Fear Of Chocolate: It's A Real Thing

We've all probably been afraid before. And for some of us, that fear might be experienced in a very specific and uncontrollable way. It could be acrophobia, the fear of heights. Someone could have pyrophobia, the fear of fire. Maybe another person has arachnophobia, the fear of spiders. To have a phobia is nothing to be ashamed of — an estimated 19 million Americans have at least one (via John Hopkins Medicine).

While fearing heights or spiders is not uncommon, there are some phobias that may sound "unconventional" at first glance. But that doesn't make them any less legitimate, nor does it make them less serious for the people who experience them. For example, a person living with cibophobia, or a fear of food (via VeryWell), may become stricken with worry, highly anxious, or even dizzy when presented with certain foods. Someone with ostraconophobia, or fear of shellfish, may steer clear of seafood as much as they can.

Meanwhile, those who have xocolatophobia find themselves with a serious aversion to an object that might surprise some people: chocolate.

Fearing chocolate can make holiday gatherings 'a nightmare'

We can't pretend to understand exactly what a phobia of chocolate is like. However, an example of the U.K. might hopefully provide some insight. In 2015, the Express shared the story of Andrew Bullock, a man in Berkshire, England, who was living with xocolatophobia. Bullock noted that, while he had no particularly traumatizing experience with chocolate, he thought he inherited his fear from his mother, who "had it too." 

Bullock focused on the texture and feel of the chocolate, such as the "crumbly" properties of a Cadbury bar. "If I touch chocolate I feel dirty. Even if I wash my hands I feel like it's still there," he explained. He also revealed that Christmas and Easter, when chocolate candies are most prevalent, were especially tough for him. At one  Easter party that he described as "a nightmare," he "couldn't handle" all the chocolate eggs being broken open.

In some cases, chocolate, particularly the aerated kind, might be associated with a different fear known as trypophobia (via VeryWell Mind). This isn't related to chocolate per se but an aversion to certain patterns or holes. Other potential triggers include the bottoms of shoes, cheese with holes, reptile skins, and sponges (via Cleveland Clinic).