What Is Trypophobia? Triggers, Symptoms, Diagnosis, Causes, Cure, And More
Have you ever had a repulsed reaction to a hole-filled surface? If yes there are chances that you might've developed Tryophobia.
Many netizens complained and took to Twitter in order to express their Trypophobia triggers provoked by Doja Cat's red look at Paris Fashion Week.
But why was this look not so kind to the eyes of trypophobics? What are the causes and symptoms of this condition and if there is a cure? Find out here!
- Trypophobia leads to feelings of disgust or fear on seeing patterns with lots of holes.
- Some Trypophobia triggers can be Sunflowers, honeycombs, sponges, and seedy fruits.
- Trypophobia is a type of anxiety disorder.
- It is very common and most people don’t have a true fear of holes.
- Exposure therapy can help with managing repulsions to the patterns.
Trypophobia: What is it?
- The aversion or repulsion to objects like honeycombs and sponges that have repetitive patterns or clusters of small holes is known as Trypophobia.
- Trypophobia is a type of anxiety disorder.
- People who suffer from trypophobia are disgusted by the pattern of holes though they don’t necessarily have a fear of holes.
One can have an adverse reaction to objects or images with a holey surface. The closer they are to it the worse it gets.
Trypophobia triggers may include:
- Bread and bagels with seeds.
- Cheese with holes.
- Fruits with small seeds like strawberries, raspberries, papaya, and kiwi.
- lotus seed pods.
- Insects and bees.
- The skin on snakes, lizards, frogs, and other reptiles.
- Soles of shoes.
Trypophobia: Symptoms And Causes
Though experts still couldn't come up with the exact reason why some people develop trypophobia, one theory is that the brain associates clusters of holes with danger.
The human brain may associate a pattern of small holes with the skin of a venomous snake or the eyes of a tarantula. These holes may remind one of their skin diseases or skin rashes as well.
Apart from this, there is another theory that suggests that your brain uses more energy and oxygen to process holey patterns which lead to triggering feelings of distress.
Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) can be another reason.
Trypophobia: How do you get it?
Studies show that Trypophobia affects more females than males.
You may be more prone to trypophobia if you have:
- Obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Trypophobia can cause:
- Choking or dry mouth.
- Fast breathing and heart rate.
- An intense feeling of disgust or terror.
- Pale skin.
- Profuse sweating (hyperhidrosis).
- Trembling or shaking.
Trypophobia: Diagnosis And Tests
Trypophobia is not recognized by the American Psychiatric Association (APA) as a disorder in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
The reason behind this may be that the condition is often more uncomfortable than debilitating.
As it’s not recognized as a disorder, there aren’t any established criteria for the diagnosis though there is a trypophobia test.
Completing the online trypophobia test (which is solely for research purposes) may help determine whether you have this aversion.
- The test displays images for one to eight seconds each.
- Some of the images might have patterns or clusters of holes, while some do not.
- The test will ask you to estimate how long you saw each image.
- It will compare your estimates for viewing trypophobic images and neutral images (those without holes)
- At the end of the test, it will give you a ratio. If it's higher than two it may indicate you have trypophobia.
- Before taking any decision it is very crucial to talk to a mental health professional like a psychologist regarding this.
- Exposure Therapy might help if trypophobia affects your ability to engage in certain activities or enjoy life.
- It gradually exposes you to trypophobia triggers and helps you in managing your reactions.
- Psychotherapy or talk therapy helps as many as nine in 10 people overcome specific phobic disorders.
In extreme situations, trypophobia can affect your ability to work, go to school or socialize. You may experience:
- Increased stress and irritability.
- Insomnia or sleep problems.
- Panic attacks.
How Common Is Trypophobia?
Trypophobia was first named in 2005 and is a fairly new disorder with as many as 17% of children and adults (about one in six people) who might have some degree of trypophobia.
People became more aware of trypophobia after news stories on people's reaction to clusters of tiny camera lenses on certain smartphones.
The fan-favorite TV show “American Horror Story: Cult” also featured a character who had trypophobia.
Triggering images in the show repulsed some viewers and increased awareness of the phobia.
Trypophobia these days is gaining recognition as an anxiety problem as triggering clusters can be spotted very easily in people's environments that can affect their quality of life. One shouldn't be embarrassed to talk to their healthcare provider if they have symptoms of trypophobia.