Pocresophobia is an abnormal fear of gaining weight. A fear putting on extra weight can become life threatening if it is not identified and treated.
Two of the severe eating disorders which many a times result due to anxiety related to putting on extra pounds are bulimia nervosa & anorexia nervosa. Generally, a fear about gaining weight is caused by psychological factors.
Often, pocresophobia can result from a distorted self-image. Or it may be a problem that is found in your family member. If your parent or a close relative has this disorder, you may be at risk of developing this phobia. If your parents feel that dieting is good for you, and you may mimic their feelings and start thinking in the same way. Some people try to look fit in every way. Such people may take extreme measures to remain away from looking fat.
Symptoms may vary due to the type of phobia, from one person to other. A person may refuse to eat out with friends. Or he may resist foods that are thought to bring about a weight increase.
Food may not itself cause them to panic in any way and there are other pocresophobia symptoms that can show obsession regarding body weight and weight loss programs, guilt about over-eating, not feeling hungry and body dysmorphism.
An affected person may have light meals. Their pocresophobia may cause them to slip away from the eating table into the restroom to force out & empty stomach contents.
Overcoming this phobia as with other types of fears does require treatment with therapy or medications. Pocresophobia may result in starvation and pocresophobia treatment involving a support group can play an important role in long-term recovery.
A person suffering from this phobia needs to follow a healthy lifestyle. He should also have a will to overcome his fear of gaining weight. The first positive step is to become aware about this phobia and work with a therapist to identify the root of the problem.