Therapy helps British woman overcome food phobias and terrible diet

The Harrogate woman, identified only as Emma, had not eaten any vegetables since childhood when she appeared on the British TV series, Extreme Food Phobics.

Article content

A 34 year old woman in the UK with extreme food phobias has been helped by aversion therapy and hypnosis.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

The Harrogate woman, identified only as Emma, had not eaten any vegetables since childhood when she appeared on the British TV series, Extreme Food Phobics.

Since the age of four, the woman’s food neophobia — fear of trying new foods — has left her eating nothing but cheese spread sandwiches, french fries and garlic bread.

We apologize, but this video has failed to load.

A phobia has very real, very frightening symptoms that can include elevated blood pressure, a racing heart, shortness of breath, sweating and feeling faint.

When she appeared on Extreme Food Phobics Emma said she was desperate to overcome her food disorder.

She is exhausted all the time.

The Daily Mail reports that Emma had been quite unable to try any new foods.

“Just the thought of trying them stresses me out, makes me all tense,” she said.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

Her goal is to have a proper Christmas dinner with her family on December 25.

“I am desperate to overcome this phobia not only for my own sanity and health but for my friends and family.”

Food neophobia is common in children, and Emma was four years old when she began to experience anxiety about new foods. Despite childhood trips to the doctor with her mother — they were told it was just a phase — she never overcame her aversion to eating something new.

The TV show’s host, Dr Ranj, warned Emma the amount of refined carbohydrates she ate daily put her at risk of obesity and such associated health risks as heart disease, stroke and cancer.

Another issue, he added, is that she is not getting any essential vitamins and minerals.

Advertisement

Story continues below

Article content

In response, Emma said she was tired of always being tired, having headaches and having no social life.

“I want this not to be my lifestyle,” she said. “I need to change, and I need help to change.”

After a session of aversion therapy — in a room full of veggies — and hypnosis with a clinical psychologist, Emma was able to eat a few pieces of apple and later sampled pizza that had cherry tomatoes on top.

Hypnosis, exposure (aversion therapy) medication and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) are the usual methods for treating food phobias.

About four weeks after treatment, Emma said the experience has been really beneficial, and she might even look forward to a proper Christmas dinner in a few months. She reported eating a cheese and onion pasty and some bacon and reported enjoying both.

    Advertisement

    Story continues below

    Comments

    Postmedia is committed to maintaining a lively but civil forum for discussion and encourage all readers to share their views on our articles. Comments may take up to an hour for moderation before appearing on the site. We ask you to keep your comments relevant and respectful. We have enabled email notifications—you will now receive an email if you receive a reply to your comment, there is an update to a comment thread you follow or if a user you follow comments. Visit our Community Guidelines for more information and details on how to adjust your email settings.

    Share:

    Share on facebook
    Facebook
    Share on twitter
    Twitter
    Share on pinterest
    Pinterest
    Share on linkedin
    LinkedIn
    On Key

    Related Posts

    On AIR

    Russtrat world

    A diplomat instead of a child prodigy

    MOSCOW, 16 Oct 2021, RUSSTRAT Institute.   Formally, the current crisis in Vienna lasted no more than a weekend. On Saturday, 35-year-old Chancellor Sebastian Kurz,