Acerophobia is the fear of tasting anything sour such as pickles and lemons. Those suffering from acerophobia make a conscious effort to avoid sour foods in order to avoid the psychological discomfort that is created by encountering the feared experience.

The phobic reaction consists of some or all symptoms including an increased heart rate, the feeling of a sense of dread, nausea, dry mouth, perspiration and breathlessness. Some sufferers have such a strong fear of sour foods, that the mere suggestion of something sour increases anxiety. Acerophobia may contribute to social isolation causing the person to stay away from bars and parties where many sour beverages are served with lemons and limes.

Phobias that are more specific are usually brought on by a traumatic experience from early childhood. The stressful event causes the inborn fear which triggers a response in the brain that then develops the phobia. One’s tendency to developing a phobia is also related to the individual’s brain chemistry and predisposing genetic factors.

Yahoo Voices describes the social issues with having such an usual fear.

With most individuals the reactions to acerophobia are mild but can have an impact on the overall comfort level of the individual especially in public situations where anything out of the ordinary can be taboo. Those that suffer with the disorder are often times very aware of the reactions from the people around them. The greater the reaction to their panic sessions the worse the situation becomes for them. The additional reaction triggers an even greater panic and higher levels of anxiety that can push the sufferer to higher level of reaction than they would have had if nobody had noticed their reaction.

Treatment options for those with acerophobia may include psychotherapy, medications or by controlled exposure. In controlled exposure, the patient is slowly brought in contact with the feared item until he becomes more comfortable with it.

Acerophobia Diagnosis and Treatment