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Author Topic: Swallowing phobia  (Read 315 times)

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Offline Lola85

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Swallowing phobia
« on: May 15, 2014, 03:18:27 PM »
Hey everyone, I've been struggling with this for years and recently it has gotten worse. Basically I had a choking incident when I was younger (11 or 12...I'm 28 now) and this had a massive impact on my life. I developed a fear of swallowing, particularly hard or tough foods and from that day forward completely avoided eating in public (as much as I could). I had a barium swallow test and the results came back fine. I know that the problem is all in my head and to do with anxiety but it really is ruining my life. Over the years I coped pretty well and could eat a variety if foods although I always needed a drink and I would eat very slowly.
  Unfortunately things have gotten progressively worse to the point where I am only really comfortable with liquids and soup, ice cream, yoghurts etc. I started a new job and I think this combined with witnessing my Dad choke on some pizza brought all my anxieties back and now I am really struggling.
  My throat automatically tenses up whenever I try and eat solid food and its almost as if I have 'forgotten how to swallow'. Ridiculous I know!! It is completely taking over my life and I have lost count of the times over the years where I have turned down social invitations, because I know food will be involved and am sick of making excuses to why I am not eating!
  It's just such a difficult phobia as eating isnt exactly something that can be avoided. I have tried many things CBT, counselling etc but nothing seems to work!
  Has anyone had any similar experiences to this? I would love to hear from anyone going through something similar or indeed anyone that can offer a bit of advice or support. Thanks for listening!

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Offline Cuchculan

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Re: Swallowing phobia
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2014, 05:58:27 AM »
This would be more classed as PTSD. As it stems from an incident in your past. So to get the right kind of help you should seek out a therapist that deals with PTSD. The therapy can slightly differ at times. I would imagine they would work towards making you see that what happened years ago will not happen again. Easy to tell somebody that. But to have them accept it is the hard part. The therapist might give you small exercises to do between sessions that involve you fear. Facing it is the way forward. But you do it slowly over a period of time. With expert help there to guide you along. I do think it is something you can get over. Just have to really believe in yourself. Take those first steps and start making things right again.
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Offline rubywoo

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Re: Swallowing phobia
« Reply #2 on: July 20, 2014, 12:29:50 PM »
Hi Lola,

I can really sympathise with you, Iím also 28 and my anxiety is also to do with eating, though not due to issues swallowing.
I also turn down any invitations where there will be food there, so pretty much anything! Iíve also tried CBT, hypnotherapy etc and nothing has worked so far.

I had to post to you, as I saw a programme on TV the other day which was about a man with swallowing difficulties. It was on ITV if you live on the UK, so you should be able to get in on catch up?? It was ĎThe Speakman'sí, they actually Ďcuredí him by the end, but I donít really understand their methods so canít comment on that, just thought it would be useful for you to see someone with a similar problem.
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