Are you trying to understand the fear of holes, bumps, and clusters of small circles? You are not alone. Trypophobia is an unusual phobia that affects a lot more people than you might think.
It may be difficult to find resources in Canada on trypophobia. But there are Canadian companies that care. They care enough to educate those who seek information.
So what exactly does one do when they suffer from trypophobic tendencies? What coping mechanisms work for the negative emotions caused by this condition? Please keep reading for answers because we've got them!
Trypophobia is a fear or disgust of closely-packed holes. People who have it feel queasy when looking at surfaces that have small, intricate patterns with few gaps between them. Examples usually include lotus seed pods or strawberry skin.
Both of those items have thick rows that go down nearly 300 degrees straight away before branching out again at right angles. Trypophobia has recently been gaining more and more attention. This is mainly due to trypophobia reactions which vary from person to person but can be quite severe.
Some people are able to live their lives without any major issues. Others may suffer from severe anxiety attacks. This is especially true when they see the ever-present cluster of holes or bumps on objects.
Trypophobia can be frightening because we are all surrounded by organic and inorganic items that resemble closely packed holes. In addition, trypophobia causes significant symptoms of emotional distress and functional impairment. It was a student at the University of Albany that was one of the first to reach out about their distressful experience with trypophobia.
That's when people on social media began to share their experiences about trypophobia. Many mental health experts agree when you suffer from the symptoms of trypophobia, most receive an anxiety or phobia disorder diagnosis. One of the reasons for this is that almost any repetitive pattern will trigger trypophobia due to extreme stress factors.
Fear or disgust of closely-packed holes or irregular pattern of holes
Classification of Trypophobia
The classification of trypophobia as an anxiety disorder can help sufferers file for and use disability insurance. Your career is your livelihood. So you never want to put it at risk by working when you're unable to do so because of an anxiety disorder or injury.
It is the anxiety disorder diagnosis and classification of trypophobia that helps with disability insurance claims. But, of course, we already know that trypophobia is, at least right now, it is an unrecognized condition. But its most common symptoms are ones that generate intense anxiety and fear.
Trypophobia's fear of holes and patterns is repetitive in nature, with high contrast at low spatial frequencies. Many state that the fear comes from the person seeing too much detail in holes and patterns.
Signs and Symptoms of Trypophobia
How do you know you have trypophobia? The strongest and most common symptom of trypophobia is a strange and terrible fear. You will often see a fearful and visceral reaction to images or objects with clusters of holes.
Itches all over the body, which leads to nausea & vomiting
The symptoms of most phobias result in extreme forms of anxiety. CHS states common signs are discomfort sensations such as tingling on the skin. Sometimes the sufferer will experience intense itching on their skin.
Some people find it difficult to distinguish between real threats on the one hand, versus imagined ones at other times. But that doesn't mean the threats don't feel real.
Causes of Trypophobia
We wish we could tell you the causes of trypophobia, which would help dissipate its associated anxiety or phobia disorder. Specific phobias are diagnosed with an evaluation by a mental health professional. The mental health professional can help you determine what the cause of trypophobia is for you.
Mental health experts and scientists are still trying to figure out what causes trypophobia. Some say it may be an evolutionary response by our brains. The brain response exists as a survival mechanism, so we avoid danger or disease.
Others think people react with a natural human response based on certain stimuli, which causes people to have an overactive imagination. It is the overactive imagination that triggers irrational thoughts about objects being harmful.
Treatment of Trypophobia
There is no specific treatment for trypophobia, but many of the treatments used in other types of mental health can help reduce symptoms. Treatment may involve lifestyle modifications like relaxation strategies or meditation. In addition, therapy includes cognitive-behavioral counseling, which teaches you how to identify your own thoughts and understand them more clearly.
When you understand your thoughts more clearly, you can better control what happens with the resulting negative messages and fearfulness. There are also various programs such as cognitive-behavioral therapy. Cognitive-behavioral therapy helps you learn different ways of coping with phobias and anxiety attacks.
There is a push to create a new approach for mental health disorders and how we diagnose and treat them. But what does this mean for those who suffer from them? For example, one in ten people deals with anxiety on some level.
Triggers of trypophobia can be any object or photograph with clustered holes or bumps. Examples of these types of objects are things such as honeycombs, bubble wrap, or fruit seeds. The seeds in strawberries are a case in point, even certain patterns that can be enough for some people!
Clusters of things like pomegranates or sea sponges with their tiny pores look like clusters. All the examples above can trigger trypophobia. Many wonder, how do you know if you have trypophobia?
Do you suffer from an intense fear of one particular thing? If it's something you feel you can never escape, then you may be experiencing a trigger to trypophobia.
Let's talk about the things that make you feel like your brain will crack open and spill the stress and anxiety all over the place. Sometimes the cracked open stress and anxiety show up on what is called trypophobia skin. Trypophobic patterns on the skin can cause extreme itching, fear, or disgust.
Trypophobia skin is also a co-morbidity issue for some individuals with diseases such as eczema. When you think about it, if you remember the horror villain Freddy Kreuger, it appears he had a type of trypo-sensitive skin. In real life, a trypophobia skin diagnosis is given by a dermatologist or mental health professional.
The mental health professionals or dermatologists will ask questions to determine the phobia and avoidance behaviors it provokes. It is these intense feelings that you cannot escape that can result in your life becoming unmanageable.
What the Research Says About Trypophobia
Research runs concurrently with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders. It states that when given a phobia diagnosis, it is defined as follows:
Marked fear or anxiety about an object that almost always provokes immediate concern
The phobic situation cannot be easily avoided because if you avoid it, then your thoughts will lead to another episode
Trying hard not think of what would happen when confronted with their biggest fears
The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by that specific object. Research suggests that if the anxiety or phobia lasts for more than six months, you have a functional impairment.
Risks Associated with Trypophobia?
Trypophobia risks include fear or anxiety that is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the situation. The significant distress or impairment impacts your life socially, occupationally, and personally. This almost evolutionary response causes risks to include you becoming so stressed you cannot function.
Researchers have hypothesized this fear could serve as adaptive means for warning people about impending threats. But the adaptive warning isn't needed very much in today's society. There is little need for such extreme responses given the benefits of modern technology.
Researchers have found that people with trypophobia are at an increased risk of developing generalized anxiety and major depressive disorder. They can also suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorders.
Since there are no specific treatments for trypophobia, many people must live with the side effects of trypophobia. Some can use relaxation strategies and enough rest to help alleviate some of the side effects and symptoms. But it is lifestyle changes that do the best job at helping you get relief from this debilitating disorder.
People with trypophobia may experience various physical and psychological symptoms, including an autonomic nervous system response. In 2013, two University of Essex scientists described a condition that had been previously unreported. These two scientists stated that about 15% or more people might be trypophobic.
But in the end, it comes down to determining whether there are co-existing conditions like anxiety disorders when it's treated. It also depends on how the person processes the intense side effects that impact their mental health. Side effects occur when there is exposure to a trypophobia glimpse or image.
The Trypophobia test might be for you! It has recently come to light that a phobia or aversion to certain patterns sometimes occurs with other diseases. These are diseases you may or may not be aware you have.
There may even be some form of a psychological trigger in which our brains react viscerally upon seeing the circles, patterns, or clusters. The Implicit Trypophobia Measure 0.5a test or Fear of Holes test measures how strong this effect is by having subjects view images containing disgusting stimuli.
There are a plethora of other tests for trypophobia too. Subjects view the images while trying not to look at any other part than what they're instructed to. The good news is that there is help available.
When you seek treatment for trypophobia, it's important you speak to your doctor first and foremost. They can offer you various options for getting relief from this awful condition. The criteria set out by the DSM-5 include marked fear or anxiety around an object/situation.
It is that fear and anxiety that almost always provokes immediate responses such as panic attacks. You want to determine and ask questions about whether you may be experiencing a co-existing condition.
This would mean trypophobia is also part of your anxiety disorder, which only a doctor can treat. Short of a cure, trypophobia sufferers can find relief by using drugs that treat anxiety. Though there's no official treatment for the condition and limited research, some professionals feel exposure therapy may help.
It's a fact that our brains naturally link certain objects with negative connotations. We do that often before even realizing they exist. This may cause someone who sees holes during tense moments to feel anxious when they see them.
It's also a fact that those who have trypophobia can find some relief by taking anxiety medication. But not enough research has been done to validate anxiety medicine results. To some extent, exposure therapy works, but the results depend on the person's psyche.
It's true that you can find different methods to use for trypophobia. You can use cognitive behavior therapy which teaches you how your mind works to avoid triggers. You can exercise as it's been proven most of the time; exercise will reduce anxiety.
When you're ready to move forward with the right therapist, there is someone who will help you find the right one. Or even if you want to find out if you need insurance coverage, there is a place you can go. Reach out to Insurdinary when you're ready to learn more about what treatment options are available for you.
The causes of trypophobia are somehow unknown as it remains an enigma. When you are dealing with trypophobia and striving to overcome fear or anxiety, no matter how difficult, you're halfway there. When you join with another, like a therapist or group, you can often overcome your fears even when they seem insurmountable.