Deipnophobia: why am I scared to eat in front of others?

When forced to eat in a busy restaurant, some people experience unease and discomfort. Some people even try to eat alone by scheduling their lunch and dinner at different times than the rest of the family.

The fear of eating in the company of other people, also known as Deipnophobia, is the root cause of this phenomenon. We shall explain what causes this disease to manifest itself and whether or not it is treatable.

What causes Deipnophobia

This condition might present itself in two different ways. The first reason may be traced back to social anxiety, which expresses itself when a person has the impression that the other people around them will judge what they eat and how much they eat. A person is said to have a manifestation of their phobia if they have an illogical fear when they are required to eat in the company of other people. A phobia is an irrational fear of something that cannot be rationally explained and is consequently difficult to overcome.

People are reluctant to consume food in public for a variety of reasons, including the following:

1. Emotional trauma

A significant contributor to the onset of this illness may be traced back to the routines that were followed in the parental home during meals like lunch and dinner.

If a child is frequently criticized for eating or using silverware, for instance, as an adult, he will worry that the same thing will be done to him and will eat differently due to this fear.

Trauma is a common cause of Deipnophobia and can manifest at any age. This takes place when a person is exposed to profoundly upsetting information at the dinner table, which then becomes ingrained in his psyche.

2. Imposed fear

Fear can be “transmitted” from one person to another in this way. If his parents suffered from specific phobias, then it is likely that he will develop the same anxieties and habits.

For instance, if the father usually preferred to dine by himself and had hostile feelings whenever another person entered the kitchen, the child may eventually adopt these similar behaviors.

3. Defining characteristics

Character qualities such as shyness, solitude, and low self-esteem can all enhance the likelihood of developing Deipnophobia. When a person is uncomfortable, that discomfort is made worse when they are in the company of other people. Because he cannot be certain that he will not be evaluated, he makes every effort to steer clear of situations that could lead to that outcome.

Deipnophobia symptoms

People with deipnophobia fear not being able to eat by themselves; hence, they make every effort to avoid uncomfortable situations. For instance, they might decline to eat with friends or pretend that they aren’t hungry when invited to a restaurant by those same people.

They report feeling anxious, irritable, and experiencing heart palpitations. Hand trembling and lightheadedness are common symptoms of deipnophobia. Additionally, a good number of them are unable to talk when seated at the table because doing so causes additional suffering; hence, they are always mute.

Deipnophobia treatment

It is essential for those who desire to conquer this phobia to reflect on the moment in their past that may have been a contributing factor in their development of it. It is essential to make an effort to change how others feel about him.

When you were a kid, your grandma scolded you for eating carelessly. Think about it, though: now that you are an adult, your motor skills are more developed, you are familiar with proper table manners, and it is improbable that comments made in the past are still relevant.

In addition, if you are uncomfortable with how other people treat you at dinner, you can stand up and leave. And when you were a kid, you probably weren’t very good at it.

To get over their fear of being in crowded places, some people use “shock therapy” to concentrate all of their willpower into a fist and force themselves to eat in one. This strategy might be useful, but on the other hand, it might merely make things that are already uncomfortable for you more worse.

If you are still set on using it, begin on a small scale, and increase your use gradually. Invite over for dinner a reliable friend who you know you can count on. Gather a few of your close friends together if you feel at ease interacting with her. After that, proceed to a cafe that is not overly packed.

It is therefore going to be far simpler for you to get used to and manage unpleasant feelings than it is going to be for you to be subjected to significant tension at a restaurant with a hall that is completely full with people.

And if you find that you can still not handle things on your own, you may consider seeing a psychotherapist. Deipnophobia can be treated using a variety of therapeutic approaches, including cognitive-behavioral therapy, auto-training, and analytical psychology.

Your anxiety and the symptoms it causes may benefit from the use of tranquilizers, antipsychotics, or antidepressants, which your doctor may prescribe for you. It is physically difficult to buy and take a full course of these medications on your own, and making the wrong financial decision would make the situation worse.

Note* Always consult your doctor or other qualified health care professional for any questions you may have about your health or condition. Never disregard a health care professional’s advice or delay getting it because of what you read on this website.

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