How to Help a Loved One Conquer Fear of Choking

There are people who develop an irrational fear of choking that they go as far as removing solid foods in their diet and consuming only liquids. This can be a problem since a liquid-based diet isn’t enough to nourish a person.

On top of that, if some of these people get sick, they might need to undergo endoscopy, which is a procedure that requires an instrument be inserted down their throats. Lehi, Utah has many specialists who can be very gentle, but if a person suffers from an irrational fear of choking, that wouldn’t help at all.

If you know some people who have an intense fear of choking, here are some ways you can help them overcome their fear.

Water treatment

Not all people who suffer from a fear of choking display the same level of intensity. There are those who truly believe that anything solid that enters their mouth could kill them via choking. Even if they just ingest something so small, they feel that the particles could stick to their throat and cut off the air coming into their lungs. Their fear is so intense that they shake uncontrollably and feel like they can’t breathe.

Then, there are those who could still swallow small solid foods but are afraid every time they do so. They feel that it could lodge into their airway and choke them. If the people you know have this level of fear, they might be able to use the water treatment.

Some people who were able to cope with their phobia say that drinking water while swallowing food helped them eat. The sensation of water flowing down their throat made it easier for them to swallow.

Relaxation techniques

Another way that you can help your loved ones cope with their fear is to provide them with an environment that is soothing. The gist here is that they are distracted enough that their minds couldn’t focus on the fact that they are swallowing something.

What you can do is cut up their food into minute pieces and when they are about to start eating, you can turn on the TV and put on their favorite show or you can also listen to their favorite music. You can also get them into yoga and use the relaxation techniques there to help ease their fears while they try to eat.

Man doing yoga at the park

Some people claim that their fear of choking often gets triggered after they encounter a stressful situation, like a long and tedious day at work or a very difficult exam in school. Encourage your loved ones to try breathing exercises, which some yoga practitioners use.

Every time they are going to eat or swallow something, they should inhale and exhale deeply for a few minutes. When they feel that their heart rate has slowed down, that’s the time they can proceed to eat.

Cognitive therapy

Some people have an intense fear of choking that no matter how often they try relaxation techniques, they still experience an uncontrollable fear. This is where professional help is needed. Psychiatrists have various techniques to help people with extreme phobias, one of which is cognitive therapy.

Patients who undergo therapy to curb their irrational fears are often asked to visualize their fears. By doing this, they can learn how to control their bodies when their phobias are triggered.

When their heart rate speeds up, the therapist will then help them slow it down by using relaxation methods. This way, the patients will have concrete techniques to convince their minds to fight off their fears.

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