Here's a passage about kidney stones, taken from here:

About 1 in 11 people in the United States have had kidney stones, according to a 2012 report in the journal European Urology. These small bits of solid matter form in the kidneys when normal kidney substances, such as calcium, and phosphorous, become highly concentrated. Kidney stones range in size and shape. The smallest stones may travel down your urinary tract and pass out of your body without causing any symptoms. However, larger stones (they can grow to the size of golf balls) and those with jagged edges are more likely to get stuck in your urinary tract and block the flow of urine, causing painful symptoms. The pain often becomes sharp, severe, and colicky (comes in waves), as the muscles of the ureter (the urine tube connecting the kidneys and bladder) contract and relax around the stone. The pain may move to the groin area or testicles as the kidney stone migrates through the urinary tract.

Reading the last few sentences of this, I feel a sense of horror and disgust. But more to the point, its an especially visceral feeling. Like I'm imagining relatively fragile tissue getting torn and damaged by these stones in or around the genital area, and I just wind up with this horror/yuk feeling "in" my body.

Question. What do we call the especially visceral feelings of horror or disgust that are triggered by thoughts of bodily damage?


2 Answers 2


Common words that could be used to describe this include revulsion and repugnance.

Revulsion in particular includes the idea not only of disgust but of being forced to turn away, while repugnance implies an antagonism or internal conflict.


Perhaps squeamishness. The root, squeamish is defined as

(Of a person) easily made to feel sick, faint, or disgusted, especially by unpleasant images, such as the sight of blood: he was a bit squeamish at the sight of the giant needles

Oxford Dictionaries Online

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