Cibophobia – Causes, Symptoms, & Treatment

How would you feel if your mind develops some kind of fear for food that is the basic necessity of one’s life? Yes, it is true!! Such type of phobia does exist and is given the name of Cibophobia.

We know it is scary to hear about it but don’t you worry, here we are with an article on Cibophobia having all the details that you should know.

What Cibophobia exactly is?

Cibophobia is a mental disorder that is the fear of food or eating in which people avoid food and drinks because they’re afraid of the food. The fear may be specific like –

  • Fear from perishable foods
  • Fear from overcooked or undercooked foods
  • Uncomfortable with certain types of texture in food like Slimy or spongey, Cottage cheese, chicken
  • Worries about burnt edges or dryness
  • Worries about raw food
  • Fear from leftovers
  • Fear from the expiration of food
  • Preparing own food

Or it may not be specific. People with eating disorders such as anorexia may avoid food for example they have fear of gaining weight.

Symptoms of Cibophobia

Symptoms of having CIBOPHOBIA are-

  • Trembling or shaking
  • Having chest pain
  • Dry mouth
  • Heavy sweating
  • Vomiting
  • Upset stomach
  • Worm-eating
  • Refusal to consume meat or other animal products
  • Sudden inability to talk
  • Breathe shortness
  • Physical tumbling
  • Symptoms of extreme anxiety
  • Nutritional deficiencies and health problems
  • Distress and difficulties with peers
  • Sleep issues like nightmares
  • Crying or throwing a temper tantrum
  • Racing heartbeat
  • High blood pressure, etc.

Causes of Cibophobia includes –

  • The phobia in a person may begin from a very young age. The child may develop a fear when they are exposed to someone afraid of certain foods.
  • A fear of foodborne illness may drive people to avoid foods that can be dangerous if undercooked
  • Another reason may be classical conditioning in which the fear develops through association. This means a person may have a bad experience with the food.
  • Child abuse can also be the reason for not eating some kinds of food and can develop a phobia from a very young age.
  • Cibophobia is associated with anorexia, bulimia, and other behavior and eating disorders.
  • Specific food allergies main cause of fear of hidden allergens in foods or the development of a potentially life-threatening type of allergic reaction known as anaphylaxis.

Some Complications Regarding Cibophobia:

The complications of cibophobia can be-

  • Obsessive behavior
  • Weakness
  • Weight loss
  • Memory loss
  • Less bone density
  • Depression
  • Malnutrition
  • Dizziness
  • Irritability
  • Bad eating pattern
  • Uncomfortable in gatherings
  • Gatherings
  • Interference with school, work, relationships, and social life
  • Obsessive rituals- cleanliness in stores or kitchen
  • Social stigma- hiding phobia from friends and family which can lead to awkward and uncomfortable questions.
  • Crying
  • Shaking

Treatment of Cibophobia:

Cibophobia, like most phobias, can be treated successfully. In most cases, people overcome fear and develop a healthy relationship with food and drinks. The treatment can be done by-

  • Seeking mental health professional
  • In cognitive-behavioral therapy, the sufferer is taught to change the beliefs and behaviors of their own.
  • Medication can help you create a positive relationship with food.
  • Hypnosis and talk therapy can help.
  • Becoming educated about the actual risks of food
  • Trying new food
  • Developing the courage to control your fear
  • Relaxing yourself
  • Trust yourself
  • Allowing yourself to go out like in restaurants and gatherings
  • Confronting fears
  • Enjoying meal!


  • Anorexia and cibophobia are distinct from one another they aren’t the same.
  • Cibophobia is fear of food and anorexia is fear of eating
  • There is an actual process that is used to overcome cibophobia which Is Desensitization- it is the process in which feared food is introduced to the sufferer until the fear is gone.
  • There are 20 million women and 10 million men who have or had an eating disorder.


Frequently Asked Questions

QuestionHow Do you get over a strong fear of food when every part of you wants to eat and enjoy healthy foods like fruits, but they make you gag?
Answer – By developing a positive relationship with food like through medication, developing the courage to control your fears, trying new food can help you cope with the fear of food. If these options aren’t working then you can seek professional help and processes like desensitization in which the food is introduced to you gradually until the fear is gone. After all, enjoy your food which is the basic way to control your cibophobia.

QuestionHow can I overcome cibophobia?
Answer – Like most phobias cibophobia can be treated as well through various techniques like- medication, desensitization, talk therapy, joining gatherings to confront your fear of food, trying new foods, cognitive behavioral therapy, becoming educated about the real risk of taking unwanted food. Relax and trust yourself facing fears can be difficult but always worth it.

QuestionWhat are the unknown causes of cibophobia?
Answer – The fear of food usually occurs after choking, vomiting, etc. after eating or drinking. It can also begin at a very young age. Another reason may be classical conditioning in which the fear develops through association. Child abuse can also be the reason for not eating some kinds of food and can develop a phobia from a very young age. Specific food allergies main cause of fear of hidden allergens in foods.

So this was all about Cibophobia. We hope you found the information useful. If you want us to write on some other phobias, then please do comment down below.

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