As humans beings we have a lot of fears and phobias. We are afraid of crowds, passing time, sharks or we are scared to express opinions but today we will discuss one of the weirdest fears you could think of – Bananaphobia or the Fear of Bananas. When you first hear the word banana, the first thought that comes to mind is its yellow color which is always attractive to the eyes and just keeps your mouth salivating for some of it.
Bananas are one of the healthiest fruits that anyone can have. They are full of nutrients and they are very sweet. However, who knew that this simple fruit could be a cause of dread for some individuals. Among various types of phobias, there is Bananaphobia, fear of bananas.
What is a phobia of bananas called?[edit | edit source]
Did you know that there are people who actually fear bananas? Eating them, smelling them, seeing them, you name it. There are people who cannot stand the sight of bananas and when they do, it causes them to have a panic attack or suffer from anxiety. Indeed, this extreme fear of bananas is what is called Bananaphobia.
Usually, the fear of bananas usually begins in a person’s childhood years. For example, children who were forced to eat bananas by their caregivers or parents will grow up hating them. Such children were forced to eat so many bananas that are caused to have stomach distress or vomiting. As a result, they become adults who cannot stand the sight of bananas.
Other people don’t like bananas because of their slimy texture or its flavor and odor. For instance, people who develop the fear of bananas because of their appearance say that overripe bananas have a ‘slug-like’ texture which disgusts them.
Their brain then learns to revisit all those ill-feelings and experiences over and over especially when they see bananas. Bananaphobia can also develop after a person slipped on banana peelings and got seriously injured.
If they fell in public, they might have been laughed out which results in childhood trauma that haunts them for the rest of their lives. Childhood experiences of being pranked using bananas can cause trauma which triggers Bananaphobia.
Bananaphobia scientific name[edit | edit source]
The fear of bananas falls under the phobia of fruit which is known as Fructophobia. The specific fear of bananas is simply known as Bananaphobia.
Phobia of eating bananas in public[edit | edit source]
Some people are only afraid of eating bananas in public but can eat them when they are alone. This can be because of a past public experience which involved bananas. For example, a person who ate a banana and carelessly threw a peel away that caused someone to slip and fall would cause them to fear eating bananas in public.
They may have also been a victim of such an experience so, in order to prevent other people from going through that, they avoid eating bananas in public.
Facts about Bananaphobia[edit | edit source]
Bananaphobia is one of the rarest phobias in the population. There are a handful of people in the world who can be termed as suffering from Bananaphobia.
Bananaphobia can be hereditary in that a person can inherit the fear of bananas from a parent who has that same fear. Bananaphobia is an actual mental disorder
What are the symptoms of Bananaphobia?[edit | edit source]
One prevalent symptom of Bananaphobia is a feeling of nausea while a person is in the same room with some bananas. Bananaphobia also causes anxiety when a person comes into contact with bananas. A person can also have an anxiety attack when they walk past a store with bananas.
Other symptoms of Bananaphobia include:
– Excessive sweating – Trembling – Panic attacks – Terror and dread which causes shaking – Inability to articulate words when around bananas because of paralysis
How do you treat Bananaphobia?[edit | edit source]
One of the effective ways to treat Bananaphobia is through exposure therapy. During exposure therapy, your therapist will expose you to bananas at different levels. First, it might be a photo of a banana and then eventually he or she will make your stay in the same room with a banana.
But before you get to the last stage, your therapist will have trained you and prepared you on how to deal with the anxiety you may experience at the sight of bananas.
Psychotherapy and hypnotherapy are also treatment options for Bananaphobia. In this form of treatment, a therapist helps you to deal with the underlying reason as to why you are afraid of bananas.
Was it a prank gone badly or did you slip and fall on a banana peel in public?
All these traumatic events will be dealt with so that the emotional stress associated with the experiences no longer affect how you view bananas.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps you to replace negative thoughts about bananas with positive and helpful thoughts. This form of therapy will help to start viewing bananas in the positive limelight rather than constantly looking at them as ‘slug-like’.
Lastly, medications may be prescribed to help treat some of the symptoms of Bananaphobia like nausea and anti-depressants for anxiety. However, medications are just a placebo and don’t deal with the phobia.
Therefore, you should not put all your hope in drugs or you might end up getting addicted to them. Medications should be used in combination with other forms of treatment.
How can I overcome Bananaphobia?[edit | edit source]
The first step in overcoming Bananaphobia is to establish your motives to do so. For example, you might want to overcome the fear because bananas have the great nutritional value that you may be missing out and your health is suffering because of that. Bananas are rich in potassium which is a necessary mineral for maintaining homeostatic balance.
Once you have your motives in check, you can now take your journey step by step. Don’t expect to overcome the fear of bananas overnight. Give yourself time to process and recover.
Lastly, be ready for the worst experiences. Be ready to feel nauseated and vomit once in a while. But in the midst of these experiences, choose to stay committed to the process.
Don’t try and avoid people or places that remind you of bananas because you will never overcome the fear.
Regardless of your past experiences or traumatic events associated with Bananaphobia, it is possible to overcome this fear and get to a point one enjoying the nutritional benefits of bananas without feeling disgusted.