Everyonehasfears.Somepeoplefearheights,otherspiders.Sometimesthesefearshappenbecauseofaspecificsituationwhichhasoccurred,butitisalsopossiblethatanindividualdoesnotknowwhytheyfearthethingtheydo.Insomecases,fearissointense;itbecomesaphobia.Arachibutyrophobia,forexample,canhavedevastatingeffectsonanindividual.Thankfully,withtherightapproach,onecanovercomethisconditionandthecomplicationsitpresentstodailylife.

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WhatIsArachibutyrophobia?

Arachibutyrophobiaisthefearofpeanutbutterstickingtotheroofofthemouth.Wehaveallbeeninthissituation.Maybewehavebeengenerouswiththeamountofpeanutbutteronoursandwich,orperhapswehaveoverindulgedinachewy,pea-nuttysnack.Thegooeymessstickstoourmouth,andittakesabitofworktoswallowthestickydelight.

Formostpeople,thisexperienceisquicklyforgotten,perhapsevenlaughablywasheddownwithacoldglassofmilk.However,foraselectfew,theverysensationofpeanutbutterfixingitselftotheroofofthemouthinducesapanicunlikeanyother.

Arachibutyrophobiaisveryspecificanxiety.Theindividualdoesnotfearthepeanutbutteritself,althoughtheymaygooutoftheirwaytonoteatitasameansofavoidingthestickingsituation.AnindividualwithArachibutyrophobiaassociatesthefearwiththesensationonly,notthefood.

Youwillnotfindthediagnosis"Arachibutyrophobia"intheDSM(DiagnosticandStatisticalManualofMentalHealthDisorders),thediagnosticresourcebookforidentifyinganddiagnosingmentalhealthconditions.However,thisdoesnotmeantheconditionisanylessreal.

TheDSMrecognizesthatphobiashappenbecauseofavarietyoftriggers.ThismeansArachibutyrophobiacanbetreatedinthesamewaywetreatallotherphobias.Tounderstandhowthetreatmentworks,andifArachibutyrophobiaisatrueconcernforyou,itisimportanttofirstlearnaboutphobiasthemselves.

FearOrPhobia?

Fearistheproductofour"fightversusflight"response.Thisancientalarmsysteminourbodieshasbeenhardwiredintousthankstoevolution.Weperfectwithenvironmentalinputallthetime."Fightversusflight,"tellsuswhenweneedtostandourgroundanddefendourselvesagainstarealthreatorfleeforsafety.

Forexample,ifsomeonewalksuptoyouandinstigatesaphysicalfight,youwillprobablyputyourhandsuptoattackthatpersonordefendyourself.Inthiscase,weareusingour"fight"mechanism.However,ifyouarewalkingthroughaforestandspyabearupahead,youcanbetthe"flight"responsewillquicklyturnyouintheoppositedirectiontorunaway.Inbothsituations,thethreatisreal.Itisrightinfrontofourfaces.Ourbrainscansthesituationandactsaccordingly.Phobiasworkalittledifferently.

Aphobiaisafearonsteroids.Forgetthebasic"fightversusflight"response;aphobiadoesnotneedarealthreattoproduceanemotionalresponse.Phobiascreateextremeanxietiesandfear-basedthoughtsthatarepersistentandirrational,oftencompletelydisproportionatetotheobjectthatinducethem.

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Anindividualwithatruephobiawilldoeverythingtheycantoavoidthestimulus.Sometimesanindividualissofrightenedtheywillavoidtheverythoughtofit.Encounteringtheobjectorsituationthatcausesthephobiaresultsinseverephysicalsymptomsincludingpanicattacks,nausea,andsickness.

Therearemanycategoriesofphobiasthatareformallyacceptedamongthepsychiatriccommunity.Naturalorenvironmentalphobias,forexample,occurastheresultofanextremefeartowardsthingslikewaterorheights.Animalphobiasinclude,butarenotlimitedto,fearsofsnakesordogs.Situationalphobiasdescribeconditionssuchasclaustrophobia,ortheintensefearofsmall,enclosedspaces,whilebodyfearstendtocenteraroundbleedingormedicalprocedures.

Othertypesofphobiasincludeagoraphobia(fearofplaceswhichinduceanxietyattacks),socialphobia(fearofinteractingwithothers,)and"other"phobias,whichencompassintensefearsthatdonotfitanyothercategory.

Fearisanormalpsychologicalresponse.Fearisasignourbodyisrespondingnormallytotheworldaroundus.Phobias,however,whilebasedinfear,areaformofanxietydisorder.Phobiascanbedirectedtowardsjustaboutanything,andtheircausesareoftenquitecomplex.Trauma,genetics,stress,learnedbehavior,orpanicattacksmaybethecauseofaphobia.

Arachibutyrophobia,forexample,maystemfromfearsassociatedwithfoodallergiesandispossiblylinkedtothecommonphenomenaofpeopleeasilychokingonpeanutbutter.Whilethecauseandreasonsbehindaphobiadiffergreatlybetweenindividuals,thesymptomsofphobias,includingArachibutyrophobia,canlookverysimilar.

SymptomsOfArachibutyrophobia

Arachibutyrophobiasharesthesamesymptomsasallotherphobias.Ingeneral,apersonwhohasaphobiawillexperiencethefollowingwhenexposedtotheobjectorsituationthattriggerstheirfear:

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NauseaSweatingDizzinessHeartpalpitationsDifficultytalkingUpsetstomachBreathlessnessExtremeanxiety/panicattacksAvoidanceofthestimulusatallcosts

ThesymptomsofArachibutyrophobiamaylookdifferentfrompersontoperson.Someindividualsmayonlyexperiencesymptomswhenconsumingacertainamountofpeanutbutter;othersmaybeunabletoseeorthinkaboutpeanutbutterwithoutaphysicalreaction.ManypeoplewhohaveArachibutyrophobiachoosetoavoidpeanutbutteraltogether,butifthestickytreatissomethingyouwouldliketoincorporateintoyourdiet,thereareoptionsavailable.

TreatmentForArachibutyrophobia

Whenseekingtreatmentforaphobia,includingArachibutyrophobia,aprofessionaltrainedinmentalhealthdisordersmustfirstverifythattheconditionwarrantstreatment.ThisincludesconsultingtheDSM-V,orfiftheditionoftheDiagnosticandStatisticalManualofMentalHealthDisorders.

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TheDSM-Vstatesthatanindividualwhowishestoqualifyforaspecificphobiadiagnosismustexperience:

Excessive/unreasonablefear:anidentifiableobjectorsituationmusttriggertheemotionalresponse.Immediateanxietyresponse:anxietystartsassoonasthestimulusispresent.Avoidance:theindividualdoeseverythingtheycantoavoidthestimulus.Interruptionofnormalroutine:avoidingthestimulusbecomesapriority,impactinghowtheindividuallivestheirday-to-daylife.Symptomsatleastsixmonths:thesymptomsareongoingandnotlimitedtoaone-offsituation.Symptomsthatcannotbeattributedtoanotherhealthcondition:Noothermentalhealthcondition,includingpanicattacks,OCDorPTSDcanaccountforthedisorder.

OnceamentalhealthprofessionalrulesoutotherpotentialmentalorphysicaldiagnosesthatmimicArachibutyrophobiaandfeelsapatientmeetsthecriteriafordiagnosis,treatmentcanbegin.TherearemanytreatmentoptionsavailabletosomeonewhohasArachibutyrophobiaincluding,butnotlimitedto:

Relaxation:Deepbreathing,meditation,yoga,andvisualizationarejustsomeofthehelpfultreatmentsforindividualswhohaveaspecificphobia.Loweringoverallstress,learninghowtosoothethenerves,andmindfullyapproachinganxiety-provokingsituationscandowonderstoreducephobia-relatedsymptoms.

CBT:Cognitive-behavioraltherapy(CBT)allowsanindividualtoreplaceanxiousthoughtswithrationalandreasonablechallenges.CBTteachessomeonetopausetheirunreasonablethoughtpatterns,questionthem,andmakeinformed,logicaldecisionsbasedontheirjudiciousinnervoice.Cognitive-behavioraltherapyisanextremelyeffectiveapproachtonumerousmentalhealthdisorders,includingspecificphobias.

Exposuretherapy:Exposuretherapyisaverysuccessfultreatmentplanforindividualsdealingwithphobias.Theideabehindexposuretherapyisthatbyslowlyintroducinganindividualtotheirphobicstimulusinawell-controlledenvironment,theperceivedthreatreducesovertime.Forexample,someonewhohasaphobiatowardsspidersmaybeginexposuretherapybylookingapictureofaspider.Overtime,theymaygraduatetoseeingaspiderinthesameroom,gettingclosertothespider,andeventuallyholdingthespider,thusconqueringtheirfear.

Medication:Anti-anxietymedications,likeValiumandXanax,canbeusedtocombattheimmediatesymptomsextremeanxietyproduces.Thesemedications,however,shouldnotbeusedasalong-termapproachtocare.

Onoccasion,othermedicationssuchasantidepressantsandanticonvulsantsmayhelpanindividualsufferingfromspecificphobias,butonlyamentalhealthprofessionalcandecideifthephobiaissevereenoughtowarrantsuchtreatment.

LivingWithArachibutyrophobia

FormanypeoplewithArachibutyrophobia,simplyavoidingpeanutbutterisenoughtomanagesymptoms.Intheevent,thisisnotpossible,orifeatingpeanutbutterregularlyissomethingyouwishtodowithoutdiscomfort,seekingtreatmentisthebestoptiontomanagethecondition.Ifthethoughtofpeanutbutterstickingtotheroofofyourmouthiscausingyougreatdistressorcausesyoutoalteryoureverydaybehaviors,workingwithatrainedmentalhealthprofessional,likethoseavailableatgaianation.netcanimproveyourqualityoflife.

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Individualswhosufferfromphobias,includingArachibutyrophobiamayfeelembarrassedbecauseoftheirthoughtsorsymptoms.Remember,phobiasareoftentheresultofsomethingrootedverydeepinourminds.Thistriggermayhavebeensomethingbeyondyourcontrol,sodonotfeelashamedifyouneedhelp.Donotforgetthatphobiasareaformofanxietydisorderandthatmeanstreatmentisavailable.Treatingaphobiatakestime,patience,andcourage,butmanypeoplehaveachievedsuccess.