The Fear of Pumpkins is Officially Named Cucurbitophobia
Fact: Pumpkins are one the oldest domesticated plants?
Some people however have an excessive fear of pumpkins, the first cousin to the squash.
Some people have a deep fear and some people may be disgusted by the site or smell of pumpkins.
Cucurbitophobia can have a person shaking in pure panic when dealing with a pumpkin. Are you asking yourself if it is possible to master your fear of pumpkins? Find out how to manage this fear and scary thoughts of the pumpkin.
What Is Cucurbitophobia?
Cucurbitophobia is also known as the fear of pumpkins or disgust/fear of pumpkin guts. It is derived from the Greek “cucurbita” meaning “pumpkin family,” and “phobos” meaning “fear.”
Cucurbitophobia is a specific phobia, so it is a fear directed at a certain object or situation. This fear may limit a person’s daily life and may affect their mental health. Do you dislike Holloween or Thanksgiving because you may come in contact with pumpkins ? Do you start to tremble at the mere thought of a pumpkin patch or Jack O’Lantern? Perhaps you have a garden but you don’t want to grow pumpkins because of this phobia. Your extreme anxiety may even lead to panic attacks
A Phobia of Fear or Disgust?
Those are hallmarks of Cucurbitophobia. People extremely afraid of pumpkins may take extreme measures to ensure that they are nowhere near this popular sqaush type. Cucurbitophobics may persistently worry about future events that involve large well grown pumpkins. This is called anticipatory anxiety. The sufferer may also go into flight-or-fight mode when encountering pumpkins or similar plants.
When they think about the past, they may have intense feelings of anger, guilt, sadness, and hurt. Cucurbitophobia can make a person fear pumpkins so much that they resort to avoidance behaviors. In severe cases, they don’t only avoid situations or objects with pumpkins but also the thoughts about them.
Even when a person is not physically in contact with any pumpkins, the brain can react the way it would in a fearful situation. This is because fear is a physical response to our patterns of thinking, the thoughts we attach to big orange pumpkins, whether it be the site, smell or feel.
If you have Cucurbitophobia, you may show the following behaviors:
● Refusal to be in situations with pumpkins
● Avoiding gardens and farms
● Do everything possible to avoid holidays with pumpkins
Every Cucurbitophobia sufferer is different. The images, videos, sounds, and words that they associate with pumpkins are also different.
What Causes Cucurbitophobia?
Do you specifically remember what started your fear of Pumpkins?
Cucurbitophobia causes are the same as that of other specific phobias. At times, there may not be an apparent cause that generated the fear. But it is largely one’s genetic predisposition to anxiety disorders and traumatic events that work in tandem to develop Cucurbitophobia
People who have a family history of anxiety disorders or specific phobias are more likely to develop Cucurbitophobia than others. They have a genetic predisposition to it. However, this alone is rarely a reason for a full-blown phobia to develop. But if genetics is combined with a traumatic event, it can turn into a phobia quite easily.
Some people go through an emotionally charged event involving pumpkins. For example, kids can develop aversions towards pumpkins things because of particular scary event involving the gourd. This is can be reinforced with Halloween and how pumpkins are used in the holiday. Some other sufferers may have an adverse reaction to the smell of pumpkins or the appearance of the inside seed and pulp area. This can be in the form of severe “disgust”.
What Are the Symptoms of Cucurbitophobia?
The severity of the symptoms depends on the underlying cause of the phobia, the individual, and the intensity of their fear. It can range from a mild uneasiness to a full-blown panic attack.
The closer you get to pumpkins, the more anxious you may get.
Cucurbitophobia symptoms are quite similar to that of other specific phobias.
● Heart palpitations
● Chest pain
● Stomach problems
● Numbness or tingling
● Hot or cold flashes
● Feeling unsteady
● Feeling of choking
● Obsessive thoughts
● Difficulty concentrating
● Flashes of negative images of decaying matter
● Fear of fainting
● Fear of losing control
Self-Help Guide to Treating Cucurbitophobia
When Cucurbitophobia interferes with daily tasks, treating it becomes imperative. Don’t worry; there are several Cucurbitophobia treatment options out there. Some of them can be done on your own while others require professional help. Here are some popular self-help techniques to curb the anxiety related to Cucurbitophobia:
Meditation brings you back to the present. Since your attention is on all of your senses, you can let go of any anxiety.
Yoga is essentially meditation but with movement. With yoga, one concentrates on breathing and lets go of unessential feelings. In the process, you let go of the stress and anxiety caused by Cucurbitophobia. Physically Activity Cardio workouts like jogging, swimming, and aerobics are recommended for those with phobias and anxiety. You come out smiling because your body releases happy hormones. These help counteract the negative emotions brought about by a phobia. Exercising regularly keeps you in a good mood and eases the pain related to Cucurbitophobia.
Writing what you are anxious about can significantly reduce your stress. Vent your stress on paper.
Don’t forget to jot down the things you are grateful for. This will remind you of positive things and happy feelings.
Getting Professional Help for Cucurbitophobia
If self-help techniques failed to make a difference, and the condition seems severe, seek help from a professional. It will take you to the root of the issue, so that you will be able to understand yourself and your deep-rooted issues better. Ask a licensed therapist or doctor for a Cucurbitophobia test to verify the diagnosis. Although there’s not one specific treatment that guarantees an instant or complete cure, there are some techniques that work on most phobias.
● Exposure therapy aims at desensitizing you to decaying matter bit by bit until you are no longer anxious around it.
● Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT) aims to bring rationality to your thought processes. It tries to replace negative thoughts with positive ones.
Here are more methods used to treat Cucurbitophobia.
● Talking Therapy
● Dialectical Behavior Therapy
● Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction
● Neuro-Linguistic Programming (NLP)
● Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR)
Your psychologist will suggest a treatment option based on your specific condition.
How to Cope with Cucurbitophobia
How long can a person avoid coming into contact with pumpkins? Avoidance is a quick fix, but does it do any good? No. Here’s why: When you rely on avoidance behaviors, your fear of pumpkins may worsens with time. It then starts hurting you and limits your life. You are responsible for managing your emotions. To feel different, you will have to consciously change what you think about and how you use your body.
Here are some tips that will help you cope:
● Take a deep breath and relax. It may seem hard, but it changes a lot of things.
● Prepare your body for stressful situations by doing meditation and yoga.
● Gradually expose yourself to your fear.
● Don’t rationalize your fear.
● Keep positive thoughts handy. Imagine a happy place in stressful times.
Take your phobia seriously, but don’t allow it to take over your life.
Cucurbitophobia, or any kind of phobia, can seem insurmountable. But with these tips and information, you can overcome your fear of pumpkins. Just don’t expect instant results, as all of these interventions take time. Eventually, you will be able to add pumpkins to your garden and holidays without cringing in excessive fear.