Is Fear of Dining Out a Real Phobia?

  • Thread starter LightbulbSun
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In summary: Maybe they have more confidence in eating a lot at home knowing they don't have to sit around...or they can have their meal and then leave right away.
  • #1
LightbulbSun
65
2
Is there such a thing as a "going out to eat" phobia? Where one dreads being in that sort of environment to the point where they get anxious, and lose their appetite. Cause I know a few people who are that way and I was wondering if this is just all in their head or if there is some psychological backing to it.
 
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  • #2
I get this. I've never been able to enjoy a meal in a restaurant and I've tried a few times. I don't know what causes it, but I do have some pretty awful generalised anxiety problems any way. I don't think its a phobia however.
 
  • #3
Kurdt said:
I get this. I've never been able to enjoy a meal in a restaurant and I've tried a few times. I don't know what causes it, but I do have some pretty awful generalised anxiety problems any way. I don't think its a phobia however.

I was thinking that maybe they feel more pressure to eating everything on their plate in that sort of setting instead of saving it for later like they could at home? Or maybe when they're full and they have to sit around and smell everyone elses food they start to get nauseous, maybe even vomit in the bathroom and that memory sticks with them?
 
  • #4
There are many kinds of phobias. I had a sister-in-law that had a fear of indoor plumbing. Here is a list of phobias, some of the more interesting are

Fear of
air - Anemophobia
anything new - Neophobia
atomic explosions - Atomosophobia
Asymmetrical Things - Asymmetriphobi
Bald People - Peladophobia
Beds / Going To Bed - Clinophobia
Body, Things To The Left Side of The Body - Levophobia
Chickens - Alektorophobia
Clocks - Chronomentrophobia
Dancing - Chorophobia
Daylight / Sunshine - Phengophobia
Englishness - Anglophobia
Telephones - Telephonophobia
Thinking - Phronemophobia

http://www.phobialist.com/index.html
 
  • #5
I suppose that could be true in some cases where they have a bad experience and can't overcome it. I've never had such a bad experience, but for me personally I don't have a great relationship with food in the first place. I do feel nauseous when I eat but that's nearly all the time, and not just in restaurants since I have IBS (I know; add it to the list :rolleyes:). I'd imagine for the people you know, they might not have such a good relationship with food as the average person does. That could take many different forms. What I was getting at in the first place is there could be a multitude of different reasons, and not just an all encompassing phobia.
 
  • #6
Is there a phobia of being phobic?
 
  • #7
Kurdt said:
I suppose that could be true in some cases where they have a bad experience and can't overcome it. I've never had such a bad experience, but for me personally I don't have a great relationship with food in the first place. I do feel nauseous when I eat but that's nearly all the time, and not just in restaurants since I have IBS (I know; add it to the list :rolleyes:). I'd imagine for the people you know, they might not have such a good relationship with food as the average person does. That could take many different forms. What I was getting at in the first place is there could be a multitude of different reasons, and not just an all encompassing phobia.

Well they typically feel fine after we leave the restaurant, and their appetite returns. It's just they lose it for some reason when in the restaurant and they can't overcome it. I'm thinking that maybe for some reason they're more comfortable eating at home than at a restaurant. They love the food at the restaurants so it's not like it's just them hating the food. It's just the eating in the restaurant aspect it seems.
 
  • #8
dontdisturbmycircles said:
Is there a phobia of being phobic?

Phobophobia apparently. I'd have thought fear of atomic explosions would be quite rational and thus not a phobia?
 
  • #9
Kurdt said:
Phobophobia apparently. I'd have thought fear of atomic explosions would be quite rational and thus not a phobia?
I guess it's the fear that you could be a victim of an atomic explosion. Not something most people would fear on a daily basis. I can't say that I would rank it in my top ten ways that I'm likely to die.
 
  • #10
Home is generally a safe place, and any subtle discomfort they have with food might not be realized at home. The communal setting and unfamiliar surroundings probably just heighten their feelings or insecurities.
 
  • #11
It could be the discomfort of being around a group of strangers in an unfamiliar place.
 
  • #12
Kurdt said:
Home is generally a safe place, and any subtle discomfort they have with food might not be realized at home. The communal setting and unfamiliar surroundings probably just heighten their feelings or insecurities.

Maybe they have more confidence in eating a lot at home knowing they don't have to sit around and smell other peoples food? Cause I know if I'm full and I smell food that it makes me sick to my stomach since I no longer desire food.
 
  • #13
Evo said:
I guess it's the fear that you could be a victim of an atomic explosion. Not something most people would fear on a daily basis. I can't say that I would rank it in my top ten ways that I'm likely to die.

Oh right, so fearing an atomic explosion all the time, rather than witnessing one and thinking 'oh crap!'.
 
  • #14
Kurdt said:
Oh right, so fearing an atomic explosion all the time, rather than witnessing one and thinking 'oh crap!'.
:smile:

You'd probably only have to fear it once.

Although I remember all the journalists that were invited to witness the atomic bomb tests in Nevada. :bugeye:
 
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  • #15
LightbulbSun said:
Maybe they have more confidence in eating a lot at home knowing they don't have to sit around and smell other peoples food? Cause I know if I'm full and I smell food that it makes me sick to my stomach since I no longer desire food.

That could be one reason. I originally replied because like I said I have these feelings but never give them much thought. Since its had time to crystallise I can say that for me its knowing that I'll probably feel sick in an unfamiliar setting which is supposed to be enjoyable and I'll probably ruin the night for everyone. That makes me anxious and amplifies the problem. My ill feelings stem from something pre-existing, but like you have stated they could arise from anything that makes one feel uncomfortable around food. Feeling sick or unwell in a large group of people where you don't have the securities of the home is a worry for quite a lot of people. Would that be considered a phobia?
 
  • #16
Kurdt said:
That could be one reason. I originally replied because like I said I have these feelings but never give them much thought. Since its had time to crystallise I can say that for me its knowing that I'll probably feel sick in an unfamiliar setting which is supposed to be enjoyable and I'll probably ruin the night for everyone. That makes me anxious and amplifies the problem. My ill feelings stem from something pre-existing, but like you have stated they could arise from anything that makes one feel uncomfortable around food. Feeling sick or unwell in a large group of people where you don't have the securities of the home is a worry for quite a lot of people. Would that be considered a phobia?

Well from the people that I know it is a phobia.

http://www.athealth.com/Consumer/disorders/Agoraphobia.html"

I think this sums up their condition.
 
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  • #17
I guess it would depend on what you consider normal.

Merriam Webster's definition of phobia - an exaggerated, usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation
 
  • #18
Evo said:
I guess it would depend on what you consider normal.

Merriam Webster's definition of phobia - an exaggerated, usually inexplicable and illogical fear of a particular object, class of objects, or situation

I think the fear of anxiety could be classified as a phobia under that definition.
 
  • #19
:smile: Well that's normal to me. Guess that's why my attempts to rationalise it weren't too good.
 
  • #20
Kurdt said:
:smile: Well that's normal to me. Guess that's why my attempts to rationalise it weren't too good.

What is? The phobia I provided a link to?
 
  • #21
LightbulbSun said:
What is? The phobia I provided a link to?

Well to a certain extent, but I was talking mainly about the eating out thing.
 
  • #22
I'm really sorry if this offends some one, but some phobias are hilariously insane.
 
  • #23
binzing said:
I'm really sorry if this offends some one, but some phobias are hilariously insane.

Oh, I agree. Which ones do you find hilariously insane?
 
  • #24
Many, too many to point out indivdually. Like the one about bald people.
 
  • #25
What is a fear of zombies called?

Someone on this site mentioned filling in an old bomb shelter with sand. I thought to myself, what a waste. Where will they go now when the zombies attack! I have separate escape routes depending on if I'm pursued by fast or slow zombies. I have a football helmet covered in tin foil to prevent zombies from eating my brains. I have an assortment of anti-zombie weapons ranging from sawed-off shotguns to molotov cocktails. I keep a 3 month supply of food and water in a secure location in case they are the type of zombies that can starve. I'm not crazy, you'll see!
 
  • #26
Going out to eat phobia

I'm a psychologist who works with fears and phobias, and many of my clients have experienced this concern. It's usually a fear of becoming anxious at the restaurant, and feeling "trapped" there, unable to leave without spoiling the evening for others. It's frequently a part of panic disorder and social anxiety disorder.

Practicing with the situation they fear, while using a few basic coping techniques, is surprisingly effective in helping people overcome this fear. Breaking the secrecy they often maintain about the fear is also quite useful.

Dave Carbonell, Ph.D.
 
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  • #27
I have severe reactions to MSG, so I cannot eat out in any restaurants anymore. Before the condition got severe, I would eat out a lot (in fact I traveled a lot as a consultant and had to eat in restaurants frequently) but I never enjoyed eating in restaurants. In fact, I'd usually ask for a table in a corner somewhere (even that dreaded table behind the kitchen door) where I could be seated against a wall and have a good view of the room. It's not that I had a fear of restaurants or of being in public, but I think I enjoyed my meals more if I was in a position where I had better awareness of my surroundings. Just a thought.
 
  • #28
Hey Dave, what do you make of this one:

I know a gal who is a herp type of person (you know snakes and lizards). She will grab any snake or lizard or ugly bug (and in Arizona there are a lot of them) without any concern. However she refused to eat in the Red Lobster restaurant with us because she is terrified of lobsters. You know the ones in the tank in the front of the restaurant.
 
  • #29
Wildman, with many phobias, the fear isn't about what that object, be it lobster or whatever, will do to me; it's about what I think my fear may do to me. A person who fears dogs might be afraid dogs will bite him. At least equally common, though, are dog phobics who worry that they will become so afraid on encountering a dog that they will lose control of themselves - maybe run into traffic, abandon their babies on the sidewalk, even "lose their minds" as a result of becoming so afraid. They're much more afraid of their own fear, rather than of the dog. In other words, a fear of fear, much more than a fear of objects. This may well be the case with your herp friend.

BTW, you might suppose that a fear of lobsters is entirely unique, but I worked with one person who (formerly) had such a fear of them that they severely limited her life - where to travel, where to eat, what movies and magazines to see, etc.
 
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  • #30
Thanks Dave, interesting...
 
  • #31
LightbulbSun said:
Is there such a thing as a "going out to eat" phobia? Where one dreads being in that sort of environment to the point where they get anxious, and lose their appetite. Cause I know a few people who are that way and I was wondering if this is just all in their head or if there is some psychological backing to it.

I get it, it might be because i got ocd but i don't know
 

Related to Is Fear of Dining Out a Real Phobia?

1. What is "Going Out To Eat Phobia"?

"Going Out To Eat Phobia" is a type of anxiety disorder in which individuals experience intense fear and discomfort when eating in public or at restaurants. This fear can be triggered by a variety of factors, such as social anxiety, fear of judgement, or past negative experiences.

2. What are the symptoms of "Going Out To Eat Phobia"?

The symptoms of "Going Out To Eat Phobia" may vary from person to person, but common symptoms include sweating, trembling, rapid heart rate, difficulty breathing, and avoidance of social situations that involve eating. Some individuals may also experience panic attacks or other physical symptoms of anxiety.

3. How is "Going Out To Eat Phobia" diagnosed?

Diagnosis of "Going Out To Eat Phobia" is typically done by a mental health professional, such as a psychologist or psychiatrist. They will conduct a thorough evaluation, including a discussion of symptoms and any potential underlying causes, to determine if the individual meets the criteria for this specific phobia.

4. What are the treatment options for "Going Out To Eat Phobia"?

Treatment for "Going Out To Eat Phobia" may include therapy, medication, or a combination of both. Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is a common approach that can help individuals identify and challenge negative thoughts and behaviors related to their fear of eating in public. Medications such as anti-anxiety or beta-blockers may also be prescribed to help manage symptoms.

5. Can "Going Out To Eat Phobia" be cured?

While there is no one-size-fits-all cure for "Going Out To Eat Phobia", it is a treatable condition. With proper treatment and support, many individuals are able to overcome their fear and manage their symptoms. It is important to seek help from a mental health professional to develop a personalized treatment plan that works for you.

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