A major key to being healthy on a physical level and overall survival is food. However, it goes way beyond that, as our entire days and much of our social life are also framed by this. One of the best, most preferred ways to connect with loved ones involves getting together over a cup of coffee and snacks, gathering around entire tables with full meals, and even spending time cooking or baking in the kitchen to make food for a loved one. There’s also a good chance that a good number of your fondest memories from childhood onwards have to do with a specific kind or type of food.
Given all that rich interpersonal and even intrapersonal attachment that people have with food, what then happens when you somehow can’t eat something, specifically when the inability to do so stems from a phobia or an aversion (sometimes called ARFID)?
Eating Phobias and Food Aversion
There are eating phobias that are quite common, two of which are food aversion and the sheer inability to swallow anything.
Taste varies per person, and it’s quite normal for a lot of folks to have a dislike for some of them for varying reasons. However, food aversion does not fall under this train of thought. It’s actually much more intense, as the dislike is stronger and more akin to sheer repulsion. As a result, the person will experience anxious feelings in bouts. If the food that causes this reaction adds up to quite a lot across the different tastes (salty, sour, etc), you’re going to end up with a very limited number of food to choose from.
What you may not realise is that past experiences generally trigger these kinds of food aversions. Maybe it was a type of food you received in childhood, maybe you had food poisoning or a similar negative experience or it could be that certain textures are simply hard to handle.
The inability to swallow something, on the other hand, is a food phobia that goes back to being deathly afraid that you could choke. Either your gag reflex is extremely sensitive, and/or you are experiencing a generalised anxiety response that causes your throat to tighten right up.
Aversions and phobias in terms of eating and food in general can affect you in several ways, but mainly through the following:
- Illness and nutrient deficiency due to not having enough minerals or vitamins
- Keeping you from participating in food-involved social activities
Hypnotherapy for ARFID
Whether the aversion or phobia to food is stopping you mentally, physically, or both ways, there are assistance and support on hand. Therapy is generally the best way to go about it, and you may want to explore psychotherapy. Your best bet, however, is to look into the likes of food hypnosis.
Circumstances vary per person, and undergoing hypnosis in Leeds can help you all the way to figuring out the root cause of the problem. In that vein, your overall anxiety will also be eased, likely contributing to your well-being in other areas.
Having phobias when it comes to eating and an intense aversion to food can be stressful and unhealthy. It is key to trace exactly where these are rooted in so that they can be addressed properly. Being able to get the correct therapy, such as hypnotherapy, will be able to solve these long-standing issues and help you eat better so you can live healthier.
Are you in need of hypnotherapy for your food phobia? My name is Paul Ramsden, and I am a fully qualified hypnotherapist. I would love to help you overcome that and any other deeper-level issues you may have. You can receive help either face-to-face or online.