Why Are People Squeamish?
Start writing a post
Health and Wellness

Why Are People Squeamish?

What causes squeamishness?

4728
Why Are People Squeamish?
Check Up Newsroom

Nothing offsets the stomach quite like the thought of blood and dissections. Plenty of people are squeamish. But why do these “gross” concepts easily ruin one’s appetite? Squeamishness is defined as feeling disgusted or physically ill due to an external stimulus. That stimulus can vary from person to person. Some are nauseated by blood. Some can’t stand the texture of fish. Being squeamish can also be caused by a traumatic experience of some sort. It is typical for animals to be shocked at the sight of wounds and abnormalities. So that’s a rundown on what squeamishness is, but how do these stimuli affect us? What are some common causes?

Feeling squeamish can be brought on through varying responses. A disgust response and a vagal response are two common responses that cause this squeamish feeling. Disgust is one of the six primary emotions that are related to a specific neural structure. The anterior portion of the brain has been shown to be highly active in an MRI scan while the subject was experiencing disgust. Feeling disgusted by something is often a product of some past trauma; having an uncomfortable encounter with blood – perhaps a cut or an injury – could cause someone to dislike the sight or even the thought of blood. The disgust response is more of a psychological response, whereas the vagal response is a bodily nerve response. There are a pair of nerves that run from the brain down to the abdomen singularly called the vagus nerve. It connects with the carotid artery in the neck. The vagus nerve controls a few skeletal muscles and also provides most organs with parasympathetic fibers. The vagus nerve is responsible for heart rate, parts of the digestive tract, sweating, and larynx muscles which allow speech and a gag reflex. The vagus nerve can be affected by blood pressure. When blood pressure fluctuates, the body goes into “shock"; shock can be caused by an imbalance in the body. The vagus nerve receives these signals through the carotid artery and can cause the body to gag, send blood to important organs, and even make the victim faint. These bodily imbalances can be caused by blood loss, injections, neural responses, and more. A weak vagal nerve is much more susceptible to these reactions.

Almost anything can cause someone to be squeamish. The causes can vary from patient to patient. Causes can range from blood to insects to war or even to hospitals. Causes can also include traumatic experiences. Typical symptoms are lightheadedness, nausea, dizziness, shaking, vomiting, and fainting. The causes trigger the “fight or flight” response. But it is possible to condition yourself so you are no longer affected; this is often practiced by medical students. Being in a situation where you have to face whatever causes your squeamishness often enough will help your body get used to the cause. It’s the same method that is used to conquer fears.

It is important to understand what your body is telling you. These responses were designed to alert you to danger. It’s common for people to have something that makes them squeamish; but, just like fears, it is possible to overcome these causes. They are simply responses. They aren’t a hindrance.

Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Featured

'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review

Solid animation can't raise the newest entry in Sony's colorful monster series beyond the basics

48242
'Hotel Transylvania: Transformania' Film Review
Photo Credit: Amazon Prime Video – YouTube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6suJohjIvfo

I take a slight issue with the idea that Adam Sandler didn’t have a good dramatic role until ‘Uncut Gems,’ what about ‘Hotel Transylvania’ (he says semi-seriously)?’

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

Are some people just not meant to be together? Is there any way to prevent an impending divorce?

79348
4 Common Reasons Couples Get Divorced

We've all heard the statistics. Roughly 50% of married couples eventually end up divorced. This can lead to complications, problems with your children, financial issues, and no small amount of negative emotions.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

​Pets are Good for the Soul

Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

77000
Good for the Soul
Pets are Good for the Soul

America is going through a mental health crisis. This crisis predates the global pandemic, but has in many ways been dramatically exacerbated by it. In 2019, 19.86% of adults, or 50 million Americans, reported suffering from a mental illness. The emotional toll of the pandemic has been heavy, with over half of U.S. adults saying that they have experienced stress and worry related to Covid-19. Anxieties over work, uncertainty about the future and other triggers have intensified the mental health crisis. Millions of Americans have found comfort in pet ownership. The media has been awash with stories about a surge in pet ownership, as Americans have taken advantage of the ability of pets to improve emotional well-being.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How Your Sleep Position Affects Your Health?

You changed into your pajamas, turn off the lights, and get yourself ready to sleep. How do you prefer to sleep, on the back, on your side, or on your tummy? Although there’s no scientific result that sleeping position affects your back, here are some interesting facts that have been discovered.

182091
Sleep Position

You changed into your pajamas, turn off the lights, and get yourself ready to sleep. How do you prefer to sleep, on the back, on your side, or on your tummy? Although there’s no scientific result that sleeping position affects your back, here are some interesting facts that have been discovered.

Keep Reading... Show less
Featured

How to Throw the Ultimate Winter Bash

As the year starts to come to an end, make sure you find the time to have some fun as well.

124324
Ultimate Winter Bash

As the year starts to come to an end, make sure you find the time to have some fun as well.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments