As my readers will have noticed over the last year phobias come in all different forms and levels, some causing minimal disturbance to a sufferer, i.e. a person suffering from a fear of crocodiles would probably never visit a zoo and put themselves through agonies by going into the crocodile area. Other sufferers may have their daily lives affected, i.e. a person afraid of rain can have each cloudy day spoilt in anticipation that it may start to deluge.
However, Phagophobia or the fear of swallowing can be with sufferers every waking hour
Take Peter (a fictitious name) for instance. At 15 years old his parents brought him along in desperation as his weight had dropped down to a very dangerous level and they were fearful for his future. He had suffered for 12 years from the fear of swallowing.
As a two-year-old, he began to reject several foods that his mother gave him and this led to any chewy meats, which in turn led to bread and many vegetables.
Over the years he was put onto various drugs by the medical profession, and psychiatrists, in particular, were puzzled as all the tests showed he had no obstructions and a completely normal digestive tract.
As I began to work with Peter, I traced back the origins of his fears and it became apparent that as he developed from soft baby food to firmer foods, his subconscious mind became traumatised (maybe a one-off choking fit) and his problems started.
Under hypnosis, Peter’s subconscious mind went back to his first two years and it remembered that all was safe at that time and then Peter was able to instruct the inner core of his subconscious to now find a safe place, i.e. it is perfectly acceptable for a normal human being to swallow any foods after chewing and that this is what could then allow him to become healthy once again and put on weight. He previously had never been to a pub with his mates because of the fear.
After three weeks of gradual improvement, Peter started to gain confidence, and when his course finished, he could eat most foods which previously were causing him problems. Even a daily vitamin could be swallowed without a problem. He also became more calm and serene whenever eating or drinking in public, so his socialising became more enjoyable also, so he no longer felt the odd one out