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Spotlight on Lachanophobia - Fear of Vegetables

written by: Roohi Khan • edited by: Paul Arnold • updated: 4/10/2011

There are many people who simply dislike vegetables and try to avoid eating them. However, lachanophobia is more than a simple dislike; it is an irrational fear of vegetables. Read on to find out more.

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    What is the fear of vegetables called?

    Forget touching or picking a broccoli, just the sight of these veggies, can make a person with lachanophobia panic and sweat profusely. They may also suffer from different forms of lachanophobia, for example, fear of mushrooms is called lachanophobia mycosis and fear of tomatoes is called lachanophobia lycopersicum.

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    What are the causes of lachanophobia?

    Not much is known about the causes lachanophobia. However, it has been noticed that the fear of vegetables tends to run in families. This could either mean that a child inherits the phobia or learns this behavior pattern by observing a parent or close family member who has lachanophobia.

    Lachanophobia may also develop when a person transfers the fear of a specific thing to different but similar objects. For example, if a child suffers a life-threatening reaction to carrots, he or she may develop a fear of anything that is similar to them. So, the person may develop an irrational fear of any object that looks like a carrot or a phobia of all vegetables.

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    Lachanophobia symptoms

    • Exposure to any kind of vegetable produces a feeling of uncontrollable anxiety in the individual.
    • The person tries to do everything possible to avoid looking, let alone handle the veggies.
    • Often, the individual is aware that his or her fear is irrational or unreasonable, but the mere sight of vegetables makes the person panic and he or she feels powerless to control this fear.
    • This irrational fear affects the ability of the individual to function normally. For example, they may avoid dining out or taking a trip to the supermarket or any situation that may expose them to vegetables.
    • Profuse sweating, rapid heartbeat, and shortness of breath are some of the physical reactions that may be seen in these individuals when they are exposed to veggies.
    • For some people with vegetable phobia, just thinking about carrots or peas may lead to intense anxiety and panic.

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    What are the treatment options for vegetable phobia?

    Any unreasonable fear that interferes in your inability to function properly is a cause of concern and requires medical consultation.

    A doctor may prescribe beta-blockers, antidepressants and benzodiazepines for the treatment of the physical symptoms of lachanophobia.

    Psychotherapies are a more effective treatment option for the irrational fear of vegetables. In cognitive behavioral therapy, the individual learns to view and cope with the object of their fear, whereas, desensitization and exposure therapy aims at changing the person's response to the vegetables by gradual and repeated exposure.

    There are also some self-help techniques that can be employed. Lachanophobia sufferers could talk about their fear of vegetables openly with someone they trust and face their fears by gradually exposing themselves to situations involving the feared object with a trusted accomplice.

    Positive self-statements and visualizing actively facing the fear are additional ways a person can help themselves. Joining a self-help group for phobias in general is another option a person can try to overcome lachanophobia.

    NB: The content of this article is for information purposes and is not intended to replace sound medical advice and opinion.

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    References

    Telegraph Media Group Limited: Woman diagnosed with fear of vegetables - http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddrink/6526816/Woman-diagnosed-with-fear-of-vegetables.html

    DIRJournal: The Fear Factor: Lachanophobia The Fear Of Vegetables! - http://www.dirjournal.com/health-journal/the-fear-factor-lachanophobia-the-fear-of-vegetables/

    Mayo Clinic: Phobias - http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/phobias/DS00272

    Bupa: Phobias - http://www.bupa.co.uk/individuals/health-information/directory/p/phobias

    Image Credit

    Wikimedia Commons: 5aday salad.jpg

    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:5aday_salad.jpg


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