Did You Say “Vegetable Phobia?”

June 23, 2010 by  
Filed under Fears and Phobias

Up until a few months ago, when a woman approached me about treating her vegetable phobia, I had no idea that Lachanophobia (fear of vegetables) even existed.   When I agreed to take her on as a client, I knew that I could help her get past her fear, but I had no idea how much the session would impact her life!  My client’s phobia was precipitated by a traumatic event in childhood, where she was left in a highchair all night staring at a bowl of peas.  After the incident, she developed an extreme aversion to vegetables, which lasted into adulthood.  Whenever she was faced with the prospective of having to eat any kind of vegetables, she would start to feel panicky, her throat would close up and she would feel very nauseous.

Being significantly overweight, my client’s weight loss goals were constantly being undermined because of her fear of vegetables.  When she came into my office the first time, she was practically in tears as she described her frustration with not being able to lose weight.

I treated her condition just like I would treat any phobia, by rewiring her memories of the traumatic event and desensitizing her to the fear.  After only two sessions, she’s now eating most vegetables (except for the ones which we agreed she never had to eat, like Brussels sprouts).  Not only does she feel comfortable around cucumbers and asparagus, but she’s lost 20 pounds in one month and she’s feeling great!

The moral of the story?  There’s no such thing as a weird phobia. If you’re legitimately afraid of something and its negatively impacting your life, maybe it’s time you faced your fear.