Trypophobia is a type of psychological condition, which causes a sensation of panic or disgust when looking at a cluster of holes. Due to this reason, most doctors and physicians often depict it as the fear of holes. People who are suffering from this rare condition generally always stay agitated and feel uncomfortable whenever they come across a surface that has tiny holes in it. For example, if you have this health issue, then you will panic whenever you see the top side of the seed of a lotus or a strawberry.
When talking about the symptoms, fear is known to be the most common one, as it frequently occurs among the patients. However, doctors usually describe the feeling of disgust to be one of the most overwhelming emotions of all. Trypophobia also has a tendency to be highly visual. Therefore, if the patients, who are suffering from it, see even any online image or printed pictures of a cluster of holes, they will still exhibit the symptoms of this condition.
Trypophobia is usually known to be quite rare. Therefore, this condition is still yet to be officially recognized as a psychological issue. Due to this reason, studies and researches have also been quite limited in this aspect. Thus, the doctors and researchers still have not found any cure for this issue. There is also not much data about the diagnostic procedures of this disease. The only way to make a diagnosis of Trypophobia is the Trypophobia test.
What are the Common Triggers of Trypophobia?
As mentioned before, the researches on this mental condition are quite rare. Therefore, the doctors still do not know much about the things, which may trigger the symptoms of Trypophobia. However, they have found out a few objects that can cause uneasiness among the patients. Here are some of them.
- Lotus seed pods
- Holes or bumps on a person or an animal’s flesh and skin
- Eyes of some insects, such as bees, flies, wasps, etc
- A few sea creatures, like sea sponges and corals
- Metal foam of aluminum
So, these are some of the things and objects that can trigger the signs and symptoms of Trypophobia among the patients. Aside from this, the visual illustration of the animals and insects, which have spotted fur or skin, can sometimes also trigger this psychological issue. Due to this reason, during a Trypophobia test, the doctors usually show the sufferers the images of these things to understand the severity of their condition.
What are the Causes and Risk Factors of Trypophobia?
As this condition is quite rare, the doctors still have not found out the exact issues, which can cause Trypophobia. However, they have made some theories on the risk factors. Here is what you need to know about these.
1. Association with Venomous Creatures
Most venomous and dangerous creatures, such as snakes and leopards, have dotted skin or furry coat. Therefore, if you spend quite a lot of time with these animals, then you might develop a fear of these skin patterns unconsciously in your mind.
2. Fear of Infectious Pathogens
According to the researchers, the feeling of fear and loathing towards the infectious pathogens can also associate with developing this psychological condition among people. The people, who develop Trypophobia due to this reason, usually encounter symptoms like extreme itching and a feeling of something crawling in their skins.
3. From Other Diseases
If you have been suffering from diseases, which causes dots and bumps in your skin, then you might also, one day, develop Trypophobia. According to the doctors, it happens because of the extreme disgust that the patient feels towards these skin issues.
Numerous other psychological disorders, such as depression and anxiety, can also lead to Trypophobia in some people. However, these are known to be the rarest of risk factors that can cause this condition among people.
So, these are some of the factors that can potentially increase your risk of getting affected by this psychological disorder.
What are the Symptoms of Trypophobia?
Whenever a person who is suffering from Trypophobia sees the images or visuals of the previously mentioned objects, they will exhibit the symptoms of the condition. Here are some of the common issues that you may encounter if you are diagnosed with this disease.
The signs of distress are one of those symptoms, which occur among the patients of this psychological disorder quite frequently. While being distressed, a person will continuously exhibit signs of discomfort and uneasiness.
2. Nausea and Vomiting
If you have been distressed for quite a long time, then you might also encounter a persistent feeling of nausea. You might also vomit without any reason if your stress level keeps rising. However, this symptom occurs among the people who have been suffering from this psychological issue for quite some time.
3. Visual Discomfort
As Trypophobia can increase your stress level, it can also cause some types of visual discomforts, such as eye strain and distortion. Some patients have also experienced various forms of illusions whenever they have encountered any surface that has a lot of holes or bumps in it.
4. Panic Attack
A panic attack is an abrupt onset of extreme fear, which might occur to you whenever you are encountering any of the trigger objects. It is known to cause several fierce physical reactions among the patients even when there is no apparent cause of it.
Panic attacks can be quite frightening for the people who are encountering it. They usually experience a feeling of losing bodily control or having a sudden heart attack. Some people also have described the feeling as if they were going to die at that very moment. Panic attacks can affect almost anyone who has this psychological condition.
When diagnosing this health issue with the Trypophobia test, the doctors usually look for this very symptom at first.
This symptom is usually evident among those people who are distressed or having panic attacks. Aside from sweating, they might also encounter severe body shakes and a feeling of something that is crawling inside their skins.
Besides panic attacks, sweating can also occur on its own if you are Trypophobic and have come across any trigger objects.
6. Itching and Rapid Breathing
Along with sweating, you might also experience extreme itching, which will keep spreading throughout your body as time goes by. Due to the high level of stress, you may also encounter breathing issues, which might prompt you to inhale and exhale rapidly. These symptoms generally also occur when the patient is taking the Trypophobia test.
7. A Feeling of Revulsion or Disgust
As mentioned before, the feeling of disgust is one of the most dominant emotional symptoms that occur among the patients of Trypophobia. When exhibiting this symptom, the patient suddenly becomes quite agitated and restless. So, if someone you know, who is suffering from Trypophobia, is showing the signs of extreme disgust all of a sudden, then make sure to try your best to keep him or her calm and composed. Otherwise, if the stress level keeps rising, then he or she might start having a panic attack.
In addition to these symptoms, the patients with this psychological condition can also experience numerous behavioral changes, which might affect both the person and his or her family indirectly. Therefore, if someone, whom you know, has been diagnosed with this condition, then make sure to keep him or her away from all the trigger objects.
How is Trypophobia Diagnosed?
As mentioned before, the doctors usually take the help of the specialized Trypophobia test to diagnose Trypophobia and understand its severity. During this procedure, the physicians normally display different images to the patient. Some of these illustrations generally contain disgusting stimuli, whereas the few others do not. The images usually are shown at different random intervals, from 1.5 seconds to 9.0 seconds.
After the doctor shows you a single image, he or she will, then, ask you for how long it was displayed by him in the monitor. If you are currently suffering from Trypophobia, then some of your guesses will be wrong. A single Trypophobia test usually requires five to seven minutes to complete.
Apart from this test, the doctors will also ask your medical, social, and psychiatric history to evaluate your condition correctly. They might also refer you to the DSM-5 to assess your symptoms and the severity of the disorder more thoroughly.
How is Trypophobia Treated?
Like any other phobias, the symptoms of Trypophobia can also be treated quite comfortably. However, doctors still have not found a way to cure this psychological disorder completely. Therefore, with these treatment procedures, you can only control the severity of your symptoms.
Here is what you need to know about the treatment procedures of Trypophobia.
1. Exposure Therapy
As the name suggests, this type of treatment involves exposing the person to their fear objects in a progressive manner. Due to this overexposure, the person’s disgust of any object starts lessening. It ultimately helps him or her to overcome the other symptoms of Trypophobia.
The doctors generally go with this process in a gradual manner for helping the patients to adjust with their fear properly. During this procedure, the doctor shows the patients some images of the objects that he fears the most.
2. CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
The special psychological therapy involves a therapist, who tries to change the behavior and the underlying thoughts of the patients whenever he or she sees the fear objects. For this, the doctor might ask you about some of your unrealistic thoughts and replace them with a more logical and realistic one. Once he is done with changing your thinking process, he will, then, proceed to make changes in your behavior.
3. Relaxation Techniques
There are numerous relaxation techniques out there, which can help you to keep your stress level in control whenever you come across any fear object. Among these, visualization, progressive muscle relaxation, and deep breathing are known to be some of the most notable ones.
The strategy of visualization generally involves having thoughts about mind-soothing situations and images. It can help you to forget about the fear object and keep your mind clean as well as fresh.
Progressive muscle relaxation can help to reduce the symptoms of eye strain or muscle pain. Deep breathing usually helps in restraining your stress level.
Sometimes, a simple distraction can also help you to avoid experiencing any symptoms of Trypophobia. So, once you encounter with any of the fear objects, try to look away from it as soon as possible and focus on something else.
After a doctor diagnoses you with the Trypophobia test, he will prescribe you some medications that can help to relieve your symptoms. Mostly, the physicians ask the patients to take anti-anxiety drugs and antidepressants as these can reduce your chances of experiencing a panic attack.
FAQ on Trypophobia
1. What is Trypophobia?
Trypophobia is a psychological condition, which causes fear and disgust among the people when they encounter any object that has a cluster of holes and bumps.
2. Which objects can trigger the symptoms of Trypophobia?
Almost anything, which has a collection of dots and holes, can trigger the symptoms of Trypophobia. Honeycombs, bubbles, and pomegranates are known to be some of the common triggers of this condition.
3. How is Trypophobia diagnosed?
There are not many procedures available, which can help in diagnosing this condition successfully. However, through a Trypophobia test, the doctors can understand the condition, as well as the severity of it, to some extent.
4. How can you treat Trypophobia?
The doctors usually ask the patients to take the anti-depressants to subdue the psychological symptoms of the condition. However, if you want to treat the physical symptoms, then you can use the relaxation techniques.
5. What is the most common symptom of Trypophobia?
Like any other phobias, Trypophobia, too, does cause numerous symptoms in the patients. However, the most common ones are fear and disgust.