hp84 was asking me about the term for fear of swallowing pills, which reminded me of a childhood experience of mine... (yes, story time!)
Fear of swallowing pills = Phagophobia
(Phago = Swallowing) hence the term phagocytes,etc..
Phagophobia is a general term for fear of swallowing/eating
Fear of needles = Aichmophobia
So, when i was a little kid, (okay, maybe not so little) i had this fear of swallowing tablets. While other kids were showing off how they could swallow pills, some even without water, i would tolerate the syrup medication. And yes, the syrup medication tasted terrible (just like medicine!).
I remembered there was this one anti-pyretic medication (syrup paracetamol- for fever) which was pink in color. It smelled like strawberry but it tasted horrible! (i think, the pharmacist probably wanted to make it more acceptable to kids, unfortunately, it didn't work for me) It made me hated that smell, until now.. which explains why i do not drink strawberry-flavour products; eg: strawberry flavoured milk, strawberry-flavoured yogurt, strawberry-flavoured ais-cream, strawberry-flavoured what-eva... I am okay with the strawberry fruit though.. i mean the FRESH, REAL strawberries are good (especially when dipped and coated in melted cholocates)... it somehow tasted less artificial, i suppose... (great, now you think i am picky, to like strawberry fruit, but hated the strawberry-flavoured products)
Anyway, that's beside the point.. back to the story.... like i was saying, i had phagophobia. The pills just refused to go down my throat. Then, the pills melts, or regurgutates upwards, and i end up vomiting out the pill. Sis Benedict, the Philipino maid who babysit me back then, had this marvelous idea. She would asked me to open my mouth widely, and then, she would throw the pills right to the back of my throat, and make me drink a glass of water. The trick worked for a while. But, the problem arises when there is noone to throw that pill into my mouth. Occationally, the pill maybe missed aim, and get stucked at the sides of the mouth. Sometimes, the gag reflexes sets in, giving problems too!
So, today, now that i no longer have problems swallowing tablets, i shall share some tips with you on how to overcome this. This would come in handy if you have a younger bro/sis or a kid with this problem:
1. Phagophobia happens when someone is anxious about taking pills and tenses up. You can try relaxing by sucking on an ice-cube before swallowing, thus numbing your throat and reducing the sensitivity of gag reflexes.
2. RELAX before swallowing. Breathe in and out to calm yourself and reduce the tension.
3. Take a medium sip of water before attempt swollowing.
4. The RIGHT POSITION may help.Put the pill onto the centre of the tongue (yellow spot on picture) and take a big sip of water. Tilt your head slightly backwards, (not too far back) about 30 degrees, then swallow the whole thing down with a gulp.
5. If #4 failed, try tilting the head faster, like a jerk.
6. If #5 also failed, try to put the pill onto the tip of the tongue and take a small sip of water. Instead of tilting your head backwards, tilt your chin downwards towards the chest, eyes looking at your chest. The pill will naturally float upwards, towards the back of the mouth, and get swallowed naturally.
7. You can also try taking your pills with flavoured drinks like yogurt/ribena/fruit juice. It's like tricking your gag reflex to swallow them down.
8. Last but not least, PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE!! You can practice swallowing by replacing the pills with small sweets easily available from the stores. Start with smaller sweets(eg: tic-tac), and slowly move on to bigger sweets.
9. If the child have phagophobia because of emotional reasons, counsel the child.
10. (open for suggestions)
*Note: a common practice of crushing the pills is NOT advisable.
All the best in overcoming your pills anxiety =)
Dear friends and readers, Thank you for dropping by and leaving comments/ shoutouts. More importantly, thank you for being there... please accept my apology that, lately, i may be busy with work and not have time to reply youir messages/comments, but rest assured, each and everyone is read, and highly appreciated :) have a nice day! ^^
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