Diary of a Trypophobe

As a kid I always had a love-hate relationship with the countryside. Of course I loved all the tree climbing and adventure that came with exploration of a land that wasn’t only concrete. We made the trip once a year, to see the grandparents. The only down side was that I hated the site of anthills. Whenever I saw an anthill I would feel an itch spread throughout my body. It usually started from the back of my ears and I would scratch until I thought I would lose my mind. This was a problem since anthills seemed to be in abundance in the countryside. Gradually our trips to the country side became less and less and the uneasy feeling receded and I thought I was over it. But I came to realize it was always there, lurking in the shadows. Then I realised that other things bothered me, mostly small holes in places where they are not normally found. A few months ago I had an attack so bad that I took to search engines and stumbled on the name Trypophobia.
Trypophobia a term coined in 2005 is the fear of repetitive patterns usually small holes. Trypo is a Greek word meaning drilling punching or boring holes. There is limited research about the phobia and it is not officially recognized as an official phobia in the field of psychology. Two scientists have claimed to be the first scientists to study this phobia. They believe the reaction is due to biological revulsion. The brain tends to associate the shapes with danger according to the study.
When a Trypophobe comes into contact with these shapes their skin start to crawl and start to shudder, they feel itchy and some may even feel physically sick. Initially it was a faceless ghost and I was thankful to know that I am not alone after taking to google.
Experts believe that this kind of phobia is not real and that it is due to influence by others. I have to disagree with this. Firstly my experience came before I knew a name for the condition. Yes, I am calling it a condition. Secondly I had never known anyone who felt the same way until recently. I suggest they find another explanation that doesn’t blame influence. There has to be some sort of explanation for this sort of thing. True, there are some who have to read about it to experience it but what about those like us who carried this burden before knowing what would happen.
According to Katherina K. Hauner all types of phobia can be treated by exposure treatment where the patient is exposed to their fear. There are two approaches (trypophobia.com)
1) Flooding approach– in this approach the patient is left to feel the maximum level of the fear by standing infront of the object. They are flooded with fear for them to realize there is no harm when handling the object.
2) Classical conditioning– in this approach the patient is shown the positive things about the holes in the object. In this way the patient can positively fight their phobia.
Of late I tend to always be on edge wondering when an attack would hit and how bad the reaction will be. So you will forgive me for viewing this phobia as a real condition. After all you have to experience it to know it.
Helpful sites


6 thoughts on “Diary of a Trypophobe

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