Carpophobia: everything you need to know about this amazing food phobia!

Carpophobia: everything you need to know about this amazing food phobia!

Apples, bananas, strawberries, kiwis… the mere mention of these fruits can make a carpophobe run away! Where does fruit phobia come from? What are the health risks for those who suffer from carpophobia? Can we cure it? The answers of Florence Foucaut, dietitian.

Definition, etymology and origin: What do you call a person who has a phobia of fruit?

The term “carpophobia” is derived from the ancient Greek “karpos” (καρπός) meaning “fruit” and “phobos” (φόβος) meaning “fear”. Carpophobia therefore reflects the irrational and uncontrollable fear of all kinds of fruit. “Carpophobia should be differentiated from a simple disgust or aversion to these foods: it is truly an irrational fear which generates anxiety. It is classified as an eating disorder.” indicates Florence Foucault.

Carpophobia can appear in childhood, but also later, in adolescence or even adulthood. This phobia is as strange as it is rare and little known to the general public.

Difference from lachanophobia

Coming from the Greek word lachanon which means “vegetable”, “lachanophobia” is the cousin of carpophobia since it translates the phobia or irrational fear of vegetables. “Lachanophobia and carpophobia can be two associated phobias, and this is then much more problematic for health and meeting nutritional needs.” alerts the dietitian.

Causes: what is this fear of fruit due to?

Carpophobia, like all phobias, is an anxiety disorder which is classified as a psychiatric illness. It is often difficult to identify the causes of phobias, but it seems that they are often linked to past traumatic experiences, or to associative conditioning. For example, carpophobia may be the consequence of an involuntary association between fruits and negative events or unpleasant emotions. “Psychiatric follow-up is necessary to understand its origin and thus better manage it.” insists the nutritionist.

What are the health risks of carpophobia?

Fruits are essential foods for health, since they provide vitamins, fiber and minerals in very large quantities. They therefore largely contribute to ensuring that our nutritional needs are adequately covered. “However, a carpophobic person may not suffer from any deficiency, if they compensate for the lack of fruit with a greater consumption of fresh vegetables.” indicates the nutritionist. Ideally, you should consume a portion of raw and cooked vegetables at each meal.

The risks associated with carpophobia concern the patient’s mental health and quality of life. Living with a phobia can lead to significant mental distress, anxiety and even depression. Carpophobia can also limit activities and social interactions, because people who suffer from it tend to avoid occasions where they might be confronted with fruit… which are actually very numerous! “Simple example: carpophobes are often forced to bypass the fruit and vegetable section of the market or supermarket” says the dietitian.

Treatment: how to overcome and overcome this food phobia?

Carpophobia is a psychiatric pathology that it is essential to take care of, since in the absence of precautions, it risks impacting the health and quality of life of those who suffer from it. “The main risk is that the phobia broadens and affects other categories of food, such as vegetables for example.” underlines the dietitian. The avoidance of all fruits and vegetables can then generate significant nutritional deficiencies, with serious consequences on health: weakening of the immune system, transit disorders, increased risks of cardiovascular diseases and cancers.. .

Like all phobias and eating disorders, the treatment of carpophobia is multi-disciplinary. “Nutritional support is important to rebalance the diet. For example, we can try to reintroduce fruits, so that they are less recognizable to the phobic: compotes, tarts, smoothies, cakes, etc.” indicates the dietitian.

In terms of psychological treatment, carpophobia can be successfully treated using therapeutic approaches such as cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), exposure therapy and systematic desensitization therapy. These treatments can help individuals gradually overcome their fear of fruit and regain a better quality of life.

The most unusual phobias

Slide: The most unusual phobias