Phobia of Tongues – Touloungeaphobia


Discussing Touloungeaphobia

Do you fear you will swallow your own tongue? Do you avoid licking your lips after eating? Are you disgusted at the sight of other people’s tongues?

Does the sight of tongues make you shudder or send chills down your spine? Does the thought of French kissing make you feel nauseous and sweaty?

Human tongues, animal tongues, and tongues from any known creature: do they gross you out or scare you?

Is touloungeaphobia a phobia of Fear or Disgust?

If your answer to the above questions is yes, then you may have touloungeaphobia, the fear of tongues. You may experience a wet, slimy feeling taking over your body when you see, hear, or imagine tongues.

You may avoid going out to restaurants and forming intimate relationships. However, you are not alone. Nearly 10 percent of Americans face some kind of phobia. And yes, you’ll find the irrational fear of tongues on the list of phobias, too.

Touloungeaphobia is treatable, and you can overcome this fear of tongues with self-help and other methods.

Defining Touloungeaphobia

Touloungeaphobia is defined as the persistent and abnormal fear of tongues. The person who has this phobia has a constant fear of swallowing their own tongue. They are also afraid of licking their lips, and kissing is out of the question.

The fear is very debilitating and is a form of anxiety disorder. The individual with touloungeaphobia tries to avoid talking to people, as even a twist of the tongue may send them into a panic attack.

Touloungeaphobia is categorized as a social phobia or a social anxiety disorder. However, most people with touloungeaphobia don’t have other social phobias like fear of meeting new people or performing tasks in front of a crowd. They can even dance and sing on stage as long as no talking is involved. But some may still face a certain degree of stage fright. Also, a small crowd can trigger the symptoms of touloungeaphobia.

Some Probable Touloungeaphobia Causes

Although the exact cause of touloungeaphobia is unknown, certain factors may contribute to its development.

Bad experience: You may have had an experience where an animal licked you when you were young which left you disgusted.

Learned response: Someone in your family or your circle may have constantly been worried or anxious about something. This may have caused you to develop similar anxieties and fears.

Hereditary: Your family may have passed down the phobia of tongues to you.

Touloungeaphobia Symptoms

A person who has touloungeaphobia may experience four or more of the below-mentioned symptoms, depending on the severity of the phobia.

Physical Symptoms

  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Weak tone of voice
  • Dry mouth

Psychological Symptoms

  • Feeling of dread
  • Intense anxiety when someone tongue teases
  • Feeling nervous
  • Having a panic attack

Touloungeaphobia Diagnosis

As many factors may lead to touloungeaphobia, the diagnosis of the fear may involve varied techniques. However, like most anxiety disorders, the diagnosis is based on the patient’s symptoms and behaviors.

Additionally, the doctor may perform physical tests like brain imaging and laboratory tests to rule out the presence of any other mental illnesses. They may also have coexisting problems like substance use or addiction disorders. Thus, the health professional must diagnose all possible mental health conditions to help a person struggling with touloungeaphobia.

Touloungeaphobia Treatment

When touloungeaphobia is diagnosed early, the recovery is often quick and achieved with simple therapies. However, advanced cases of touloungeaphobia may need professional help and in very rare serious occasions, medications.

Overcoming Touloungeaphobia With Self-Help

Self-help is the most affordable and accessible treatment option for any phobia. The person with touloungeaphobia can overcome the fear by training their mind to recognize the fear as irrational and that most of the threat is simply imagined.

At some level, those with touloungeaphobia are aware that their fear is irrational, so they avoid talking about it to anyone. If they focus on the irrationality of their fear, they may train their mind to accept that as well.

Individuals with the phobia can maintain a journal wherein they write about situations that led to a panic attack. They can then reevaluate the scene and try to realize how irrational their response was and that there was no need to worry.

Modifications to diet, lifestyle, exercise, and sleep patterns can help alleviate related stress and anxiety. Trying meditation, yoga, and joining self-help groups can also help deal with the phobia.

Professional Help for Touloungeaphobia

Cognitive behavioral therapy and exposure therapy are the most common therapies for phobias and anxiety disorders such as touloungeaphobia.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy helps people identify the root cause behind their fear. It then helps them change disturbing and destructive thought patterns that negatively affect their mental state.

It focuses on changing the adverse reaction that a person experiences when faced with tongues. CBT identifies and challenges the negative thoughts and replaces them with realistic, positive thoughts.

Exposure Therapy

Regular exposure to the object of fear has shown to be effective for many phobias.

The therapist gradually exposes a person who has touloungeaphobia to images of tongues and other objects that elicit a fear response. They do this in a controlled environment.

Medications for Touloungeaphobia

The doctor may prescribe medicines for severe cases when exposure to the object of fear leads to panic attacks and extreme distress. However, they give them only to relieve symptoms like anxiety and stress and not to treat touloungeaphobia.

It is also advisable to stop the medication once considerable progress is made, and the person no longer experiences severe symptoms. Usually, the doctor prescribes antidepressants or beta-blockers for a person with severe touloungeaphobia.

Learning to Cope With Touloungeaphobia

Overcoming touloungeaphobia is quite challenging, and people may try to avoid treatment, especially when the fear doesn’t affect their day-to-day life.

And although it is no easy task, it is not impossible either. While some discomfort toward tongues may persist, through self-help and professional therapies, a person may overcome touloungeaphobia.

In Conclusion
Touloungeaphobia can affect a person’s day-to-day life and normal functioning. However, with early diagnosis and proper treatment, a person can overcome this phobia. YES, you can lick this phobia for good!

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