Does anyone have a fear of swallowing food?

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dgrimes
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Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 6/13/2006 5:09 AM (GMT -7)   
I know this will sound crazy....Does anyone else have a fear of swallowing in front of other people in fear that it won't go down the right "tube" and you will choke?
 
I had my food go down the wrong way causing me to choke a little then it went down about 10 years ago in front of my boyfriends family.  Ever since then when I eat in front of people I feel like I cant swallow, like the muscle that takes the food down the throat doesn't want to work in fear of choking.   It even happens when I eat with my husband who I've been with for 6 years.  It doesn't happen when I'm alone thats the thing that leads me to believe its got something to do with the fear of choking again like 10 years ago.
 
Is that a fear that anyone else has experienced or should I go see someone about this?????
 
Thanks,
Diana

ThatsMzTaz2U
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 166
   Posted 6/13/2006 9:09 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Yes i had this fear for about 7 months a few years back, i only ate stuff like pudding jello Mashed potatoes any thing that would go down easy. I did over come it back then, but even to this day sometimes when we go out I am afraid to swallow because I get this burning sensation going down and it feels like the food is getting stuck which in me is enough to cause a panic attack. your not alone. I can not believe since i joined this forum that there is people that have or have had every symptom I have had, it makes me feel a little better to know I am not the only one. I think your muscle's are tightening up making it feel like your going to choke notice next time if your holding your chest muscle's tight or the tube tight. if you are try relaxing it. good luck and god bless
 Hugs Anna
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dgrimes
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Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 34
   Posted 6/13/2006 9:12 AM (GMT -7)   
I do have many fears so maybe this is just another one of those things I need to overcome.
It does make me feel good to know that I am not alone!
Thanks,
Diana

Ryan M
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Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 6/18/2006 6:58 AM (GMT -7)   
Diane,
 
You are not alone. I'm not sure where I developed the same issue, but if I'm not in a comfortable environment then I have problems swallowing food. It seems most days that I am uncomforatble in crowded places and since have avoided dining out. If I order food from somewhere, I have to get it to go unless it is a place with alcohol, then after a couple beverages I have liquid courage, and the panic or uncomfortable situation is removed.
 
Not sure what the answer is, I am constantly told that self-medicating is not the answer, but for me for now works well.
 
Ryan

Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 6/18/2006 7:22 AM (GMT -7)   
Diane I do have this fear and I do choke but I think it is all to do with other illnesses and my A/P for sure .it doesnt just happen in front of peeps but when I am by my self as well .....If it continues please see a doc .....Take care and God Bless...Lyn
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els
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Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 4031
   Posted 6/19/2006 4:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Diane,  I too have this fear, but it extends to even drinking fluids.  It has also become much worse since I was diagnosed with MS 5 yrs ago as swallowing is a problem some days anyway without the anxiety.  But I remember having this fear all the way back into my school days when I would start having coughing fits in class for no reason, you try everything to make it stop but it wont and everyone is looking at you.  I hated that....


 


sami-jo
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Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 326
   Posted 6/19/2006 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Diana,

Sometimes I feel this way, too. But I can be alone or with other people and it comes and goes. I have heard that GERD can sometimes cause this. And of course, just good old anxiety alone could be responsible. Sounds like since yours is just when you are with other people anxiety probably is a factor. I know that when I am thinking about swallowing it makes it harder to do- maybe you just worry about it and think about it when you are with people?

Sami

onya26
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 6/19/2006 10:19 AM (GMT -7)   
HI diana,

I have had this for a lomg time. I cant go out to eat i get carryout from my fav resturants cause i can eat out. If i do go out i order soup and just take my entree home. I can eat at home in front of others just not in public.



onya

Tuna
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Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 6/29/2006 8:33 AM (GMT -7)   
Diana,

I'm so glad you started this post! It's so nice to know that I'm not alone in this. I'm wondering if you, or anyone else has had a problem with swallowing and/or dry mouth as well? I find myself sometimes in church or other places where I find myself concentrating on my mouth/throat/swallowing thing and I'll start to get a little anxious about it. This will lead to be swallowing a lot, or clearing throat. I've felt like such an idiot for a long time, and haven't shared with very many people because of that.

Thanks again,
Tuna

PugandherPeeps
Regular Member


Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 98
   Posted 6/29/2006 11:07 AM (GMT -7)   
I have a fear of swallowing food when my hypochondria is flared up and I convince myself that I have esophogal cancer.

I told my psychiatrist that everyone hates me. He said, "That cannot be true. You haven't met everyone yet!"


Tuna
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Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 7/7/2006 7:43 AM (GMT -7)   
Sami wrote......"I know that when I am thinking about swallowing it makes it harder to do- maybe you just worry about it and think about it when you are with people?"
So....My question is:  How does one stop thinking and/or worrying about swallowing?  Once I get the sensation that I'm choking, and I'm reminded that I still have this problem, I can't help but focusing or worrying about it. 
 
Any help or advice would be greatly appreciated!
Thanks,
Tuna

leaves
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Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 7/7/2006 8:03 AM (GMT -7)   
when my panic disorder began, i had this symptom also. although it would hit me in the middle of a meal and i wouldnt be able to finish it. i would get nervous that i would choke, and then i would get severe nausea and i would have to just stop eating all togeher and would have to spit out whatever food i had in my mouth if i had a mouthful at the time. i talked to my therapist about it and she though i was nuts (what a great therapist she was!)! but over time, ive just learned to "concentrate" on what i was doing. i found it hard to eat around people when it started, so i wold have to turn down dinners, which then spawned my agoraphobia. i would take very very small bites of food, like, a few grains of rice at a time, and made sure that everything was down before taking another small bite. dont worry tuna! you can overcome this!
its just another very bothersome symptom, and with some time and patience, you can make it through. just take meals slow, and take very small bites, and try not to focus on choking. i know its easier said than done, but just be patient and you will see that it gets easier. good luck, and you will get over this mountain!!

leaves

Tuna
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Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 35
   Posted 7/10/2006 11:06 AM (GMT -7)   

Okay...After lunch today I'm seriously debating getting on some drug(s)!! I had lunch with a best friend of mine who I haven't seen in a long time and the swallowing/gagging phobia/obsession came on.  This sucks big time!  I had no reason to be nervous with him.  I think anytime I go to eat anymore and there is anyone around I automatically start obsessing.  Are there specific drugs geared towards obsessions/problems like this?  I have been on Paxil and Effexor in the past, but I'm currently not taking anything.

Thanks,

Tuna


hopeful82
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Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 2433
   Posted 7/10/2006 11:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Phagophobia or dysphagia (fear of swallowing or eating) is something that is typically treated the same way any other anxiety disorder is treated.

The treatment of choice is to find a good behavioral or cognitive behavioral therapist who can help you deal with this problem. Basically you want help to identify and challenge your anxious thoughts and how your anxious thoughts contribute to your fear. More importantly though, you want to unlearn your fear by gradually approaching the foods that are difficult for you to eat.

If any of you aren't seeing a therapist yet, this could be a good option for you! I don't think meds have been shown to have effect, as its something that some good CBT can take care of usually.
ali
 
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angel eyes
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 1/3/2007 5:17 PM (GMT -7)   
hi di . ime 34 and this has got a grip on me ,like ryan carnt go out and eat without alcahol , but its become addictive ; at home my kids say mummy why wont you eat with us , this christmas had to be drunk to eat are crimbo dinner .its hart brakin , ime on prozack and councilin but i still feel its in controle , sorry ime no good at spelling , i carnt seem to get a grip , doc siad take diazipan but i said no ,  alcahol is not the answer but it does help . i had an eatin desorder about 7 years ago , think it might have a part in this nightmare, i am tryin to concker this thing ,but think mine is alot worse than any one ellse . i feell so alown. can any one help me . xxxxxxxx please xx

harry4
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Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1449
   Posted 1/3/2007 5:37 PM (GMT -7)   
to angel eyes
do take the diazepam, it relaxes the muscles, making eating easier and goes well with prozac
recovered former longtime anxiety and panic attack sufferer and helper of other sufferers  but no training or  qualifications in medicine or psychology, any remarks that may be taken as advice must be confirmed with doctor or other health professional
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angel eyes
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 1/4/2007 7:58 AM (GMT -7)   
thanks harry , but arnt diazepam addictive that would be my last reasort , my mum got hooked on them years ago , and do they make you feel weird , that would panick me , i have got a little beter but carnt eat out , wont sit at the table and eat with my family , it takes ages to finish a meal , i find it gets worse round my periods , dont no waether hormones are playing a part in it. doctor put me on prozac years ago becouse ov p m t , used to have panick attacks round this time alot . raceing heart beats , now i get missed beats , my doc says anxiaty has to come out some were , i have asked to have hormone balance checked but doc says it doesnt make any difference , but this swallowing just came from no wear , what next , i seem to get over one thing then comes another xx is any one else have these problems or am i just a nutter xxx

Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 1/5/2007 5:15 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there
You are further off with the diazapam then the drinking IMO and I believe it will relax you more
Take care please
Keep us posted
I take this med as I have to really chew food and have trouble at times swallowing
IT helps
Lyn
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Violet*Valerie*Valella
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Date Joined Jan 2007
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   Posted 1/5/2007 6:06 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't always fear this, but I do when I eat food with bones, which is why I avoid pork chops, chicken, etc.

Howlyncat
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Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 1/5/2007 6:17 AM (GMT -7)   
I tend to do same but Chicken is always no bones for me anyways lol
Have to have the breasts
I eat alot of this as I can safely eat it with my crohns
Lyn
    Contribute today to support Healing Well Forums...Donate @
 
 
 Never compromise your self nor your dignity...with that ...My God
 Family and Great Friends ........I have it All
 
 Dream, Reach and Believe ......You can Do It........We are Here For You 
                God Bless .........Lyn
Make The Best of The New year .......You Can and Will Reach your Goals
                              Loads of Love n Support
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anglfrmhvn69
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Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 297
   Posted 1/5/2007 7:46 AM (GMT -7)   
i had this fear when i was a little girl,i got choked at school and then after that i wouldnt eat.my grandma helped me through that fear.she told me that if i think i cant swallow then i'm not going to be able to.but if i think of something happy or exciting while i eat then i would be able to swallow,cause i'm tricking my mind to think of something else besides the swallowing.may sound dumb to alot of people but it really helped me.and i dont have that fear anymore.
pamela


angel eyes
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Date Joined Jan 2007
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 1/5/2007 9:57 AM (GMT -7)   
thanks for all your addvice , been a great help to no ime not going nutty, i thought i was on my own with this swallowing thing , i like the idea of trying to think nice things , wil give it a go .

sagekat81
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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 4/27/2007 10:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi I've never been here before and don't know if anyone out there who's reading this.  I've had the fear of swallowing for3 years now.  The only way I can eat is to chew up my solids and drink liquids at the same time.  I don't eat much at a sitting and have noticed it is worst in public.  The whole time I eat for the past 3 years I think I'm gonna choke.  Its sad. I've tried medicine, muscle relaxers, acu puncture, hypnotherapy cousoling.  Nothing has helped.  I wonder if electro shock would help? 

wannabbetter
Regular Member


Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 128
   Posted 4/28/2007 7:34 AM (GMT -7)   
hi there, yes i ge these episodes of fear of choking. i have choked a few times. meat is hard for me. when i eat it all of the sudden i get the thought that i cant swallow and then i really cant get it down. i guess its the fear of choking and not being able to swallow.

pink1025
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 78
   Posted 4/28/2007 5:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes! When I was younger I had a fear of it...to the point I would spit out into my napkin to avoid having to swallow it. This lasted for quite sometime....2 years maybe? Then one day it went away.
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