It sounds strange, but many people feel excessive fear and anxiety about cooking. Mageirocophobia is used to refer to people with the above symptoms.
What is fear of cooking?
Cooking is a hobby for many people. Many people feel happy and relaxed when they are able to cook their favorite dishes or successfully create new recipes. It may sound strange, but some people have an intense and persistent fear of cooking. This condition is known as the fear of cooking or known as “Mageirocophobia”.
People with claustrophobia experience extreme fear and anxiety when thinking about or having to cook. Mageirocophobia has a few differences with other phobic anxiety disorders such as clown syndrome, fear of thunder, etc. Experts have found that people with a fear of cooking are often perfectionists and I’m afraid of making mistakes, so I’m always afraid to cook.
In addition, claustrophobia may also be related to obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The thought that there will be a fire, cut hands, food poisoning, etc. makes some people avoid food preparation. This syndrome is not the same as the dislike of cooking in some people.
The term Mageirocophobia is derived from the Greek words where “mageiros” means cooking and “phobos” means fear. Although appearing for a long time, this syndrome has not been recognized as an official psychological and mental disorder. However, claustrophobia can still be treated if it interferes and profoundly affects quality of life.
Signs of a fear of cooking
Cooking phobia is characterized by extreme feelings of fear and anxiety at the thought of having to cook. This fear is not the same as the common dislike of cooking, but strongly influences behavior, emotions and causes many physical symptoms.
Symptoms of the fear of cooking (Mageirocophobia):
- There is always a feeling of fear and insecurity when having to cook. Even the thought of having to cook is enough to make the sick person tense and fearful.
- Rarely step foot in the kitchen for fear of seeing other people cooking.
- Refuse to cook and prioritize ordering food or eating out
- Choose jobs that don’t involve working in the kitchen.
- Avoid restaurants with open kitchens for customers to observe.
- When cooking, people with a fear of cooking will experience symptoms such as palpitations, muscle tension, headaches, sweating, dry mouth, excessive anxiety, stress, etc.
Causes of fear of cooking
The cause of the claustrophobia is still unknown. However, a number of factors have been identified that can develop irrational fear and anxiety about cooking including:
- Genetic: Like other phobias, claustrophobia can run in families. Several studies have shown that a family history of emotional disorders increases the risk of developing this syndrome.
- Negative experiences associated with cooking: Cooking phobia can develop after a negative experience such as a cut, fire, burn, or food poisoning while cooking. In addition, watching a loved one get burned by cooking also inadvertently develops an exaggerated fear of cooking.
- Having obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD): People with obsessive-compulsive disorder often fear getting infected and having an accident. Therefore, some people feel fear and anxiety when cooking for fear of encountering fire, cutting their hands, food poisoning, etc.
- Perfectionism: Perfectionists demand perfectionism in all things. If they are not really knowledgeable about food and cooking, they can become nervous about having to cook. The root cause is because I am afraid of making mistakes and making dishes that are not delicious and attractive.
People with Mageirocophobia often have fears related to cooking such as:
- Fear of fire
- Afraid of unattractive and difficult food
- Fear of food poisoning
- Fear of cutting hands, bleeding when using cutlery
In some cases, Mageirocophobia can originate from the fear of sharp objects such as knives, scissors, etc. The fear of sharp objects makes some people anxious and insecure at the thought of having to cook and enter the kitchen.
Effects of fear of cooking (Mageirocophobia)
Cooking is one of the most important skills in life. Therefore, the fear of cooking will cause many obstacles. Currently, the development of transportation services can partly solve some people’s fear of cooking.
However, this fear will cause the sick person to refuse meetings where people cook together and enjoy the food. In addition, Mageirocophobia causes trouble when choosing restaurants and going to parties.
In general, the fear of cooking affects quite a lot in life. You don’t have to be a great cook, but knowing the basics will make life easier. In addition to the above effects, the fear of cooking also causes certain stress and anxiety when constantly having to avoid cooking. Some people may develop depression and generalized anxiety disorder as a result of this syndrome.
Diagnosis of fear of cooking (Mageirocophobia)
Mageirocophobia has not been recognized as an official psychological or psychiatric disorder. However, if you suspect you have this syndrome, you should actively seek a psychologist. Because there are no diagnostic criteria, this syndrome will be determined based on the physician’s experience.
The doctor will ask questions to see your reaction and level of fear and anxiety about cooking. In addition, your doctor will also take your personal and family history for a more comprehensive assessment.
Methods for the treatment of claustrophobia
For phobias in general and cooking phobias in particular, psychotherapy is the best option. In addition, some other methods will also be considered if absolutely necessary.
Psychotherapy is highly effective in eliminating feelings of fear, excessive and unreasonable anxiety about the fact that the object/situation is not really dangerous. In this case, psychotherapy will be performed to remove the fear of cooking and help the patient to normalize daily cooking.
Psychotherapy to be considered for patients with claustrophobia:
- Exposure therapy: Exposure therapy is performed by exposing the patient to the fear through images, then gradually increasing the intensity. From the image, the patient will be able to watch a video clip of the cooking and finally cook for himself. Throughout therapy, the therapist will accompany the patient to learn how to deal with fear and control negative emotions.
- Cognitive behavioral therapy: Like exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy is part of a treatment plan for claustrophobia. This therapy helps patients change negative thoughts about cooking such as fear of fire, cutting hands, fear of poisoning, etc. Correctly adjusting awareness will help patients reduce irrational fear of cooking. and can comfortably prepare food.
In addition to the two main methods, the expert will also teach some stress reduction techniques. Because the behaviors that avoid cooking will cause the patient to fall into a state of stress, insecurity, anxiety and depression. Commonly taught relaxation techniques include deep breathing, meditation, yoga, exercise relaxation therapy, and more.
2. Drug use
Medicines are not recommended for the treatment of claustrophobia because they cannot basically eliminate the irrational fear of cooking. However, medication can be used to reduce anxiety and stress caused by Mageirocophobia.
Medications used for people with claustrophobia include:
- Beta blockers
These drugs affect the central nervous system and the cardiovascular system, so there are many potential risks. To be on the safe side, use the drug only when prescribed by your doctor and need to be taken as directed.
3. Self-improvement measures
If the patient is facing claustrophobia and other phobias, the patient needs self-improvement measures. These measures cannot completely eliminate the irrational fear of cooking, but will help stabilize the mind and control negative emotions.
Self-improvement measures for people with Mageirocophobia:
- Do not use alcohol, tobacco, stimulants and limit caffeine intake during the day to avoid stress and anxiety. In addition, avoiding bad habits will also help protect physical health and ensure the balance of neurotransmitters in the brain.
- Reduce stress at work, study so that the spirit is comfortable and relaxed.
- Make time for hobbies or maybe meet friends and relatives.
- If you are not comfortable with cooking, you can spend time on other tasks such as cleaning the house, taking care of pets, trees, etc.
- You can take cooking classes to better understand how to clean and prepare food. This will help reduce feelings of fear and anxiety when cooking.
Cooking claustrophobia causes many disturbances in life and interferes with daily activities. So, if you have an overwhelming feeling of anxiety about having to cook, see a doctor who will help. Early intervention with therapeutic methods will help patients overcome their fears and find joy in cooking.