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Trypophobia is the fear of things with holes. Think honeycomb, bubbles in chocolate or inside a pomegranate. Many people feel itching, chills, or anxiety upon seeing these things, but for some it is more than that and expresses itself as intense fear or disgust. Phobias are usually not diagnosed by a doctor, but by the people themselves. For example, they come across on the Internet with pictures of things with holes that give them a bad feeling or even a tendency to vomit.
How this intense aversion to piercings develops in some people is a mystery. It is suggested that they stem from a survival mechanism and that we unconsciously compare groups of holes with risk or disease. Psychologists Dr. Jeff Cole and Professor Arnold Wilkins from the University of Essex conducted research on phobias and found the following conclusion: Our brain will react violently to high contrasts in group patterns, because they resemble, for example, toxic ones. Snakes, insects, or spiders. So we will unconsciously protect ourselves from this danger. So it is not surprising that even people without trypophobia can get sick from these images.
But there are also other theories about the origin of the fear response. According to some, the disgust is because the holes in a certain pattern are reminiscent of bacteria and infectious diseases. So the reaction of not wanting to get close would be very natural.
Seeing images of cavities, people with trypophobia experience a variety of symptoms, such as feelings of fear, disgust, disgust, and shame. But you can also have physical problems, such as dizziness, trouble breathing, sweating, feeling warm, high heart rate, nausea, chills, or itchy skin.
Do you suffer from phobias? This is how they appear (here’s how to get rid of them)
Do you have trypophobia and want to do something to control that fear? Little is known about the effectiveness of medications in treating trypophobia. Medications for anxiety disorders may be prescribed for a temporary sense of calm, but talk therapies have been shown to be more effective.
For people with trypophobia, it may be helpful to talk to a therapist or coach about their symptoms and concerns. In CBT, you talk to a therapist and try to understand the fear and see how you can overcome it. You can do this, for example, by looking at your fear in different ways.
Exposure therapy can be another form of therapy. The word says it all: you expose yourself to images or objects that trigger trypophobia. This is done in a gradual manner and in a safe environment. You also read about things that cause fear, which makes you look at them differently. Then, when you look at the images again, your brain can start to see them as less frightening and dangerous, reducing feelings of fear and disgust.