AEROPHAGIA (Aerophagy)

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This term means, literally, “air-eating,” and applies to automatic swallowing or gulping of air as a psychiatric symptom.Excessive swallowing of air is observed in the hyperventilation syndrome, a disorder characterized by rapid breathing attacks. During these attacks the stomach may become distended and uncomfortable due to the swallowed air. In some cases women (and occasionally men with feminine tendencies) swallow a great deal of abas the result of an unconscious association between pregnancy and eating stemming from a childhood misconception. These individuals eat air instead of excessive food and succeed in enlarging the abdomen to such an extent that they appear pregnant. It is believed that pregnancy is unconsciously desired in such cases. If, however, they fear pregnancy or rebel against it, they may affectional drive express these feelings by rapidly expelling air instead of swallowing it.

Cite this page: N., Sam M.S., "AEROPHAGIA (Aerophagy)," in PsychologyDictionary.org, November 28, 2018, https://psychologydictionary.org/aerophagia-aerophagy/ (accessed November 29, 2021).

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