Know More About Cibophobia - Fear Of Food

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ifoodiee's picture
How would someone survive if they were afraid of food itself?!! Amazed yet this fear of food is a reality for many and is called cibophobia (Sitophobia, Sitiophobia). I couldn’t wait to know more about "cibophobia- Fear of food” and it is this inquisitiveness that brought about this blog! I am positive you will appreciate this informative piece on cibophobia, its symptoms and treatment.
 
Cibophobia or fear of food! 

 

Cibophobia Vs Anorexia:
 
Cibophobia is a complicated mental condition which is defined as “An exaggerated or irrational fear of food”. It is often confused with anorexia where the person is afraid of the consequences food will have on the body image. But with Cibophobia it is simply the food alone that triggers fear and panic. In a few complicated cases a person can suffer from both disorders.
 
Symptoms of Cibophobia:
 
In today’s health conscious world people are extremely careful about what they eat, making it difficult to site the person with cibophobia. Here are a few symptoms that will help you figure out if you or your closed ones suffer from cibophobia:
 
A person suffering from Cibophobia can be extremely finicky and wary about the food he consumes as he believes that certain foods pose a threat to his system.
 
The person might stay away from particular kinds of food like meat, seafood or even vegetables!
 
Most common objects of fear are perishable foods like mayonnaise and milk.
 
You will also notice that they are obsessed with expiration dates. They might discard or reject food that is approaching its expiration date or is just a few hours past its expiration date. You might also find them sniffing at food products persistently to see if they are alright. They may continue expressing their fear of the food even if it is well within its expiration date once it is opened because they still doubt its quality!!
 
They are usually highly sensitive when it comes to meat like chicken or pork or other food which requires to be cooked properly. They will always be fussy about how well cooked the food is and when cooking themselves they will usually overcook it to the point of burning or drying.
 
Cibophobic people will always have a set of rules for themselves when it comes to consuming food especially food from restaurants as here they have no control over the food or cooking methods.  For example they will avoid specific restaurants, abstain from certain dishes or not take seafood in restaurant that are far away from the coast. They will definitely have very little patience with leftovers and often throw them out even before 24 hours.
 
When Cibophobia worsens:
 
Once the phobia turns into an obsession the affected person will start to restrict his diet so much so that he will bring harm to his bodily health. The affected person will fall prey to fatigue, dizziness and irascibility.
 
Socially, one will become increasingly conscious about others noticing your erratic behavior and feel uncomfortable at social gatherings and at restaurants.
 
The most embarrassing and worst outcome will be that cibophobia will make you cry, panic, shake and suffer other visible physical symptoms when surrounded by food.
 
Treatment for Cibophobia:
 
Always approach a qualified mental health professional to treat Cibophobia as it is unquestionably a complicated mental condition. The final aim of the practitioner will be to help one develop a positive relationship with food.
 
A cognitive-behavioral therapy will help to teach them to change their belief and behavior regarding food.
 
Medications, hypnosis and different forms of talk therapy are other methods of treatment.
 
Educating the patient about the genuine extent of risks of various food-borne illnesses after he has figured how to control his fear will also help.
 
Image Credits
http://www.flickr.com/photos/37651099@N04/

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boxedcat's picture
I have Cibophobia. I would say it's difficult to pin point symptoms as clearly as you have. I cannot explain why I am scared of food, my behavior towards food is regimented, I eat very little in variety as I cannot bring myself to try anything. Therefore I do have problems socially, I can't go out for meals with my boyfriend. Nor can we get takeaways, not because I'm scared about other people cooking my food, but because there is nothing on any menu that I actually like. Only in the last month or so have I discovered what my problem is, putting a name to this thing that has always controlled my life has made me realize I'm not just weird or alone on this. Also it means I'm not as scared or ashamed to talk about it. If only I knew about this before, then I could have got help long ago. I was forced to see doctors when I was a kid, but they referred me to dietitians who basically just told me off for how unhealthy I was. When I was finally given to someone who could help, who was basically some sort of psychiatrist (he was trying to figure out what was 'wrong' with me). After 2 sessions, I turned him away because I couldn't bare the attention it was causing. I regret that now, but I was only young. Always I thought it was my fault. Now my body and my health suffers. Although a am getting help now, hopefully.... I just need to say... As much as I agree and am pleased with bringing awareness to Cibophobia, I do have an issue with the image used here, it sexualizes something that has essentially ruined my life.