The phagophobia or fear of swallowing is a very specific and rare phobia. Sometimes it can be confused with photophobia, or the fear of drowning.
The big difference is that those who suffer from phagobia are afraid of swallowing, while those who suffer from phobia, are afraid of swallowing something and drowning because of it.
Sometimes both phobias are confused with some medical conditions like dysphasia and odynophagia, in which a psychological disorder causes swallowing to be difficult and even painful.
Causes of Phagophobia
Ironically, phagophobia is one of the few phobias that make it appear because of the same fear of having it.
Sometimes, you can feel anxiety and tension like a big lump in your throat because really, anxiety can cause the muscles in the throat to contract.
So those who suffer from this condition are physically unable to improve it at the moment they are suffering. Thus creating a vicious circle very difficult to break.
In many cases the phagophobia begins to suffer due to a negative experience that has suffered the person.
Maybe at some point, you tried to eat something while you were nervous and the food did not go through your throat as fast as you wanted, and you drowned. Or maybe, you had to eat something you did not like. You could have a sore throat and you had a rare sensation at the time of swallowing.
However, phagophobia can also occur without any apparent cause.
Symptoms of phagophobia
As we learned earlier, phagophobia is the fear of swallowing and can cause the following symptoms:
- Shortness of breath.
- Sweating excessively.
- Dry mouth.
- Feeling sick.
- Inability to think clearly.
- Affraid to die.
- Get angry or lose control.
- A feeling of getting out of reality or a severe anxiety attack.
Consequences of suffering phage phobia
Some consequences can occur if you suffer from phagophobia, such as:
- The inability to take pills or other oral medicines.
- A sudden lack of interest in many foods and liquids.
- Severe weight loss.
- Increased anxiety in general, and even some type of depression.
How to deal with phagophobia?
Since the muscles of the throat contract in times of anxiety, there are some strategies that will help you to stay calm, in case this happens.
Some people find that watching TV or listening to music while eating gives them some kind of distraction that makes chewing and swallowing a common and simple experience.
Other people realize that drinking a little water at each bite makes the swallowing process easier. Still others avoid foods that make them uncomfortable. Therefore, finding your comfort zone is something of trial and error.
If your fear of swallowing is much more serious then perhaps you should consider seeking professional help. Sometimes, phagophobia gets worse over time, causing people to have even stricter eating habits.
Fortunately, phagophobia responds well to a variety of treatments and with hard work and willpower, there is no reason for it to become a problem.
While we do not know of a common cause for phagophobia, sometimes it can lead to other phobias, and even physical health problems.
When a phobia joins with the reflexes of a specific muscle of the body, treatment is quite difficult and overcome this fear, requires a great dedication to self-help methods or a great motivation to seek professional help.
Heal it from energy psychology?
You should be aware that you are not the only person suffering from phagophobia. Many people, who suffer from this, are surprised to know that they are not alone in suffering from this common phobia.
A few years ago, a psychologist who specialized in phobias such as phagophobia, made a great discovery.
This psychologist was aware of all new therapies. And he tried them all. And although he tried any of the therapies, the rate of people who were cured was only 5%. Of course, the patients were progressing. But it was only because it increased the time of treatment, which also took many years, not even a few months.
Let’s accept it. It was possible that a low percentage of people were “cured” even without treatment.
After analyzing this, he made an astonishing discovery and his ability to eliminate phagophobia, increased by 80%. He was so successful that he even almost got himself out of business.
Well, he did not lose his business, but at least for a while, he made his business generate revenue. He cured patients of their “phagophobia” in one session, rarely more than five or six.
This was a radical change for years of therapy. But what was the discovery? It was so simple, that no one thought of looking it that way.
This discovery is what is known as “The Declaration of Discovery”:
“The cause of all negative emotions is the disruption in the body’s energy system”
Now, think about what you did not say. He did not say that he was in your thoughts, habits, beliefs, strategies or anything else (even if they play an important role). These are “the means”
The energy system of the body is the root. And from this root, the “Energy Psychology” was born.
After this discovery, other innovators have emerged within Energetic Psychology. And they offer solutions to emotional problems, such as phagophobia.
A good feature of Energy Psychology is that in many cases it is self-sufficient.
This can also be a cure for phagophobia. It is up to you to decide what is best for you and what your comfort zone is.