Deipnophobia

deipSmall talks at dinner time is a common thing. But there are people who fear these conversations. This ‘fear of dinner conversations’, ‘dining out’, or ‘carrying a conversation while eating’ is called Deipnophobia. The word ‘deipno’ has a greek origin meaning ‘dining’.

Deipnophobes avoid dinner parties, dining out with friends, or any such situation where they would have to make a conversation while eating. They prefer to eat alone at home, or even while eating with others they expect them to be quiet.

Causes:

Most phobias have their roots in a past traumatic event. This fear of dining might be triggered by a past bad dinner experience.

A harsh punishment at a young age for talking on dinner table can be the cause for this fear.

If at a very young age one has witnessed violent arguments while dining then one may have this fear.

Another cause can be if one has suffered a bad outcome from a dinner conversation for example, a breakup or a loss in business.

Symptoms:

Having tried to avoid all dinner conversations or dining out situations if a deipnophobe is put in any such situation where he has to talk while eating, he may have following anxiety symptoms:

  1. Intense panic and distress.
  2. Inability to articulate words or sentences.
  3. Nausea
  4. Dizziness
  5. Excessive sweating, etc.

Treatment:

In severe cases anti-anxiety drugs can help control the symptoms. Cognitive behavior therapy, counseling, relaxation techniques are known to help. Also group therapy works well as one can gradually overcome his fear by conversing with the members of the group.    

          Vidhi Pipara Adolescent Psychologist – Guidance on personal or psychological problems in Ahmedabad,Gujarat and India.

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