Acerophobia: The Fear of Sourness

Acerophobia: The Fear of Sourness

The fear of sourness often called Acerophobia. This is a mental disorder that makes people have a general fear for sour food or bitter food.

This phobia is not only restricted to food, as those who have Acerophobia, generally avoid anything that tastes sour or bitter to them.

Acerophobia is an irrational fear of sourness. People who suffer from this disorder would find the mere thought of sourness to be highly provoking to them; if they were to consume something that tastes bitter or has a sour taste, this could lead to various forms of problem, which might include panic attacks.

Panic attacks might not always be the same for all who suffers from this disorder. But it Is likely to occur. Acerophobia is one of the most rear phobias.

Unlike thalassophobia (far of sea), cynophobia (fear of dogs), and pupaphobia (fear of puppets) e.t.c. Acerophobia is said to be even more rear than those as mentioned earlier.

Acerophobia patients usually find food like lemon, lime, sour candies to be dreadful and would do all they can to avoid them.

Acerophobia patients are usually unable to think coherently about their fear for sour foods, and most times, their reason for resisting this food lack logical meaning to them.

This, in turn, will make them not be able to control the intense emotions that are linked to this condition.

Symptoms of Acerophobia

Acerophobia patient usually experiences a great deal of anxiety due to their intense fear of bitter and sour foods.

They are typically expected to experience some other side effects, which includes increased heart rate, tension., sweating, sharper senses, and panic attacks among many.

In most cases, people with Acerophobia, might go as not eating food prepared by others, this to ensure that they do not taste bitter or sour food. They might even stick to eating just one food a day.

Some will only be concerned in ensuring that the food they eat is not unhealthy and sour due to it being an expired food, so they just stick to fresh food.

Below are some other Acerophobia related symptoms

  • Extreme anxiety while eating sour food
  • Intense anxiety while thinking of sour food
  • Unable to cope with their anxiety
  • Muscle tension, shakiness, and extreme sweating from just thinking about it
  • In most cases might lead to a panic attack
  • Rapid breathing
  • Irregular heartbeat
  • Dry mouth
  • Inability to articulate words
  • Nausea
  • The rise in the blood level
  • Hyperventilation
  • Confusion or disorientation
  • Numbness
  • Feeling faint
  • Pain or tightness in the chest
  • Choking sensation e.t.c.

Causes of Acerophobia

There is generally no known cause to some Acerophobia, but one could link it to genetic make-up and environmental factors. These two play a considerable role in almost all kinds of phobia out there. And Acerophobia is part of them.

If a family member had Acerophobia or any other mental disorder, then someone else from the same family might be prone to having this illness, this is from a genetic standpoint.

If the condition is met (genetic factor,) or (environmental factor), then all they might need, is just a traumatic experience, to transform their condition into a full-blown Acerophobia. E.g. if someone was to fall sick from eating a portion of food, or something sour in taste, they might develop Acerophobia, and from that point start showing some symptoms of Acerophobia.

Another possibility is someone having a traumatic episode that had nothing to do with sour food, or something that taste sour.

Still, the fact that the patient was eating something that feels sour to them, the said person could likely develop Acerophobia, just from that experience.

Treatment of Acerophobia

There are no sure treatment or treatments that are specifically designed for people who are suffering from Acerophobia, though there are some that are worth mentioning.

These practices have been known to work or to relieve some patient who was suffering from Acerophobia

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is a pervasive way of treating various forms of phobia. Exposure therapy works well for most patients suffering from phobias, including Acerophobia.

Its procedure is quite adequate, as people who have Acerophobia, are gradually faced with things like lime, or stuff with a sour taste. Still, before they are exposed to the sour food, they would first be made aware, or be prepared to imagine themselves eating this acidic food.

The next face might include the patient eating the sour food, this previous face would determine if the doctor would introduce the patient to eating the acidic food, but it is a routine to allow the patient hold on to the sour food or fruit for a while.

The patient might be asked in the process if he would like to eat the fruit. This just one of the many ways exposure therapy works.

In the course of treatment of Acerophobia, the doctor might show pictures of various people eating sour food; after some time, he might also have to introduce said patients to a video of people or someone who is eating sour food.

This method is proposed to help disordered patients or Acerophobia patient get over their fear for a sour thing, as the more they get exposed to what they are afraid of, the less scared they would be.


Taking anti-anxiety pills has been known to help reduce the intensity of some forms of Acerophobia; the same goes for some antidepressant medications.Though taking medicine alone by its self might not yield a positive result, it has been known to help people suffering from Acerophobia.

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