Dining out and having conversations with friends is considered to be pleasurable by most people. This is usually a time to unwind, relax, and enjoy the food with your loved ones and friends. But there are some people who fear eating out or having dinner conversations and this is called Deipnophobia.
People who have this phobia might have had a traumatic experience in the past. One might have been forced to having dinner with a stranger, or was set-up a blind date who ended up having dinner with an arrogant, intolerable, annoying person and feared subsequent dinner conversations with other people. One might have had a traumatic dinner with one’s boss for instance or had a bad business outcome because of a dinner and this triggered the phobia.
Those who have this phobia will prefer eating at home or eating out alone. Or most will just take-out their food and eat at home. They will avoid going out with friends and are considered to be introverts.
Treatment includes cognitive and behavioral psychotherapy. Group sessions are especially helpful for these people so that they can be gradually introduced to having conversations with other people. Medications are rarely needed unless they display severe symptoms of anxiety.