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January 2022

Psychogenic vomiting complicated by marijuana abuse and spontaneous pneumomediastinum

Author(s): Baker, J., Bui, T.

Journal/Book: Aust N Z J Psychiat. 1996; 30: P O Box 126, Karrinyup 6018, Australia. Australian Nz J Psychiatry. 290-294.

Abstract: Objective: This case illustrates an unusual physical sequel of psychogenic vomiting. Clinical picture: A 22-year-old man with a picture of psychogenic vomiting and marijuana use developed the complications of a pneumomediastinum and subcutaneous emphysema. Treatment: Therapy included gradual exposure to anxiety provoking stimuli, psychotropics to reduce vomiting and psychotherapeutic exploration of family relationships. Outcome: The patient's vomiting and physical state resolved without complication, Follow-up at 12 months revealed continued improvement with occasional less severe vomiting. Conclusions: Psychogenic vomiting as a manifestation of anxiety can result in serious physical and psychological sequelae. This patient's desperate attempts to control such vomiting complicated the picture, Successful short term intervention included the use of several treatment modalities.

Note: Article GM Demoore, Westmead Hosp, Dept Psychiat, Westmead, NSW 2145, Australia

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