It was the mash, the phobia mash - Potnonomicaphobia

>>  Sunday, April 10, 2011

I haven't just said that so make you hum the Monster Mash for the rest of the day (but you are already aren't you?!).

It's because I've just had to fill out the school residential trip health form.  I hate the question "Is there anything else you need to tell us?"

I have to explain my daughter has a mash potato phobia.  It isn't just a dislike in terms of eating it, it's a phobia.  Let me explain:

If you don't like spiders you probably wince a bit as you try to flick it away with the edge of newspaper.  If you have arachnophobia then you may have excessive sweating, rapid breathing, a quickened heartbeat, nausea and dizziness.

That's what happens to daughter.  If she is sat at the table with someone eating mashed potato, she will get nauseous, start to shake and cry.  Annoyingly, I have known her to eat homemade mash potato and sometimes be right on top of her fear, but other times she goes into complete meltdown.

So I complete the form, sounding like a completely over protective mother and feeling like a right nellie.  I think the teachers need to understand if she goes into meltdown at a meal time that there is a reason for it and to be sensitive to it.

At primary school around year 4 she was carried out of the dining hall by the arm whilst in an uncontrollable state, she was shouted at and taken to the headmaster for bad behaviour.  I was furious. Her father had to go to the school (I would have just got very angry if I'd have gone) to explain that she completely panics at the sight of others with mash potato and was unable to control her shaking, crying and was unable to move.

I got a letter home once asking if she could participate in mash potato biscuit making for the World War II day in class.  They only wanted to know about allergies, I bet they weren't expecting the response they got!

You are rarely completely individual in the world and a quick Google soon let me know she isn't alone but I think it is one of the odder phobias I have ever come across. 

So the next time you fill out a health form spare us a thought of sympathy!

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