oFear - Anxiety and Phobia Forum
Seafood - Printable Version

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+-- Forum: Phobias by category (/f-phobias-by-category)
+--- Forum: Foods (/f-foods)
+--- Thread: Seafood (/t-seafood)

Seafood - oxi - 03-16-2014 04:36 AM


I have seafood phobia. Ever since I have memory I've never eaten any fish or shellfish. I only recall eating tuna and calamari rings as a child, and I would stop eating them when I found out they were seafood. Since then I have only eaten tuna a few times as a teenager unknowingly because it was in a dish I kind of liked, but one day it had too much and I noticed a strange taste, then I saw it and I had to puke. Oh yes, and I also ate swordfish once as a kid -I was in a summer camp and my father came for a visit, took me to a restaurant and I ordered it at the promise it was meat. Since then my father used to tell that story with joy saying I enjoyed it so much I licked my fingers... Well, probably. I was once forced to eat fish at the school by a mofo teacher. I puked later and had a rash all over my back for the next week due to the bad experience. I also recall my mother putting a live crab on the ground as a very young child and the damn thing would run straight to me and I was so afraid, but I'm unable to tell wether this would be the trauma that caused my phobia.

I've been always afraid of touching seafood, dead or alive. Thou I have touched a few things with time, mostly because my family offered some big money (for a child) to do it. I have fished probably 2 times in my life, I put the bait, but if I picked one I would let the others take it. Of course, many times I've been teased with family and friends putting the damn thing close to my face... great laughs for them, till I raged or run.

Since I was a kid, I wouldn't stand the smell of cooked fish. If others ate fish or shellfish around me, I just couldn't eat my food, because of the bad smell and because of the gross sight and noises of those eating their seafood. Christmas dinners over here (mostly seafood) have always been a nightmare for me. I have made great progress thou. Now I can go to a restaurant and have my food most of the time while others eat fish. I used to have to sit at the furthest side of the table and put the menu around my plate as a kind of barrier. But even now, there are times the smell will just remove my hunger completely. If I go and visit my mother and she cooks fish, I will feel the smell all over the house for many hours, and I'll be unable to eat comfortably.

I am now 34 and in the last half year I've been starting to feel really sick. I've checked with the doctor numerous times and gone to ER a few times as well. They've done a number of ECGs and blood tests. All ECGs came out fine, but I have my good cholesterol at the lower end, the bad at the high end, and the triglycerides really high. I have had really and I mean REALLY bad feelings after eating any meals. I have had to do my own research on the subject because I felt totally helpless. Doctors said it was all anxiety attacks. And it's true that anxiety pills worked for some time for me, but they stopped working at some point. When I had a big meal as I used to like, afterwards I would feel my head beating, I'd feel REALLY HOT and sweat while my limbs would remain cold as hell. My heart would pump like crazy and my blood pressure go high as hell, both upper and lower. All those symptoms do relate to anxiety, yet I'm sure it was not it. Only a warm bath would bring me back to normal in a few hours, and many times I could just go to bed and lie down and try to sleep crying because I couldn't stand the fear of dieing. I started having vegetable sterols which are known to restrict cholesterol intake from food, but they just worked for some time. I started riding my bike right after meals and that helped for some time, but again there was some point where it wouldn't work anymore. I was really desperate and thinking I had some sort of mental disorder, which I would never be able to cure from. It wouldn't be surprising as I was diagnosed with social anxiety disorder by the age of 24, which I have for the most part overcome. But then again I was making pale stools ever since my problem started, which I didn't think was a problem until I decided to pay a little more attention to it. It might be related to the gallbladder. I was reluctant to think I had any gallstones since I didn't have any pains, but maybe I had some sort of mild biliary obstruction. Finally I tried to raise my good cholesterol, since I read this is what can wipe gallstones. I researched and found that niacin and omega 3 could help.

Some 3 weeks into having omega 3 and a vitamin supplement high in niacin, my "anxiety" attacks after meals, decreased quite noticeably. I would only get mildly dizzy, not such as bad a feeling anymore. So I have continued ever since. I've been on it for some month and a half, and my attacks are mostly gone. I occasionally have one if I eat too bad, too much, too salty, too much sugar or fat. But I think that's mostly anxiety due to the long bad experience I've had. This is a bit embarrassing, but I've had mild ED for the last 10 years or so. Doctors said the source was psychological since when I got checked my testosterone level was pretty high. It usually took me around some 3 months into a relationship to get comfortable enough to have a decent erection. Now I have quite strong erections, and I'm really happy for that, and guess what they say... ED is a good indicator in men that there may be some cardiovascular problems. Of course I still think there's a psychological component to my ED, but not a big part of it as I used to believe.

It now makes perfect sense to me that what I've had (and still do) is some sort of mild atherosclerosis. I know there are foods besides seafood, rich in omega 3. But they have not nearly the same amount as seafood does, and I honestly haven't eaten enough nuts during my life. I have been living virtually without any omega 3 intake for the last 30 years, I'm a heavy smoker since my 16 and I'm the laziest person I know, so barely exercised in my life. So I have the recipe for a health disaster.

This experience has taught me that I NEED to start eating some fish. Of course the omega 3 supplement I'm having is from an algae source, because I'd just puke at the thought of putting fish oil in my stomach.

I have considered a number of times undergoing hypnosis for this end. But I have tried it in the past for other purposes and not very successfully.

I have searched for an ictyophobics/ostraconophobics forum but apparently there are none to my dismay.

I want to start eating fish, what can I do?

RE: Seafood - nilrem43 - 03-17-2014 01:30 PM

I would say Psychologist/Psychiatrist for some therapy sessions. Not cheap, but I believe it would help. In my experience this past month, they seem to know how to pick your brain and help bring things to the surface. I know I feel better for working with them. Smile

RE: Seafood - Snooks - 03-20-2014 05:47 PM

Im glad the counselling has helped you Nilrem... Smile

RE: Seafood - oxi - 03-26-2014 05:47 AM

(03-17-2014 01:30 PM)nilrem43 Wrote:  I would say Psychologist/Psychiatrist for some therapy sessions. Not cheap, but I believe it would help. In my experience this past month, they seem to know how to pick your brain and help bring things to the surface. I know I feel better for working with them. Smile

Okay, I guess I might give it a try... Thank you nilrem

RE: Seafood - nilrem43 - 03-27-2014 08:57 AM

(03-20-2014 05:47 PM)Snooks Wrote:  Im glad the counselling has helped you Nilrem... Smile

Thx Snooks! It's helped me understand my condition quite a bit. Perhaps understanding it can put me on the road to healing. Unfortunately, I will most likely always be on an SSRI, but perhaps I can trim my other meds down a few pills. Wink

RE: Seafood - jummsee - 07-16-2014 02:21 PM

List of types of Seafood.
Some of the following are referred to as whitefish in the market, but are not whitefishes in a taxonomic sense. Like as , Anchovy, Basa, Bass (see also Striped bass) Black cod/Sablefish,Bluefish,Bombay duck, Butter fish, Blowfish,Bream,Brill, Catfish.
Abalone Cockles Crab meat Crayfish Geoduck Krill Lobster Mussels Oysters Scallops Shrimp Sea urchins Crustaceans Molluscs.

RE: Seafood - Jenkins - 04-08-2015 06:27 AM

Consulting a good psychiatrist definitely works in most cases. I was able to overcome my fear of heights with the counselling. You should really give it a try as seafood is an important part of a healthy and balanced diet.