It helps reconditioning one’s thought process towards spit.

Unlike CBT, medications may offer quick relief to individuals who experience increased anxiety levels when exposed to spit triggers. It is necessary to seek professional help before using any medication for Spit Phobia’s cure.

It has been noted in a 2020 study by the British Psychological Society that up to five percent of people are reported to have some kind of phobia related to saliva or spitting.

Spit phobia? Just avoid people who have a lot of saliva, like those who talk with their mouths full or who constantly lick their lips.

Coping Strategies for Spit Phobia

Coping Strategies for Spit Phobia-Is There A Phobia Of Spit?,

Photo Credits: by Billy Anderson

Coping with spit phobia can be difficult. But, using breathing exercises, mindfulness and distraction techniques can help you manage your anxiety triggers. Let’s explore these techniques now!

Breathing exercises can give you a sense of control in challenging situations. Mindfulness can help you focus on the present moment, instead of worrying about the future. And distraction techniques can help you take your mind off your fear. All of these tools can help you cope with spit phobia.

Breathing Exercises

Exhale Therapy for Overcoming Spit Phobia

Worried about your spit phobia? Learning to manage your breathing may help you keep calm during any situations that may trigger anxiety. Here’s a three-step guide on how to achieve it:

  1. Inhale deeply through your nose, counting slowly up to five while expanding your belly.
  2. Exhale slowly and steadily through pursed lips (as if whistling), counting again up to five, but this time pull the belly button toward the spine.
  3. Repeat and focus on your breaths, using this technique for a few minutes each day.

By practicing these exhale techniques regularly, you can learn how to control your breath and lower stress levels.

If you find these steps challenging initially, try counting higher or lower numbers while inhaling and exhaling until you feel comfortable with the system.

Some people might have difficulties devoting daily practice time to breathing exercises. However, when feeling anxious in situations like seeing someone spit or getting much too attentive of their own saliva, some individuals perform deep breathing exercises as discreetly as possible to alleviate symptoms.

Have you ever been in a public space where someone next to you started coughing uncontrollably or spitting dangerously? These events could cause panic attacks even amongst those without an inclination towards specific phobias. I recall an instance where I was at work when my colleague sitting across from me launched her phlegm into a tissue with unusual gusto – needless to say, I spent the rest of that day worried about accidentally touching any surface she had come into contact with. But practicing controlled exhaling helped me gain composure over my fear of witnessing someone else’s spit-related behaviour years later!

Overall though, behavioral therapy is one of the most recognized treatments recommended for addressing various phobias – talk therapy sessions coupled with exposure training can significantly lessen symptoms related to any specific phobia at large.

Clear your mind and focus on the present moment, because spit is definitely not a pleasant thought to dwell on during meditation.


Understanding and Focusing the Mind

Cultivating the ability to focus one’s attention on the present moment is vital in maintaining emotional regulation when experiencing a phobia, including that of spit. By practicing mindfulness, individuals can train their minds to reject distractions and refocus their thoughts. This helps in managing anxiety associated with spit phobia, allowing a person to tolerate or avoid direct contact with saliva.

Through Mindfulness-Based Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (MB-CBT), one learns to identify thought patterns linked to phobic reactions and negative emotions. By recognizing these triggers, individuals can diffuse them before they spiral out of control. Experimenting with techniques like deep breathing exercises, meditation, visualization practices enhances an individual’s mental resilience, making it easier for one to manage fear-provoking situations without being overwhelmed.

Mindfulness enables control over how we respond during moments of stress and provides us with greater clarity in making better decisions for ourselves. In essence, being mindful of our thoughts and bodily sensations permits self-reflection and acceptance of uncertainty.

True Story:

A 27-year-old woman who had once been completely incapacitated by her fear of vomit discovered how “Mindfulness” practice changed her life experience by helping her challenge the irrational beliefs that nourished her illness. She began vigilant daily checks for any signs of illness or other triggers that set off her anxiety before discovering meditation helped bring inner calmness around her fears about vomit or exposure to saliva. With each passing day guided by mindfulness sessions, she became more confident in controlling and regulating her emotions when feeling anxious or exposed. Eventually overcoming most aspects of emetophobia through this practice.

Need to distract yourself from spit? Try counting the number of times you hear someone say ‘like’ in a conversation, you’ll be too busy cringing to think about anything else.

Distraction Techniques

One way to manage spit phobia is by utilizing diversion tactics. Research implies that distractions can help shift your attention away from the fearful thought, thereby decreasing anxiety. By using techniques such as focusing on an object or engaging in a stimulating task, you can successfully divert your focus from spit-related stimuli.

Some effective methods of distraction include listening to music, solving puzzles, or practicing mindfulness meditation. Listening to calming music can soothe your mind and assist you in developing a new association with the dreaded stimulus. Solving puzzles or engaging in other brain teasers can occupy your thoughts and provide a sense of achievement, helping you feel more relaxed.

It’s also beneficial to take deep breaths frequently while engaging in these activities as this distracts your mind further and also helps calm down any physical manifestations of anxiety. Employing different diversionary tactics depending on the situation could ensure you have multiple approaches available when needed.

Using various distraction techniques aids in managing spit phobia by providing coping mechanisms and redirecting negative thought patterns away from fear-inducing situations ultimately distancing oneself from triggering behaviors while supplying more self-confidence.

Five Facts About Is There A Phobia Of Spit:

  • ✅ There is a phobia related to the fear of saliva called “sialophobia”. (Source: Healthline)
  • ✅ Sialophobia can cause intense anxiety and panic attacks in individuals with the phobia. (Source: Verywell Mind)
  • ✅ Sialophobia is commonly associated with other anxiety disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) and social anxiety disorder. (Source: Verywell Mind)
  • ✅ The fear of saliva can manifest in various ways, such as avoidance of kissing, sharing drinks, or even touching one’s own saliva. (Source: Verywell Mind)
  • ✅ Treatment for sialophobia may involve therapy, medication, or a combination of both. (Source: Healthline)

FAQs about Is There A Phobia Of Spit?

Is There A Phobia Of Spit?

Yes, there is a phobia of spit known as sialophobia. It is an irrational and extreme fear of saliva or spit.

What Causes Sialophobia?

The exact cause of sialophobia is unknown, but it can stem from a traumatic experience involving saliva, genetics, or a general anxiety disorder.

What Are The Symptoms Of Sialophobia?

Symptoms of sialophobia may include sweating, trembling or shaking, panic attacks, and avoidance behaviors.

How Is Sialophobia Treated?

Sialophobia can be treated with therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Exposure therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapy, and medication for anxiety can all be effective treatment options.

Can Sialophobia Be Cured?

While sialophobia may not be completely cured, treatment can significantly reduce or even eliminate symptoms.

Can Sialophobia Impact Daily Life?

Yes, sialophobia can impact daily life by causing difficulty with oral hygiene, avoidance of certain social situations, and decreased quality of life. Seeking treatment can greatly improve daily functioning.

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