Food poisoning anxiety

I’m in my thirties, and only now getting round to cooking for myself. 

I never did. I hated it. 

The thought of not cooking things thoroughly was enough to put me off eating. I would just end up ordering take-out. It made my life easier.

I always trusted other people, and was always okay eating at bars and restaurants. I knew chefs were handling the food, and I never had issues eating in these establishments. The same with accepting food from my parents.

Food poisoning can be a serious illness, and food poisoning anxiety can make eating difficult. Compulsions during cooking, or refusing to cook at all, are not uncommon. Some people use the term ‘food poisoning OCD’.

I just never trusted myself. And as the years went by, the harder it was to have confidence in myself when making food. 

I started by cooking things I knew would cause less food poisoning if it was to happen.

And there are still many things I would love to make but I just can’t bring myself to do it, especially if I am to cook for others. I have a girlfriend now and I am trying to not let OCD take over. She is very supportive and it’s helping. But I’m still ashamed of my anxieties.

Healthline has a page on Cibophobia- a fear of food:

‘Cibophobia is defined as the fear of food. People with cibophobia often avoid food and drinks because they’re afraid of the food itself. The fear may be specific to one type of food, such as perishable foods, or it may include many foods.’

A fear of food-related illness can arise from different causes, such as a traumatic experience in the past, or a co-existing condition such as OCD.

It’s a little embarrassing for me. 

Finding an excuse to avoid cooking duties with friends- and if I have kids one day- I want to be able to cook for them. To cook for my partner too. 

I know I need to change but it still feels so far off.

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Disclaimer: Articles contain lived experience and research but cannot be used to diagnose. Diagnosis can only be obtained from a licensed professional.

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