When I was very young, I had 4 instances where I choked on solid foods. During 2 of them, my mom saved my life performing the Heimlich on me, 1 time I was alone and got lucky enough to hit myself in the abdomen enough to regurgitate the candy back up, and another time I was choking on a solid candy during a studying period at school. There were over a dozen students, a teacher, and a police officer in the classroom, and I had to save my own life that day because they all just stood/sat there in silence and watched me choke. I think that after those experiences, when I was around 14/15 years old, I’ve developed this intense fear & anxiety that I’ll choke & die if I try to eat hard candies that you have to suck on first (peppermints, jolly ranchers, suckers), and if I try to swallow pills/capsules/softgels, whether it’s medication or supplements. I just don’t put any of that in my mouth anymore. I refuse to. There was a period of several months around that age when my mom pressured me to take my daily women’s supplements like I used to, but no matter how much liquid I drank to make the stupid thing go down my throat, my heart would race & I would regurgitate it back up without meaning to. All I could think of when I was trying to swallow them was “this is how I’m going to die.” My mom eventually gave up; I think she knew it was a losing battle. It’s been many many years since I’ve swallowed pills or ate hard candy. I never knew until today that it’s called pseudodysphagia.
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