Aversion To Food, Anorexia Nervosa: Cibophobia Causes & Treatments

Updated: 1/29/2023

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Cibophobia, also known as Sitophobia, is a type of phobia that refers to an irrational fear or aversion towards food. It is a disorder that affects a personโ€™s mental and physical health and can have a significant impact on their quality of life. In this article, we will discuss the symptoms, causes, and treatments for cibophobia.

fear of food eating hamburger

Symptoms of Cibophobia

Individuals with cibophobia or fear of food may experience a range of physical and psychological symptoms when they are faced with food. Some common symptoms include:

  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations
  • Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
  • Muscle tension or shaking
  • Sweating
  • Dizziness or fainting
  • Intense anxiety or panic attacks

It is important to note that these symptoms can occur even when the person is not actually consuming food but is simply in the presence of it or thinking about it.

Causes of Cibophobia

There are various factors that can contribute to the development of cibophobia, including:

  • Traumatic experiences with food, such as food poisoning
  • Negative cultural or family attitudes toward food
  • Eating disorders, such as anorexia or bulimia
  • Mental health disorders, such as anxiety or obsessive-compulsive disorder

fear of food fridge

Treatments for Cibophobia

Cibophobia is a treatable condition and there are several effective treatments available. These include:

  • Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
  • Exposure therapy
  • Mindfulness-based therapy
  • Medications, such as anti-anxiety or antidepressants

CBT is a type of therapy that helps individuals identify and change negative thought patterns and behaviors related to their phobia. Exposure therapy involves gradually exposing the individual to their fear in a controlled and safe environment, with the goal of reducing their anxiety. Mindfulness-based therapy involves teaching the individual how to be more present at the moment and focus on the sensations and thoughts related to their phobia.


Cibophobia is a serious condition that can have a significant impact on a personโ€™s mental and physical health. However, with the right treatment and support, it is possible to overcome this fear and lead a fulfilling life. If you or someone you know is struggling with cibophobia, it is important to seek help from a mental health professional.