In this guide, we will analyze the fear that some people have about fruits and why it occurs.
Various foods help people have better physical and mental health. Many are the nutritionists who recommend people to eat fruits and vegetables because of the sources of vitamins and the positive effects they have.
Some people have their preferences when it comes to eating. Some prefer not to eat certain fruits and certain vegetables, each reason is personal as this may be due to intolerance or something cultural. The situation is different when the person develops an irrational fear of eating certain foods.
For many people, it may be strange to hear that there is a fear of eating fruits, called fruit phobia. Fruit phobia is also known as Fructophobia, a rare form of phobia that is characterized by an irrational fear of fruits.
Fructophobia, or fruit phobia, is part of Eating Behaviour Disorders such as Anorexia and Bulimia. The exact cause for which this disorder occurs is difficult to define and varies according to each person. Psychological factors come into play in some cases. A person who has another Eating Behavior Disorder such as Anorexia may put aside eating certain foods, including fruits. The person thinks that the amount of sugar that fruits have can contribute to weight gain, so it decides not to eat them.
In this type of behaviour, psychological and cultural factors come into play in many cases. About psychological factors, the person struggles to look good and understands that avoiding eating some foods, in this case including fruits, is the best thing it can do to achieve the desired goal. As for cultural factors, it has been proven that people who are in an environment with certain eating behaviours are more likely to develop them. In this case, a person who has had a mother or father with an eating disorder is likely to be more likely to acquire a disorder such as anorexia or phobias such as fruit phobia.
Also, the person can develop fruit phobia if when it was little it was forced to eat them because it did not like it. Already being an older person, the fruit brings back the memory of that moment in the past and decides to avoid it. Other reasons to have fruit phobia may be that the person has had a bad experience with fruits. It may have found some worm or some experience that the person has interpreted as dangerous and therefore does not want to eat fruit or a specific one. It all depends on the association that the person makes.
Fruits contain large amounts of vitamins, nutrients and fibres that make them up. Also, fruits are a source of water and antioxidants. Antioxidants prevent premature ageing and achieve more beautiful skin. Studies confirm that fruits help psychological well-being, giving the body greater vitality. It is also proven that fruits increase happiness levels.
The World Health Organization explains that fruits are an essential part of healthy eating, and not eating them can have serious consequences for people’s physical and mental health. People may become more likely to develop cardiovascular disease and some cancers, diabetes development or obesity. The person who has fruit phobia is prone to infection, and may even experience loss of hair or teeth. According to the WHO, 1.7 million lives could be saved each year if the consumption of fruits and vegetables were increased enough, and it is also estimated that insufficient intake of fruits and vegetables worldwide causes approximately 19% of cancers gastrointestinal, 31% of ischemic heart disease and 11% of cerebral vascular accidents. The person with fruit phobia often ignores the damage that its irrational fear of fruits can cause.
What is a phobia?
Humans are afraid of many things, which is normal in most cases. Even with fear, people do their normal activities and continue their daily lives. But there is a difference to be afraid of having a phobia of something specific or a situation that may cause that fear to appear. Phobias are intense and irrational fears that a person has before specific stimuli. A feeling of hatred or rejection of something that, although it is not an emotional health disorder, if it generates many social, political and emotional problems, is also often classified as a phobia.
According to the Royal College of Psychiatrist, which trains professionals and regulates psychiatric activity in the United Kingdom, about 5% of the population has a social phobia to a greater or lesser extent. It is not known if the problem is increasing or if it has become more public in recent times, but it is known that women have double or triple the chances of having this problem.
There are three categories of phobias, which are known as the following:
- Agoraphobia: fear of being in situations in which the person cannot escape or ask for help. An example of this would be in offices, churches, elevators, supermarket, etc.
- Social phobia: it is the fear of being seen or judged while performing a social activity such as teaching a class, eating in front of others, etc.
- Specific phobias: specific phobia consists of an intense and persistent pathological fear of a particular object or situation that has no proportion to the real risk. There are many phobias, among the most common are fear of getting on a plane, animals, blood or injections, clowns, and in this case, fear of fruits.
Symptoms of phobias
Among the symptoms of phobias are:
- Distorted and disproportionate thoughts about the stimulus
- Intense fear, anxiety and panic are manifest when the person is exposed to what causes fear.
- Reactions and physical sensations such as sweating, rapid heartbeat, chest tightness, tremor, chills or difficulty breathing.
- Avoidance of the object or situation, or enduring it with extreme anxiety and fear.
These symptoms not only apply to fruit phobia but to any type of phobia that the person may have. Irrational fear of something or situation can lead to manifest several of these symptoms. The phobias affect people differently and each one manifests certain characteristics.
How can a person overcome fruit phobia?
A person may be afraid of certain objects or situations, but at the moment in which it interferes and seriously alters the person’s life can become a specific phobia. Fruit phobia can negatively affect a person’s health if it is maintained over time.
Fruit phobia, like any specific phobia that is part of a class of disorders, needs medical attention in case the person can not overcome its irrational fear of fruits. The person will have to go to a mental health professional to help them investigate the origin of the fear of fruits. Many of the traumas or stressful situation that a person has their origins in childhood, adolescence or early adulthood.
For the person can overcome the fruit phobia, the mental health professional will use several techniques focused on the cognitive-behavioural model. Graduated exposure therapies or immersion technique. The therapies are intended to expose the person to the object or situation that causes anxiety and fear so that it understands that in the end its fear is exaggerated and that it was not as serious as it thought, this is done in a way gradual. Also, the use of medications may be present, it all depends on how serious the phobia is that the person experiences. Anxiolytics are usually used and their purpose is to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of anxiety caused by phobia.
For a person who has a family member or friend who suffers from fruit phobia, understanding is vital. The person who is afraid of fruits has a different perception than others may have. The person who is close to someone with fruit phobia should understand that fruits trigger memories or situations that make the person be immersed in irrational fear and anxiety.
FAQs about fruit phobia
Can a person die if they don’t eat fruits?
A person does not die but eats fruits, but is more likely to develop diseases such as cancer and diabetes, which if not treated in the long run can lead to death.
What happens if a person is not treated for fruit phobia?
If a person is not treated for fruit phobia, they will continue to live a life full of fear and anguish when they are in the presence of the disease. Also, not eating fruit can cause health problems.
What to do if a person does not want to receive treatment against fruit phobia?
A person cannot be forced to receive treatment, but it can be explained calmly and calmly about the phobia it suffers. Explain that seeking professional help will help them overcome that fear and continue living life in a normal way.
Why can a person develop fruit phobia?
Fruit phobia, as well as any other phobia, may appear due to some traumatic event to which the person has been exposed. In the case of fruit phobia, the person previously had some negative experience with the fruit that has led to developing this fear.
Can a person stop being afraid of fruits?
Yes, a person can stop being afraid of fruits if it receives the professional help necessary to overcome it, so the importance of going to it once the symptoms occur.
Fruit phobia, like any specific phobia, can lead the person to live an unstable life and with fear of doing things that they like. For the person to eliminate the fruit phobia from its life, the help of a health professional will be necessary since it will use various exposure techniques where the person will face the object or situation that causes that fear and anxiety. The exhibition together with other therapies that have the purpose of changing the negative perception that the person has, will make this lead a more normal life.
- Fruit Phobia (natural Hygiene)
- Fear of Food: A History of Why We Worry about What We Eat