Anyone that suffers from a phobia realizes just how helpless they can feel when their phobia kicks in. The impact that a phobia can make on someone’s life can be incredible depending upon what the individual is afraid of. In the case of Acerophobia it isn’t any different than any other type of fear of anxiety.
What is Acerophobia?
Acerophobia is a lot like any other anxiety disorder at its root. Those that suffer from acerophobia typically have an intense fear of anything that is sour. This could mean things that the individual knows to be sour, things that the individual perceives as being sour, or something that triggers a sour response. Normally those that suffer from acerophobia have an anxious reaction whenever they are encountered by something sour in nature.
For most that are suffering from acerophobia the trigger can happen with just a simple suggestion of sourness. Since many people don’t really believe this is an actually illness they will play around with those that suffer from it suggesting sour items or placing sour items in the direct sight of those with acerophobia. Just the simple word SOUR can have a negative impact on someone that is suffering from acerophobia that can be quite paralyzing depending upon the severity of the disorder.
Social situations can prove to be too much for someone with this disorder as they are unable to control food items and conversation. This is especially true when an individual goes out to a bar or restaurant. Since most bars serve drinks with lemons and oranges just the sight of those fruits could trigger a major reaction in the sufferer that could be minor to extreme depending upon their fear level at that period of time.
What is a typical reaction to acerophobia?
Those that are suffering from Acerophobia will often have a reaction that is similar to other anxiety disorders. This could be as simple as an increase in heart rate, could include sweating, vomiting, fatigue, and in some cases a full on panic attack. Those that have more extreme cases of acerophobia have been known to experience violent panic attacks where they have to be quickly removed from the situation.
Anyone with this disorder often finds that they have to be very aware of their surroundings and always have an exit plan in order to escape their fears immediately upon noticing a problem. Most of those with the disorder find that their biggest reactions are from directed conversation. For example, someone that offers a lemon to an individual with acerophobia is going to have a much greater impact than simply seeing the lemon. If the lemon is brought towards the individual they are going to have a greater reaction than it being offered to someone in their party.
With most individuals the reactions to acerophobia are mild but can have an impact on the overall comfort level of the individual especially in public situations where anything out of the ordinary can be taboo. Those that suffer with the disorder are often times very aware of the reactions from the people around them. The greater the reaction to their panic sessions the worse the situation becomes for them. The additional reaction triggers an even greater panic and higher levels of anxiety that can push the sufferer to higher level of reaction than they would have had if nobody had noticed their reaction.
How to treat Acerophobia?
The best means of treating most anxiety disorders is to simply face the fear itself. By facing the fear someone with that fear is able to see that it isn’t as bad as they believed it to be. With someone that has acerophobia this can mean simply eating a lemon or trying a sour drink. While they may not enjoy the flavor or appreciate what it is they can slowly begin to reach acceptance for things that are sour. This needs to be done very slowly and may need to star with suggestion and working up towards actual consumption of sour items.
Another means of treatment is through medication. This is one of the most popular means of treatment because it is instant and requires no real effort on the part of the sufferer. They just have to remember to take their medicine before going into a social situation or anywhere that may require them to confront things that are sour. The medicine will help to keep the individual calm during a situation that would normally freak them out completely. Unfortunately with medicine there is the risk of changing the personality of the person taking the medicine. Other options should be explored if this isn’t a reasonable choice.
One of the more popular alternative treatments has been to use hypnotic therapy. By attempting to reach the sub conscious those that practice hypnotic therapy believe that they can reach the root of the problem and slowly over time help the sufferer accept the fear without having to directly face it. While there is no evidence that this treatment is anything more than a placebo there are claims that it has great success especially with ongoing treatment.