Need help breaking free from addiction?
Call 24/7 for treatment options. Who Answers?

Swallowing Fear


Dear Dr. Schwartz I have a terrible sense of fear when I am eating or even drinking. I feel as if my body will stop me from swallowing part way through and I will choke or drown. I am 44 now and have had this complaint since I was 17. It’s terrifying but now I beginning to feel as though it is robbing me of my life. There are even times when I struggle to swallow my own saliva. It’s as if I think I’m going to swallow my tongue or something. Please help! I don’t ever remember having a bad choking experience.

This Disclaimer applies to the Answer Below
  • Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
  • Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
  • Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
  • No correspondence takes place.
  • No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
  • Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
  • Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.

In all probability you are suffering from a severe anxiety disorder with a good dose of hypochondriasis. Please remember, I am only guessing and cannot say this with any real certainty. What you need to do is to see either a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has a lot of experience in treating anxiety disorders or a Clincical Psychologist. Either way, you need someone who uses Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

The fact that you remember experiencing some of you symptoms as a teenager means that you have suffered with this anxiety disorder most of your life (depression also) and now its getting worse. For some people anxiety can act like a virus, incubating for a long time after which it suddenly springs out. I suspect that this happened to you.

It is entirely possible that, in addition to CBT you may need anti depressant medication. Because of your age and the strength of the swallowing symptoms you are experiencing, psychotherapy alone might not be enough to reduce your symptoms. I have seen this in the past with patients having similar symptoms.

Based on my past experience I can assure you that psychotherapy and medication (if needed) will help and you will not only recover but feel free of these worries.

Please do not wait to seek help. The sooner you act the sooner you will feel better.

Best of Luck

More "Ask Dr. Schwartz" View Columnists

  • Catmom

    I was surprised that Dr Schwartz's response to the person with the "swallowing fear" did not include recopmmending assessment by an ENT physician and/or gastroenterologist to rule out physical causes for the difficulty. The physical mechanism of swallowing is quite delicate and complex and if disrupted could possibly cause the anxiety described here.

    Once a physical cause is ruled out, then CBT, etc is a great way to go. :)


  • Anonymous-1

    I am 54 years old, and I have had G A D for a long time. I am now on medication that helps me out of the fear that was there all the time. I can relate to the swallowing issue. I sometimes swallow before I am ready and it goes into the lung or something and until I get it out, I cough. It is quite annoying, and usually embarrising. It is usually when I am taking fluids, not food. Maybe someone else can relate as well.


  • Allan N Schwartz

    Hi Catmom,

    You are quite correct in stating that we should all go to the medical doctor first before turning to psychiatry. First, organic problems must be ruled out. In this case I did not mention that because of the extremely long history dating back to childhood. Nevertheless, the writer really should see an MD first and then follow the psychiatric recommendations if nothing physical is wrong.

    Dr. Schwartz

  • Melisa

    I’m 35yo. I've never heard of this Phagophobia(fear of swallowing of food). 2 days ago, I’m starting to struggle with swallowing any solid food thinking that I might choke myself to death/drown. Although I’ve chewed every bit of food thoroughly. My symptoms include panic attack, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating and overall feelings of dread. How can I overcome this problem? I’ve only had one experience of choking which was almost a year ago. Can anyone help? I’m desperate for some answers.

  • Allan N. Schwartz, PhD


    Do not assume that your problem is psychological. I strongly urge you to see your doctor and have a complete examination. There are physical problems that can and do cause swallowing difficulties. The fact that you panic might have to do with the difficulty swallowing. If medical examinations prove negative and you are healthy, then get a referral to a psychiatrist and let's get a diagnosis. The psychiatrist will take it from there, either with medication, or referral to a psychologist or both.

    Dr. Schwartz

  • Anonymous-2


    I have the exact same problem as you. I just turned 50 and have been dealing with this for 20 years! It's awful and it's getting worse. My fear is more with liquids than food. I had a traumatic experience 20 years ago when I choked on a cookie and nearly died. It has haunted me ever since.

    My doctor suggested I try speech therapy. I recently tried it and it was somewhat helpful, but once I stopped, the fear and anxiety came back. I want so badly to be able to gulp an 8 oz glass of water and move on. Instead I chew on ice and take tiny sips. I work full time and by the end of the day I feel awful from dehydration. It's comforting knowing I am not the only one out there, but how do we get this fixed without spending a fortune?


  • James

    I am 35 and from the UK.

    In March/April 2007, after several years of having panic attacks, I started having problems swallowing food.

    I remember worrying over a fish bone that I had swallowed - even though I had not felt it and also just before this phobia came on, worrying about the toughness of meat that I was swallowing without any problems.

    Over the last few months, things have got a lot worse where I can only eat food when I drink every mouthful down with a glass of liquid - at one point, I could eat anything when I was drunk without liquid but now I cant.

    I hope everyone finds a solution - I love food but it fills me with dread when it comes to eating.

    Yesterday, I ate something and swallowed it without water cant even eat yoghurt anymore without water and as I swallowed it, it stuck in my throat and after about a minute of panicking my muscles were no longer tense and I swallowed it.

  • Anonymous-3

    I am also having this problem. I'm 21 and it started about half a year ago. I had a major anxiety attack where I couldn't sleep or eat. I only got about 3-5 hours of sleep a day and could only drink liquids. Could not eat and swallow solids at all. It lasted for over 2 weeks, and I slowly could eat a little bit and sleep a little better. Over these last 6 months it has gotten better to some extent, but just won't get better all the way. I have good days and mostly bad days now. Seems slowly getting worse. I also have panic attacks when I'm driving and feel as though I can't even swallow my own saliva. I never had this problem until I had this anxiety attack 6 months ago.

    I'm pretty sure I have this problem from anxiety, then it creates more anxiety. It interferes with my life to a very extreme degree. I don't know what to do about it anymore.

    I try very hard every day to shake the fear of swallowing. But I just can't do it. I need help.

  • Sue Ann

    I have been plauged with swallowing fear off and on for 30 years.

    It began when i was four. I was watching a show and saw someone choke on something. Even though it was just a soap opra, i was only a child and didn't know the actor was just acting. It scared me so much that i was afriad to swallow solid foods for weeks. I think i was so afraid that I prevented myself from swallowing and believeing i couldn't. My parents took me to the doctor who said there was nothing wrong with my swallowing reflex.

    This is something that has always been in the back of my mind and has developed into a phobia. Somethimes I dwell on it and other days it barely enters my mind.

    I have developed GAD becuase of this childhood experience. I believe it was tramatic to my psyche at such a young age.

    It's tough to deal with and I wish I could find someone to help me get over these sometimes obsessive thoughts!

  • Alyssa

    I've been having a lot of trouble with a fear of swallowing loudly. I am always focusing on my throat for some reason. This started to happen last year. This fear has got worse and worse. I am very embarrased by it and can't really tell anyone face to face. I find it so silly, but Im always faced with it. I get in a quiet room, and I focus on the salivia in my throat. I hate the squishy noise it makes when I swallow. I feel people are thinking that I am guilty or not confident when I swallow. I'm really having trouble with swallowing quietly. I asked other Doctors on here and one said I had OCD. Others say its anxiety and Im just focusing on the swallowing. But I don't have anxiety all the time, but Im swallowing almost all throughtout the day. Do you have suggestions on how to overcome this. It's really making life hard on me. Any tips would be awesome. Thank you. I've had this for nearly two years now.

  • sara

    I have had this problem for 8 year now ever since I chocked on a beef sandwich all I keep thinking of it is the fact that I was seconds away from dieing that every time it came to eating I would have panic attacks back then I would avoid food and lost a lot of wait I could not get though a day without having panic attacks I went to the Dr he gave me some ad but didn't help so I thought I will get though this in my own way well 4 years on I didn't I was fearing food all the time I was so depressed I was having panic attacks I just lost it so whet crying back to my gp she put me on Prozac witch did help and I also so had cbt witch was in a group but by that time then I was felling a bit better with the Prozac so did my course then when it finished I thought this is it just got to get on with my life but still didn't like eating chewy food all was ok on till 3 years later I was having a bad time with the fact I felt on my own all the time the kids was at school and my husband was at work all I could do is just sleep to make the time go by and I would think I cant eat this cant eat that as I might choke and I will not see my kids again if I do then so again I am having panic attacks went back to my gp he as put me on Prozac again but just get so panicky just thinking im not going to get though this I don't think I can eat I look at my kids and think im not going to see you grow up I have been to see a therapist for pure hypnotists she said she can help me but although I am doing it I still think to my self I cant see me getting over this choking fear but she said its the fact that there is something that is stopping me from getting over it and she will get to it and make me see I have just had my fist session witch was ok but still so down right now i just need help

  • Allan N Schwartz

    Hello Sara,

    I recommend that, in addition to Prozac, you return to your CBT group because it is your thinking that is getting you into trouble. We call what happened to you "generalization." What that means is that you had one bad choking experience and, after that, became frighened ever time you eat. It is CBT that works best and better than hypnotism for this. Go for lots more CBT and see if you can have it on an individual basis.

    Dr. Schwartz

  • Anonymous-4

    I'm 20 and I have had this swallowing fear ever since a dental procedure about two years ago. It seems like every time I sit down to eat I start obsessing about my throat and I am scared I won't be able to swallow my food. It usually isn't that bad with liquids. It has gotten better at times and then it comes back worse. Right now I am always thinking of how much food I can swallow without choking on it. It seems like no matter how good I chew my food up I still cannot force myself to swallow it. I have lost around twenty pounds and I am really unhappy with my weight. I have always loved food and eating and I really just want to get back to normal. It is interferring with everything in my life because I am constantly upset or frustrated with the fact that I cannot eat. I hope one day this will all go away and I can go back to being myself again. My prayers go out to everyone who has had similiar problems like me and wish you the best of luck with overcoming your fears.

  • IGIT

    I too am going through the fear of swallowing food (even soft). I had a barium swallow (not sure if spelled correct) test and a cat scan of my throat. Both came back fine. I have a scope test scheduled in 3 weeks as food gets stuck behind and just below my adams apple. I also have a since that there are particules stuck against the walls of my throat sometimes. I pray constantly to be healed. I hope he heals us all VERY soon. IGIT (In God I Trust)

  • Jett

    I took too many antibiotics and developed thrush and trouble swallowing. This was so scary that when the thrush went away I still was scared to eat. I have only eaten a handful of meals in public since. I do not eat with my wife and cant even sit down for Thanksgiving dinner. I had all of the testing done on my throat. Gerd Yes, swallowing problems no.... Anyway, I just need to know where to turn. I feel the longer I hide and and am scared, the harder it will be to overcome.

    Can you give me a direction.

  • TLH

    I want to thank everyone for their comments, until few weeks ago, I thought I was alone and that no one could possibly understand this.

    I had an endoscopy several years ago and woke up during it. It was very traumatic and since then I have had periods of time where I struggle with swallowing. I am completely capable of swallowing and when I don't think about it, everything is fine. But lately, I cannot stop thinking about it. I cannot eat in front of anyone. It's liquids and solids. I eat VERY small bites and chew forever and still feel like the food will not go down. It's driving me crazy and affecting my relationships and my work. I'm in sales and do a lot a sales lunches and well I have found myself sitting there not eating and making up excuses. I have an apt. with a pychiatrist to hopefully get on medication. I have been on anxiety med. in the past and I am 100% convinced that this is anxiety related. I feel so hopeless though and just want to find a way out. Thank you to everyone for letting me know I'm not alone.

  • Evelyn

    I will be 40 this month, and I had this problem when I was young. My first memory of a traumatic experience was when I was 7, my grandmother took me to one of her Bingo games. Across from me was a old man in a wheelchair, who was drooling. I asked someone what was wrong with him, and they said he could not swallow well. Then - an ambulance was called for him. Then when i was a little older i gave an Oreo Cookie to my friend and she started choking on it. The lunch lady came and almost gave her the heimlich maneuver but my friend managed to be ok. Then i had alot of strep throat issues and got my tonsils out at 14. I was afraid to eat after this and my mother started putting my dinner in a blender to make soup. So i only ate soft, safe foods. I started seeing a Social Worker at this time also. I started eating again around age 16,with the help of my therapist, I brought in a peanut butter and jelly sandwich on soft white bread. I took nibbles, but this was much progress as i was so scared to even eat a grain of rice. Then my next food - i ate a soft peach. I got better and better. I still would not swallow pills, but i was just "careful" to chew my food well. Now I am turning 40 this month and I have been stressed out lately. I started to excercise and i could not catch my breathe. I started having panic attack after. Then i had another panic attack, and now this has brought me back to this fear of swallowing and choking. Its only been about 3 weeks - and I am scared again to eat solid food. When i get the anxiety i feel like there is a lump in my throat feeling and thus i feel like i cant eat. When i do drink - the liquid goes down slow and i usually feel like i have air or have to burp feeling causing this. I know this can be conquered as i lived thru this before. I am trying to face my fear and try to eat. I also believe in the power of prayer - as i believe God healed me the first time. God does not give us the Spirit of fear. My prayers go out to everyone who has this problem.

  • Anonymous-5

    Hi everyone,

    About 4 years ago, one evening, I had this most frightening and bewildering experience of suddenly not being able to get the food down I had swallowed. I went into shock, resulting in my mouth becoming extemely dry making it hardly possible to swallow my saliva. My husband took me to outpatients where I was treated with sarcasm by the doctor on duty. I was sent home after they had drawn blood. They would send me the results later they said. The fact that I was completely freaked out was of no interest to the doctor (or my husband). They thought I was seeking attention or something. When the blood tests became available it was explained to me that my thyroid had suddenly been triggered into working too fast. It explained my pulse which was racing and the dryness in my mouth. Apparantly this caused me to have difficulty in swallowing. I was sent for a barium test and more bloodtests of which the results said that there was nothing wrong with my throat. However, I could only gulp down fluids and I was losing weight fast. Things got progressively worse which resulted in me ending up in hospital with a drip to feed me and huge doses of drugs injected into the drip. Three days later I was sent home, still unable to swallow! I went back to work with this problem for about 3 months. One day I phoned my husband and told him I could no longer carry on like this. (Our relationship has always extremely tense as he has a tendency to sulk for days even weeks without speaking to me). He relented and found a doctor/councellor who could possibly help me with my swallowing problem. She immediately said that it was due to stress and she assured me that I would be able to swallow again! She told me that I projected my anxiety onto my throat area which made it difficult to swallow. I was put on a course of Cipralex and gradually over weeks I began to manage to swallow again. The problem was solved, or so I thought, but now, after four years it's back! The food just won't go down! The muscles in my throat freeze as soon as it senses food going down. This results in me choking! I'm back on liquids! Help!!!

  • Anonymous-6

    I also have some issues with swallowing, but its getting better depending on where I am.

    The key is, one, take some deap breathe. Two, understand that its normal to swallow, trust your body and mind. Three, go see someone for CBT help. I see my therapist weekly.

    At the end of the day, trust your body, it wouldnt fall you.

  • Deborah O Donnell

    I am 43 and started having panic attacks about a year ago. I have been having panic attacks daily for nearly 2months now and i am having great difficulty swallowing. At first i could swallow food following each mouthful with water but it has got worse. I would chew my food as small as i could and end up having 2 spit it out because no matter how much i told myself to swallow, i just couldnt. Now i am just taking liquids. Please help. I cant go on like this. I want to feel normal again!!!!

  • Cecilia

    I have been having issues with anxiety, stress and I am thinking depression to going on for awhile. My symtoms are starting to get worse now. I am at a breaking point where I feel like I am going to lose it. The latest things that are happening is having fear of my own tongue. I am scared it is going to swell and I will not be able to breathe and then I will die. This has just came about in the last two days now. Its like I am focusing on this 24/7 and I cant think of anthing else. Before that, it is with eating food and not being able to swallow it. I can chew and chew and my jaw tires out and I have to spit the food into a napkin cause I cant swallow it. I also want to mention that my teeth are not in good shape either and I have fear of dentist and getting dentures. Scared I would not be able to keep a foreign object in my mouth. I do not like living like this and I get myself so worked up just reading everyone else's postings, thinking that is me and what I am going through. When I lay down at night, I fear my tongue is going to choke me...PLease, Please, Please, tell me what I can do or why this is happening.

  • Anonymous-7

    ı can understand all your fears.and all we want to get over.ı read all comments.ı thought what ı my opinion we should learn living with this.nobody knows too much about it.get antidepresant pills when you need.(ı take paxill 1*3 per day.don t go anywhere else.hypnosis etc doesnt get over totally.don t pay psychiatrist.)live to learn how to live with it.don t think about it too much.everybody has different problems.we have this problem.accept it.when you should eat with someone relax..don t panic.say ı don t want to eat then eat something you don t need to explain why you dont cannot say your fears.because yhey may find it awful.if there is someone who want to marry dont look for a girl who accept you with your feras.marry anyone.because ı married.according to comments.we can live untill 50- 60 yeras with relax we can live with it.yes it is awful.never ask you why ı am.why.why.the reason is not important.we will live with it.

  • magee

    i have not been able to swallow very good for 12 years i had scraped my tongue and a nurse said i had took off the good bacteria but why wouldn't it have come back by now i hate not eating

  • Anonymous-8

    I started with severe anxiety starting in December. I was sent to the ER and everything for the panic. Over the last few days, the swallowing isd getting worse. I went to see a doctor and he assured me I was fine. I know I can swallow. However, my muscles tense up and I am so afraid of it.

    I LOVE eating, and it really sucks. I hope this therapy works and I can get over this anxiety.

  • alfie

    Can u give me some advice on how to cope up on my swallowing phobia. hoping for your reply, thanks!

  • shellbound

    i am 41 live in the UK and have had swallowing problems since about the age of 10-11 ish. I really do not know when the problem arose - it wasnt overnight where you wake up and struggle with food- it sort of crept up on me. I recall being an outgoing attention seeking gregarious child who always enjoyed family gatherings for meals and parties etc.

    i left home at 17 after putting up with the problem for over 5 years feeling that i couldnt continue with the lifestyle my family "imposed" on me - I grew to avoid social events and restaurants and parties even friends wedding receptions and nights out-in fact I grew to hate myself for avoiding what is essentially basic enjoyment of life.

    Ive had numerous tests over the years as doctors like to think youve got more of an anxiety issue than a physical anatomical problem. I have recently come of Venlafaxine after 7 months which besides costing money had no effect at all on my mood or swallow function. I used to be a fast eater as a child and thought nothing of how soft or hard or chewy or stodgy my food was but that all changed. For over 30 years I think about anything I put in my mouth in relation to how I go about swallowing it. Mouthfuls can take 5 6 7 small swallows to clear and I prefe eating breads and drier foods and meats with sips of water inbetween.

    fluids arent really a problem but if offered spaghetti bolognese or steak and chips I would go for the pasta EVERY time. I cant stand eating in front of people - i would like to but the fear is that they will see how slow I am progressing through my meal probably long after they have finished their dessert! It is socially disabling and has led me to a hermit lifestyle which has cost me lots of friends and memories and happy occasions.

    A manometry test was taken 20 years ago and the results wer elost by the hospital so I have asked for this test to be done again as it remains one my few options left. I also hate swallowing tablets as they can stick for ages in the throat - not to cause coughing or choking but they just dont go down and I have to take lots of water. I chew and chew and chew bread and meat and swallow tiny amounts when my brain tells the throat its now safe to swallow.

    I could of achieved so much in life and in my career yet this disorder has been a real millstone.

  • Kelly

    Hello Dr. Schwartz, may I still get your advice? I'm only 19 and a year ago I had the fear of choking on solid foods. I moved in back with my dad and went to a new school, and just avoided solid foods for awhile until it almost completely went away.

    Now I'm back with my grandparents and I don't know if the panic attacks and this phobia from the past are causing me to have ptsd or what but when I eat(say yogurt) I feel like I can't concentrate on the task. Like before it was anxiety now I feel as if I am subconciously being reminded of the past and thus obsessing over it.

    I had a major breakdown and felt as if I couldn't swallow at all and I would swallowing quickly using the top part of my throat. Because of this I have developed LPR (similar to GERD but with the upper throat/larynx causing acid into the back of the throat). I have also been stressing over if I am getting seizures at night because I get tingly sensations and spasms in my head (but tests still need to be done, could also be because I've lost 20 lbs). Now it feels like the top of my throat is spazzing including the acid at the back. So I've been okay can eat but today at work I felt a weird headache, then I twitched my neck really fast and got this feeling of tightness in my neck. Then once again I started ocding or w/e it is over swallowing and it is making me swallow incorectly again, making the acid worse making me feel like I am really choking. And I am afraid of the acid reflux and I am now obsessed with swallowing although when I do obsess with it, it is as if when I swallow I am only half swallowing and I am so scared. I feel as if I am in a trance sometimes with this and can't get out of my head. This swallowing thing actually ruined my throat because I was forcing the upper part of my throat to swallow harder thus causing the LPR (I believe so..). Should I go to the ER? I have no insurance right now until the 15th today is the 9th or 10th but this is really bad and even hard to swallow water. ITS like the swallowing fear manifested into a traumatic fear where I just keep on thinking about the incident. And I've also had other things like obsessing with breathing, etc due to a panic attack I had in high school when I took a drug... The fluttering in the back of my throat is really starting to scare me and I'm worried about not being able to swallow the acid. Sometimes I wish I had never panicked and thus maybe not of been struggling for the past few years.

  • Alln N. Schwartz, PhD

    Hello Kelly,

    In my opinion, seeing a Licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in Cognitive Behavior Therapy is a good way to go. That way, you would learn how to cope with your fears and overcome this swallowing disorder. Of course, if you have not yet been seen by your primary or family care physician, you should make an appointment first, discuss your swallowing problem and be examined to rule out the possibility that something physical isn't wrong.

    Dr. Schwartz

  • Anonymous-9

    I also have this fear. For the longest time I thought I was the only one in the world. It started at the age of 16, i'm now 30. I started to have anxiety attacks. I have been up and down with it. When it first happened I lost a lot of weight, I slowly got better. I truely believe it is relsted to anxiety and stress.

    At the beginning of the year I started a new job, it is very very stressful. I did fine at first, I was eating pretty normal, to the point I had to diet because I was gaining weight. I could go out to eat with family or co-workers. The stress has really began to hit me though, and once again i'm back the way I was. It's pretty bad. As long as i'm at home I can eat, it's still a task and takes a long time, but I manage to do it. But I have been avoiding going out, eating around others and so forth. Just the thought of it gets me stressed.

    I don't know how to get over this? It's almost like something you never fully recover from. I have learned that if you distract your attention at the moment your about to swallow it helps.

    I am quiting my job, going to try to quit smoking, and hopefully I can once again get better.

    I have never been completely better, i've been to about 90%, right now i'd say i'm at 30% and hoping these lifestyle changes will help.

  • Christine

    I'm 24 and for the past eight months I have had difficulty swallowing solid food. It got to the point where the only things I was eating in a day was Ensure and tomato soup and anything pure liquid. I was even afraid to eat anything with a little substance to it such as apple sauce or mashed potatoes. I've been to countless doctor's and ER's ... I've been to an allergist, and ENT, had an endoscopy a CT scan, a chest X-ray, ... I've been to a chiropractor, and a dentist. The only thing that anyone seen was a little reddness on my larynx which the ENT said is associated with LPR. So now last week I went to see a psychiatrist. She diagnose me with a General Anxiety Disorder and Depression. She thinks it would be a good idea for me to be put on some SSRI's. I'm hoping I can muster up the courage every day to swallow these pills. I know that there is now nothing physically wrong with me and that it is "all in my head" ... I wish that was enough to make it all better ... it's not. I'm going to take the SSRI's and continue seeing the psychiatrist, and hopefully I will find some relief from this. It's so stressing. I know that I get anxious when I eat ... even when I think about eating. The panic attack have been coming on a lot more ... and I always feel like I'm going to die. The doctors say I'm completely healthy. Hmmm ... Why do I keep thinking this way?? It's a really distressing feeling having to live life this way. Trying to be happy but always having fear.

  • BOnnie

    Hi I am 27 yrs old and overnight about a month ago, I developed trouble swallowing, felt as thought food was stuck in my throat and of couse i panicked which I think made it worse. Anyways so I do not know what to do about this as its getting worse. I have had this for 30 days and I am pretty sure it is anxiety, I just don't want to get to the point where I can't swallow, right now if i eat and then guzzle water i am able to get my food down, I am just afraid I am going to choke because of this one day, I did have an experience where I was eating a green bean and the string got stuck in my throat, luckily I was able to reach down enough to get it out.... I think thats what might have done it.

  • Ruby

    I have the same problem i can't swallow anything even a creamy soup, but i still having hope that one day i will be better but i have to be patient i know it's hard but here we are still alive. I am surviving by ensure only nothing else. We all trust in God, so don't be afraid from eating food scared that you will get choke and die. each one of us has a time to die no matter what you do if it's not your time to die then you will not die even if you try to kill yourself trust me.

  • Juan Sanchez

    My Names juan sanchez & i am 15 years old I've Had this problem for about 5-6 months i'm struggling to just live and im so young :( But this problem i had with eating began back in Early to middle of October 2011 and it gradually started increasing and turning worse as the weeks & months went by. I Have 2 theorys of how this may have started 1.) One night can't remember when in October but it was a friday night i made myself a sandwich i put some jalepenos in and ate the sandwichs i also had a glass of milk well after that i fell asleep 30 minutes later. the next morning i woke up with a major heart burn it hurted so much i didn't know what to do cause i've never experienced that heartburn feeling before well throughout the day i had it and i bought some tum tums to calm it down it did the trick but later on those following weeks i started decreasing in eating i couldn't eat well. 2.) my second theory is the chicken nugget i ate the same month i was chewing it and i accidentally swallowed a little piece whole and it scraped my throat while going down i got so scared but i kept eating. those two events that happend in the same month might have caused my eating problem i was told when i went to the hospital January 2, 2012 that i had acid reflux & the doctor prescribed me some prevacid i took it and i was starting to eat better and i ran out later almost at the end of january but somehow around late january i started eating less and i thought i should get some more prevacid well i took some and i still didn't eat like before. on april 9, 2012 i went to see a phycologist he gave me an appointment on the 19th of april she said i have anxiety problem i just don't know how this started like it came out of nowhere? i didn't expect this at all it could have mixed in with my acid relux & that would be the cause of it who knows but all i know is i need help i can't eat right i can chew perfectly its just that when i want to swallow nothing happeneds its as if my throats hesitating to swallow it just wont engage in a swallow and its getting worse i can't manage to swallow liquids ANYMORE! i swish it around until i finally swallow it i also clear my throat when i'm eating i don't know if its a tickle in my throat that was caused from all the acid that hit my throat before & if still is. how do i get rid of this & i don't eat anything irratable anymore no spicy foods nothing i've been living of boost plus for months thats whats keeping me alive. i hope my problem fixes soon it just sucks for everyone going through this but i can tell you this have faith god will help us all recover if you believe in him and have faith & love him he'll help us i'll have everyone that has this problem in my prayers god bless you & if you have any info in how to get rid of the feeling i have in my throat reply back please & thank you.

  • Ankit

    hey everyone i dont really know why this happend to me. it was may 28 2012 on a tuesday night and i was eating rice, with curry, and potatoes. i just started dating this girl and i was too happy to eat. when i was eating i was talking to my dad about something and i choked on rice? after little bit later i was panicing like i am going to die. the next day i had a feeling that there was something stuck in my throat and u wouldnt be able to eat as much. i went to ENT doctor and he put a scope down my throat to see if there is anything. he said there is nothing and rice cant do anything to you. i also did my chest x-ray to see whats up but they told me its normal. i been to ER Room at Fairfax Hospital and they did my blood test but they told me its normal. after going through doctors and i been taking this pills of anixety and depression. sometimes my thorat feels really tight and hard time breathing. now i am scared to shallow food because whenever i eat food i feel like i am going to choke again? i just gradauated from high school and its really sad that why it happend to me and i trust in god that someday it will get better. my prayers goes out for every one of you who suffer same thing and i hope everyone that has same disorder suffers a better life

  • Asia Rice

    Since I was 6 (now I'm seventeen). I been chewing my food it goes down. 10 minutes later it comes back up and I chew it and swallow it back down. why is that? How can I stop this?

  • Anonymous-10

    i have difficulty in swalowing for 2 years and some time it goes worse and some time i feel normal to some extent. at the time of break fast i eat with little diffculty bbut at night situation is worse and i feel that some stiffnes on oesophagus. ENT doctor asked me for barium and endoscopy, but the test result is clear. tell me solution. i am very tens pleas giude me

  • Patricia Duffy

    It started back in Aug 2013 and started having trouble swallowing a blood pressure tablet which I had been taking for 18 years, and suddenly couldnt swallow it, and then started feeling I had food stuck in my throat, it then escalated when I went to visit my sister who had cancer in Canada, and she had a really bad choking experience, she has since died. Then I started having problems about 8 weeks ago, went to eat my evening meanl, and the mashed potato just came back up, tried again, and the same thing happened, it has not got to the stage where I am scared to eat anything and just have soup and smoothies, if there is any type of little lump, it just gets stuck in my throat. It is reallt affecting me, feel so helpless. I am 69 and never had any problems like this in the past. I have always chewed my food well, so its not as if I have swallowed large amounts of food at once. Am going to hospital soon and hope they can help, cannot imagine this going on for the rest of my life. All I can think of is a plate of chips. Anyone else had similar symptons to this where is started slowly

  • Edna

    Ive had this for about 2months.. I cant eat or drink like a normal person am so scared to i can manage some food or drink in the mornings but as night comes or the afternoon i jut cant!! Am always hungry lost 20pounds food is all i think about i just want to be normal am so despret i feel like theres no help for me ive been to a doc and he said i have severe anxiety and gave me so pills that dont do nothing for me.. What can i do?

  • panicpanicgirl

    I've been living with that trouble for 2 years.Last year I got better-didnt become completely good-but then i got worse day by day.And till today i just got worst...i'm so tired of trying to hide it anymore.i cant eat with my family,friends and it makes me feel so sad.Each time i try to find a new pretext not to eath with them...i can eat a little when i woke up but i cant swallow anything especially at night.i even cant drink water if i'm even so thursty.i cant swallow and i created new swallowing styles which i want for nobody to see it...i lose my hope anymore.i'm 18 now and what a shame i only want to eat like a human or just like any living being..

  • Anonymous-11

    In my case i too use to eat normally as a child. Until that one faithful day that cursed my life. I was twelve at the time, my mom and i went to dinner at a mcdonalds. I suddenly felt strange after swallowing a french fry down the wrong tube. my mom did take me to the hospital, however the nurse took one look at me and said i was fine, but since that day eating has been a struggle for me. Iam now twenty three, and this fear is still with me today. I still enjoy going out, however i do try to avoid any situation that includes food. i do eat slow and i chew my food a lot. and i am always last at every meal, and have been to therapy but didnt work. I honestly, dont like eating with friends or family, and i wish i could change, but it is not easy.

  • Anonymous-12

    i have had this fear sins 19.99 i lost so much i was down to 7 stone al started with bad cold im 45 and have no life be cos of this lost frends girl frend i dred when my parents are no longer a live i also have eye problems Glaucoma in both eyes

  • Anonymous-13

    I am a 19 year old woman who has had anxiety for about a year, my problem is food, when i eat it and swallow it i feel like it is taking forever to go down and is stuck in my windpipe. As a result of this i have lost 4 stone and avoid eating in public, i mainly stick to liquid foods or very soft foods to ensure i don't have the problem but it is now affecting my health and i just want to live a normal life again, i have had a barium swallow and have been told i have reflux acid but i know deep down it is my anxiety overtaking me. I wonder if i am the only one suffering with this particular problem, i hope i'm not as i feel like a weirdo as people who haven't experienced this won't understand.

  • Carmen Garibay

    hello, I am a 14 year old girl, and its 4:59 AM I feel like vomitting but I have a fear of vomitting,I'm also afraid to eat now I'm nerves and I feel like if I eat I'll have something to throw up so when I think about eating my stomach twists and my throat feels like its closeing, I'm scared and I don't know what to do, I dont want to go to school just to end up vommiting infront of my friends!

  • Katie

    I am a speech pathologist and gave had the great privilege of working with many people who have difficulty swallowing. I have worked with a few people who have had choking incidents. What I have observed during video swallow studies is that they (maybe because fear choking again) take very small bites and attempt to swallow very very small pieces at a time. This then seems to negatively effect the esophagus and the peristaltic wave becomes negatively impacted as the person tries to swallow tiny tiny pieces of food at a time. So then the person feels a sticking of something in their throat although the place the food is sticking is in the esophagus. Thus, the person feels like they are choking. There is such a mind-body connection to helping someone swallow after choking episode. Please seek the attention of qualified ear nose and throat doctor and/or gastroenterologist as well as an outpatient speech therapist at a swallowing center. it is also helpful in conjunction with this to follow the recommendations that Dr. Schwartz provides

  • Anonymous-14

    I have been doing this for two and a half months. My situation started at a business event. We were all eating and I was eating fine and enjoying myself until I swallowed mashed potatoes weird. The feeling of how the mashed potatoes went down startled me a bit that I had a panic reaction that even made me kick my leg up a bit. Then I had the thought, "Oh my goodness what if I choke around all of these people?" That's all it took is for me to think that and I couldn't finish eating even though I did NOT get choked. After that everything started to gradually go down hill. I was eating really good not having any thought really about it, then it progressed to thinking about it some and it would throw my eating off. Then it's like one day I snapped. Feel like I can't swallow anything. Even have panic attacks going to restaurants. I fear of aspiration like everything I eat or drink will end up in my lungs. I got so frustrated with it that it finally sent me to the doctor and they placed me on meds.

  • Abbie

    About 7 months ago I started this odd vomiting cycle. Every morning (Monday-Friday only) I would throw up withing the first hour of waking up. First I would be really cold, then suddenly feel on fire, then throw up. It would go in for ten minutes or until I could drink water. that lasted everyday day for 2 and a half months. I ended up dropping classes at school before it stopped (depression and stress also caused the me to drop them). Durin those months I also had bad issues with swallowing. I would chew my food and keep chewing and try to swallow but just couldn't get the urge to. I started getting issues with passing out and body numbness because of the weight loss over 20 lbs during that time, also.

    I'm now back in all my classes and I've started to have the issues with swallowing again. I'm taking medications but im not exactly sure it's working. My doctors have run blood tests but the only thing that came back was that I was lacking vitamin D. is that what's causing this?


Call the Helpline Toll-FREE

To Get Treatment Options Now.

1-888-993-3112 Who Answers? 100% Confidential

Get Help For You or a Loved One Here...

Click Here for More Info.


Call The Toll-FREE Helpline 24/7 To Get Treatment Options Now.

100% Confidential
Get Treatment Options From Your Phone... Tap to Expand