Mushrooms are used in sandwiches, salads, pizzas, soups, and other foods. They are deep fried, baked and sauteed. In the wild they are simply a unique texture to a beautiful landscape. Perhaps because it is classified as a fungus or perhaps because it can be associated with the drug culture there is a fear of mushrooms known as Mycophobia.
There doesn’t seem to be much of a middle ground when it comes to the mushroom. Most people with either love them or loath them. The real story may be in those who fear them.
What Causes Mycophobia?
It’s hard to pinpoint a single specific reason for the fear of mushrooms. It could be the hallucinogenic effects of some types of mushrooms. The individual may believe that it could be possible to consume a mushroom that could impair their thinking and cause them to lose control. For an individual with fears there tends to be significant anxiety tied to the loss of control.
The fear that an individual experiences can also be the result of modeled behavior in someone they love and trust. Having a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle or older cousin who has a fear of mushrooms can be the starting point of personal fear development.
It is even possible the texture of cooked mushrooms may have been unpleasant causing an individual to obsess about the ingredient. That obsession can lead to fear.
Symptoms of Mycophobia
Avoidance is a key symptom of this phobia. Individuals will steadfastly refuse to intentionally come in contact with mushrooms. They may not bristle at the sight of a mushroom in the wild, but they want nothing to do with actually ingesting the fungus. They will be quick to ask is mushrooms are part of recipes offered and will change an order if they suspect a mushroom will appear on their plate.
Other symptoms may also include…
- Air hunger
- Becoming tense or rigid
- Panic attacks
- Elevated heart rates
- Elevated body temperature
- Vomiting if they feel they have inadvertently eaten a mushroom
- Loss of control
Mushrooms may not seem threatening and there may be few that understand the trauma that comes along with experiencing this fear. This is why seeking help may be one of the best ways to deal with your anxiety.
How to Overcome Mycophobia
This is classified as food fear, but it can also be an object fear. In either case a consultation with a therapist can be an important decision. While many will view a therapist as someone who simply points out quirks and weaknesses they are really an agent of change that can equip you for personal strength and success. They can help you transform your fear in a lessened anxiety. You can learn how to access a response based on logic instead of emotion. You can beat the fear and anxiety you feel, but it will likely require you to accept the help of others who can help you reach your goal.
The fear of mushrooms is also referred to as:
- Mushroom phobia
- Mushroom fear