USF student’s unusual phobia keeps her avoiding yellow menace: Bananas

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Laura Slack, a USF humanities major,  may seem like an ordinary college student, until you pull out a banana. She’s been terribly afraid of them ever since she can remember.

“As a baby, my mom said I refused to eat the bananas in baby food,” Slack said. states that bananaphobia tend to rise from the smell and texture of the banana itself.

“Everything from the way they look, to smell, to touch, to taste, the way that they sound when someone is eating them, it freaks me out,” Slack said.

Aside from the overwhelming fear of the yellow fruit, Slack said she mostly fears “real” bananas.  When bananas are featured on TV or if someone is dressed in a banana suit, she will not run in the other direction, but will feel a bit uneasy.

Growing up, Slack said her friends and family always found a way to tease her once until they found out about her phobia.

Once a friend went into her room and covered her bed with bananas. Unable to touch the bananas, Slack had to ask others to remove them.

According to an article by the Daily Mail, in 2011, John Bruce, a therapist working at Renfrewshire, Scotland, was able to cure a woman’s fear of bananas through Neuro-linguistic programming. In this technique, a therapist talks to the patient and tries to get him or her to separate the bad memories associated with objects and exchange them for positive memories.

“I took her mind back to a time when she didn’t have the phobia and taught her to associate those calm, happy feelings with bananas,” Bruce said in the Daily Mail.

Even though she  cannot touch, smell, or taste bananas without a jolt of fear, Slack said her fear of bananas has subsided slightly.

“I can actually sit at a table with someone eating a banana now,” Slack said.

Slack admits that she will never fully get over her fear of bananas. Just the other day, she recalls finding a banana sitting in front of the microwave in her apartment. Whether it was put there on purpose or by mistake, she does not know.

“All right, I guess I’m not going to use the microwave today,”  Slack said, as she continues her daily battle against her yellow-colored enemy.