Bananas, The Perfect Food or Your Nightmare?
Do you feel squeamish while walking past a display full of bananas in grocery stores?
Does the odor of bananas make you feel nauseated, are you disgusted by this yellow fruit?
Does the texture of over-ripe bananas in your mouth make you feel like you’re eating eels or slugs?
If so, you may suffer from Bananaphobia. This fear involves intense stress and anxiety in an individual when they see, eat, or even think about bananas. The fear can get so intense that it can hamper one’s day-to-day activities.
It’s alright if you don’t understand what’s happening to you. Explaining this fear to others can feel quite difficult because most people don’t even consider this a phobia. But for you, it’s real and all-consuming.
To better understand what you’re going through, let’s take a look at the causes, symptoms, and methods you can use to overcome this irrational fear.
What Is Bananaphobia?
The fear of bananas is an extremely rare and uncommon phobia. It is irrational fear where the phobic suffers extreme bouts of anxiety by looking, eating, or even thinking about the fruit. Banana phobia falls under the category of Fructophobia, the fear of fruits.
People who suffer from the phobia of bananas often think that eating these fruits is life-threatening and will go to great lengths to try and avoid them. Although that very rarely happens because it’s quite difficult to avoid a common fruit like banana.
What Causes Bananaphobia?
Only a handful of people suffer from this phobia, but that doesn’t make it any less of a problem. Most cases of banana phobia present themselves in children, when they are at the most impressionable ages. For example, when a child is forced to eat bananas by their caregivers or parents, so much so that it leads to vomiting or stomach distress. Children can remember this intense feeling of distress when they’re older, thus possibly developing Bananaphobia.
Bananas are known for their slimy texture and odor, and not a lot of people enjoy experiencing this. Sometimes, a person can go through intense phases of anxiety by simply looking at someone else who’s eating a banana.
Some children can develop this fear after slipping and falling over its peel. This could have resulted in the child being laughed at by its peers.
A woman suffering from Bananaphobia had mentioned that she developed this fear after her brother snuck a banana in her bed while she was sleeping. She remembered the cold and slimy texture of the banana after crushing it and thought she was touching an eel or snake.
Symptoms of Bananaphobia
Unsure if you have this phobia? Go through this list of symptoms to check whether you have this fear.
● Feeling squeamish or dizzy
● Intense fear after looking or even thinking about bananas
● Feeling helpless
● Obsessive thoughts about avoiding bananas
● Profuse sweating
● Experiencing gag reflexes after looking at a banana
● Panic attacks
● Trembling or shaking
● Accelerated heartbeat
● Fleeing after seeing a banana
Some phobics may even be working as chefs and need to deal with bananas daily. In such cases, sufferers begin experiencing obsessive behaviors, like frequently washing their hands to rid the smell of the banana.
How to Overcome Bananaphobia
If your Bananaphobia test is positive, there’s no need to worry. There are various self-help strategies you can utilize to deal with this irrational fear. Remember, these steps require continuous practice and determination. You won’t see results overnight.
The first step in the process is to acknowledge your fear of bananas. After doing so, start educating yourself on various self-help strategies. There are tons of books and websites out there that can help you acquire the information you need.
With the information you have, you can create a well-structured plan on how you can best deal with Bananaphobia.
Surround Yourself with People You Trust
At first, you may not understand how surrounding yourself with supportive people can affect your journey to overcoming your fear. But it does. Having a strong and reliable support system is extremely important in dealing with any kind of fear.
Based on past experiences of individuals who have overcome their fears, this is a journey you do not want to tread alone. People who love and support you also motivate you. Their encouragement boosts your self-confidence and urges you to keep moving forward.
However, it’s possible you aren’t comfortable confiding your thoughts with friends or family. And that’s okay. Try enlisting yourself in discussion groups on phobias. These groups can help you realize that you aren’t alone on your journey to overcome your fears.
People who suffer from phobias often experience severe bouts of stress and overthinking. It can end up consuming you. The easiest method to curb this is to express yourself.
Expressing yourself helps release negative and unwanted thoughts from the mind and releases stress. If you’re not comfortable with talking to someone, you can always write down your thoughts on your phone, diary, or computer.
Remember, overthinking can stress your mind enough to reinforce your fears. This will affect the progress you’ve made, and you don’t want that to happen.
Regular exercise is known to reduce stress and anxiety. One of the most beneficial forms of exercise is cardiovascular training. Cardio is reputed for releasing endorphins, commonly known as happy chemicals. This releases stress and calms the mind and body.
The best part about cardio? You don’t need any special or expensive equipment. All you need is a little open space and you’re good to go. Cycling, running, swimming, and skipping are commonly practiced forms of cardio.
Seeking Professional Help
It’s possible that none of these self-help strategies have helped release your fears. The next best step is to consult a trained professional about getting Bananaphobia treatment.
Mindfulness-Based Stress Therapy or MBSR is an eight-week long therapy used for patients who suffer from extreme anxiety, stress, depression, and low self-confidence. The goal is to lessen the distractions around you and make you more focused on your thoughts. This helps increase self-awareness. Being self-aware enables you to understand your thoughts and behavior patterns, allowing you to work on them. This helps reduce the effects of your fears.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
This form of therapy is utilized by therapists to alter the patient’s state of mind to achieve the desired results. This is an extremely effective method of treatment and usually has lasting effects on the patient.
However, CBT does not address or resolve past trauma. Rather, it focuses more on present events and tries to resolve those.
This form of therapy can work wonders. Here, the patient is directly exposed to their fears till they overcome or are no longer affected by them.
Exposure therapy is a slow and gradual process. At first, the therapist will simply ask you to think about bananas. Once you’re able to go past that stage, you will progress to coming face-to-face with a banana. Remember, the therapist will only move forward with your consent.
How To Avoid Bananaphobia
First, you must acknowledge that you have this fear. After doing so, try and understand why you have this phobia. Only then will you be able to move forward.
Remember, you will only be able to tackle this with continuous practice and determination. Try meditating, exercising, and expressing yourself. These activities help to calm the mind.
Even though it may feel like you’ll never get over this fear because of how it’s consumed you, it won’t be that way forever.
Have faith in yourself and keep taking small steps on your journey of recovery. And soon, you will be able to enjoy a banana split ice-cream sundae!
Try some humor therapy:
Thanks to Beano.com