Phobias Types Coping With Chiclephobia The Fear of Chewing Gum By Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer and editor with a deep interest in phobias and other mental health topics. Learn about our editorial process Updated on December 07, 2020 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Daniel B. Block, MD Medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD LinkedIn Twitter Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania. Learn about our Medical Review Board Fact checked Verywell Mind content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Fact checkers review articles for factual accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. We rely on the most current and reputable sources, which are cited in the text and listed at the bottom of each article. Content is fact checked after it has been edited and before publication. Learn more. by Adah Chung Fact checked by Adah Chung LinkedIn Adah Chung is a fact checker, writer, researcher, and occupational therapist. Learn about our editorial process Print Image Source / Getty Images Chiclephobia, or the fear of chewing gum, is a rare specific phobia that manifests in a variety of ways. If you're a chiclephobic, you're likely to have a fear of: Actually chewing gum yourselfComing close to a person chewing gumThe sight of previously chewed gum Diagnosis Chiclephobia is a diagnosable anxiety disorder. As part of their initial assessment, your therapist will compare your symptoms against the criteria for an official specific phobia diagnosis as outlined in the most recent edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, published by the American Psychiatric Association. Symptoms of specific phobia include: Having a fear of a specific object or situation that is disproportionate to the actual riskBeing aware or unaware of your unreasonable phobic reactionExperiencing your symptoms for at least 6 months Causes A traumatic event during childhood is one of the reasons why you would develop chiclephobia. You could have experienced this traumatic gum incident yourself, or have seen it happen to someone else. You may have vividly remembered accidentally sticking a hand in gum that was stuck to the underside of a desk at school or having a bubble pop all over your face. Alternatively, you may have seen your mother choke on a piece of gum. Or maybe bullies threw pieces of Bazooka Joe at you on Halloween. Fortunately, figuring out the traumatic event that causes your phobic reaction to chewing gum is not necessary for successful therapeutic treatment. Treatment The general threshold for seeking help from a mental health professional for a specific phobia is if your phobic reaction interferes with your work, personal life, or necessary daily tasks. During your initial visit, your therapist will ask you questions, written and/or oral, to figure out if you actually have chiclephobia or a different psychological condition, such as a fear of swallowing or choking (pseudodysphagia). Other diagnoses like obsessive-compulsive disorder, panic disorder with agoraphobia, and post-traumatic stress disorder can also mimic the symptoms of a specific phobia—a mental health professional can help tease the diagnosis out. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) interventions, especially exposure therapies, are clinically proven to be effective and are a common part of a specific phobia treatment plan. Exposure therapy means that your therapist will gradually expose you to your fear in a relaxed atmosphere you control. It is important to understand that the ultimate goal of exposure therapy is not to eliminate all of your anxiety. Rather, the goal is to reduce your stress and avoidance behaviors by having you confront the feared object or situation in a systematic, controlled manner. Depending on the severity of your case, it's not unusual to meet your goals within one to three sessions. Medication is generally not used to treat a person with a specific phobia. Get Advice From The Verywell Mind Podcast Hosted by Editor-in-Chief and therapist Amy Morin, LCSW, this episode of The Verywell Mind Podcast shares how to face your fears in a healthy way. Follow Now: Apple Podcasts / Spotify / Google Podcasts 3 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. Specific Phobias. Galvao-de Almeida A, Araujo Filho GM, Berberian Ade A, et al. The impacts of cognitive-behavioral therapy on the treatment of phobic disorders measured by functional neuroimaging techniques: a systematic review. Braz J Psychiatry. 2013;35(3):279-283. doi:10.1590/1516-4446-2012-0922 Eaton WW, Bienvenu OJ, Miloyan B. Specific phobias. Lancet Psychiatry. 2018;5(8):678-686. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(18)30169-X Additional Reading Hood HK, Antony MM. Evidence-based assessment and treatment of specific phobias in adults. In: Davis III, Thompson E, Ollendick Thomas H, Öst Lars-Göran, eds. Intensive One-Session Treatment of Specific Phobias. New York: Springer-Verlag; 2012. By Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer and editor with a deep interest in phobias and other mental health topics. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Phobias Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.