Fear Of Mushrooms

In this article, we will talk about the fear of mushrooms

What Is Mycophobia?

Myco and phobia are Greek words meaning ‘fungus’ and ‘fear’ respectively. Mycophobia refers to the irrational fear of mushrooms. Another word for this phobia is fungophobia. People with mycophobia are called mycophobes or fungophobes.

Causes Of Mycophobia

Though the exact cause of mycophobia is yet to be discovered, numerous factors are associated with mycophobia.


A person may have a higher risk of developing mycophobia if they have a family history of anxiety disorders or any particular phobias. A negative experience with mushrooms does not always manifest into mycophobia for everyone. Many mental health professionals agree that both genetics and environmental factors contribute to mycophobia.

Personal Experience

Personal traumas, such as specific circumstances cause you or a member of your family to become seriously ill. Suffer a severe injury, or passing away, can lead to the development of phobias. Though it’s not very common with mycophobia, most of the time, people’s fear of mushrooms is a consequence of hearing about their risks and seeing how others react to them.


While some cultures view mushrooms with suspicion and fear, others highly value them for their culinary and medicinal applications. You are more likely to come into contact with people and information that instills a fear of mushrooms if you are from a culture where there is a widespread cultural dislike for them.

Observational Learning

Mycophobia is a common phobia that many people pick up after observing the extreme reactions of others. When finding mushrooms growing in the wild or their backyard. Young children frequently learn from the cautions and reactions of their parents.

Informational Learning

Although eating the wrong kind of mushroom by accident can indeed be fatal, only a small percentage of mushrooms are deadly. But because of the fear sparked by these incidents, some people even avoid purchasing mushrooms from stores. Hearing or reading accounts of individuals who fell ill or died after ingesting poisonous wild mushrooms. It may cause some people to develop mycophobia.

Symptoms Of Mycophobia

Mycophobia is an extreme, irrational fear of mushrooms that often leads to anxiety in people who have this fear. Anxiety can manifest into panic attacks in people with severe cases of mycophobia. Fear often outweighs any threat or danger that the mushrooms might pose.

Mycophobes, who have less severe forms of mycophobia, only avoid eating common store-bought button and cremini mushrooms because they are afraid of wild or unfamiliar mushrooms, whereas mycophobes with extreme mycophobia, go to great lengths to avoid mushrooms. They avoid mushrooms in the wild and may even refuse to go to eateries or shops that cook or serve mushrooms in any way.

Mycophobia symptoms when around mushrooms may include:

  • Sensation of impending danger or doom
  • Higher heart rate
  • Increased breathing rate
  • Tense muscles
  • Trembling
  • Excessive perspiration
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Choking sensation
  • Chest discomfort or pain
  • Nausea or discomfort in the abdomen
  • Feeling weak or lightheaded
  • Uncontrollable trepidation
  • Tingling feeling
  • Cold sweats or hot flushes

Treatment Of Mycophobia

There is no specific treatment for mycophobia but various existing treatments can help to significantly reduce the number of mycophobia symptoms. Some treatment options include exposure therapy, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and some psychiatric medications.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is frequently used to treat conditions like generalized anxiety disorder and obsessive-compulsive disorder, among others. It might also help treat those who experience phobias like mycophobia. CBT works by having the therapist assist the patient in identifying the reasons behind their thoughts, feelings, and actions about a specific fear or concern they have.

Participants in CBT for mycophobia can anticipate, among other things, learning why they think the way they do about their fear. Knowing such things might enable someone who suffers from mycophobia to approach their fear of mushrooms with more efficiency.

Exposure Therapy

It is one of the most popular methods for treating anxiety disorders like mycophobia. It may be a successful strategy for helping the patient become desensitized to their particular fears. Whatever the case, it is crucial that the therapist using it on their patient is skilled at doing so. For instance, if the therapist only slightly exposes a mycophobia patient to their fear, it might not be very effective because the patient might require a higher level of exposure to effect any kind of positive change.

To the extent that their mycophobia might significantly worsen as a result of the therapy alone, it would be highly counterproductive for the therapist to repeatedly expose a mycophobia patient to their fear. To determine the level of exposure that the patient will likely be able to handle, the therapist implementing exposure therapy for a mycophobia patient must have a very strong understanding of how severe their symptoms are.

Psychiatric Medications

Anxiety medications

These medicines are very helpful in preventing panic attacks. Because people with phobias frequently also experience panic attacks, these medications can be very beneficial for those who have severe mycophobia. Among the many popular anti-anxiety drugs are Xanax, Valium, and Klonopin.

It is uncommon for people to take these kinds of medications every day, but if their mycophobia is severe enough, they might. To make sure that this is safe and effective, you should first discuss it with your doctor before deciding to do it.


These antidepressant medications can also help people with mycophobia. Paxil, Zoloft, and Lexapro are a few examples of common antidepressants. Some of the mycophobia symptoms may be lessened with the help of these medications.

These kinds of medications help prevent panic attacks, but their main purpose is to aid in lowering people’s general anxiety. Consult your doctor to determine whether it is safe to take antidepressants and whether they can help you manage your mycophobia symptoms.

The Ending Note

In conclusion, Most people with mycophobia belong to cultures where mushrooms are regarded with suspicion and danger. Cultural mycophobia is frequently mild, and all it takes to make someone feel better is for them to learn more about wild gourmet mushrooms.

 If you are a mycophobe, learning about the numerous health and nutritional advantages of mushrooms may encourage you to overcome your fear of mushrooms and include them in your diet.

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