Fear of Gagging
The Fear of Gagging (or choking) is Technically Known as Phagophobia and for many years was thought to be the fear of being sick, or Emetophobia (we now know that Emetophobia is a very specific phobia not related to Phagophobia).
Many people suffering from this phobia will have had earlier experiences related directly to themselves or may have witnessed a family member choking which has led to being extra cautious about gagging.
Whilst the feared object or situation may seem, to other people, to be ‘ridiculous’ or ‘silly’, the person who suffers from Phagophobia knows only too well that the Anxiety that they experience is real enough.
You can read more about phobias in general here.
We completely understand this here at TranceForm Psychology and will treat you and your Fear of Gagging seriously and with ‘unconditional positive regard’.
It has long been understood within the world of psychology that our minds are more than capable of producing a real biological reaction to any given situation and so as long as the Phagophobia sufferer “believes” that the object or situation they fear represents a real danger to them, then they will experience real fear with all of the associated symptoms.
This ‘reaction’ itself is not ‘faulty’ – the problem isn’t the Anxiety that is experienced, but the ‘idea’ or ‘thoughts’ that go into creating this reaction!
The greater majority of people who suffer with the Fear of Gagging readily accept that their fear is “irrational” but continue to experience it regardless of this knowledge.
It is important to understand, therefore, that despite the severity and strength of the negative emotional experience that the Fear of Gagging might produce inside you, that it is 100% created by your thinking and not by the external object or environment itself.
Fear of Gagging Symptoms
The symptoms of the Fear of Gagging are very similar to other specific phobias and will often include:
- Cutting food into tiny pieces
- Panic attacks
- Inability to Relax
- Problems Concentrating
- Being quick tempered
- Feelings of dizziness
- Aches & Pains
- Dry and Sticky mouth
- Migraines and Headaches
Phagophobia Symptoms are generally automatic and uncontrollable and can seem to take over a person’s thoughts which frequently leads to extreme measures being taken to avoid the feared object or situation, what are known as “Safety” or “Avoidance” behaviours.
Unfortunately, for the sufferer, these safety behaviours have a paradoxical effect and actually reinforce the Fear of Gagging rather than solve it!
Your Fear of Gagging may be the result of negative experiences that can be either directly or indirectly linked to the object or situational fear.
Over time, these symptoms can become “normalised” and “accepted” as limiting beliefs in that person’s life – “you have learnt to live with it.”
In just as many cases, Phagophobia may have become worse over time as more and more sophisticated avoidance behaviours and routines are developed.
The good news is that the vast majority of people who suffer with a Fear of Gagging will find that a course of Psychological Therapy will help enormously by helping to change the fundamental thinking contributing to the problem in the first place!
Psychological Therapy for the Fear of Gagging
If you’re determined to overcome your Fear of Gagging then we highly recommend following our Advanced Tranceformental CBT programme with Paul which is available as an Online Therapy as well as a self-directed programme.
The Tranceformental programme is a highly successful & pragmatic psychotherapy course, run over 10 sessions, that will teach you everything you need to know to understand your problem, identify how unhelpful thinking and limiting beliefs might be reinforcing the issue, and then show you how to make any changes to your unhelpful thinking styles or maladaptive safety behaviours that you may have developed as part of your coping strategies.
Our Tranceformental CBT programme is an evidence-based, research supported approach used by mental health practitioners around the World.
Teach Yourself CBT and Overcome Your Problems for only £149!
Our online CBT course has been designed to teach you the fundamental tools and techniques of clinically proven Cognitive Behavioural Therapy without having to see a therapist.
Structured over TEN, in-depth modules, this self-managed course will teach you everything you need to know to change the way you think about and experience your mental health problems without having to visit a therapist.
Click Self-Help CBT to find out more.
Alternative Therapy Options for the Fear of Gagging
Although our preferred form of psychotherapy for the Fear of Gagging is our Tranceformental CBT programme, we also offer alternative psychotherapies for those who might prefer a different approach.
- Psychodynamic therapy which focuses more on emotional problems and relies on the Therapeutic Relationship to bring about change. Available with Paul.
- General Counselling which is less structured but still provides a safe and non-judgmental environment to discuss issues which is therapeutic in its own right.
- Hypnotherapy is an alternative form of therapy that can be applied to a very wide range of problems and is available with Joan.
Free Initial Consultations for the Fear of Gagging
We offer all prospective clients a FREE initial consultation to discuss your Fear of Gagging prior to commencing any treatment plans.
During this consultation we will discuss the various options that are available to you and make a considered recommendation based on your individual personal circumstances.
Initial consultations are also available online using Zoom by prior arrangement.
At Tranceform Psychology we recognise the importance of the therapeutic relationship in helping people to bring about effective change, so its important to be able to ‘meet’ to discuss our change programmes BEFORE proceeding.
Our policy is to help people make a fully balanced & considered decision about undertaking therapy with us, including both the financial and personal implications.
Overcome Your Mental Health difficulties with Our Online CBT Programme - From Only £299!
Cognitive Behavioural Therapy is clinically proven to be effective for a range of mental health problems and can be carried out in the comfort of your own home.
Structured over TEN, in-depth modules, our advanced CBT course will teach you everything you need to know to change the way you think about and experience your problems without having to spend a fortune.
The course is available with 2, 5 or 10 sessions of clinical support in-clinic or using Zoom.
Click Tranceformental CBT to find out more.
Also available as a self-directed course that you manage yourself without interacting with a therapist for only £149.