Trypophobia - A Fear of Holes

I am Trypophobic

I confess! I have suffered from this phobia (Trypophobia) since early childhood. I remember feeling utterly compelled to pick apart my corn flakes at breakfast and crush my grandmothers dried seedpods in her pot-pourri but it was only recently that I realised I had an actual phobia of holes.

I thought I was the strangest person on the planet. When I told my family about how the very sight (or even just the description) of certain holey things makes me feel physically sick, they thought I was a little strange too.

A Fear of Holes Can Be Debilitating

As far as I am aware, Trypophobia does not officially exist, that is it has not been formally identified as a real phobia. However, many people out there suffer from this often-debilitating phobia, it is a very real fear. Trypophobia is simply the name that sufferers have assigned to their condition and the word is growing in popularity to the point where it may eventually be included in the dictionary.

The main problem for sufferers is that the holes, which cause the most distress, are those that occur naturally such as the pores of the skin. Personally, I don’t look too close at my own skin just in case I feel compelled to pick it apart!

But trypophobia is a very specific phobia. It is not just a fear of any old holes, but usually it is of holes that are small, clustered together and of irregular or asymmetrical appearance. Any hole that has something poking up through it is high up on the levels of disgust. For example, rows of equally sized equally spaced holes may not affect some sufferers but take that same symmetrical row of holes and have something poke through them and that is a very different matter. (Just writing about this is cringe worthy).

It isn’t just holes, trypophobia can also include things such as bubbles, spots, warts and verrucas etc. These are all things that seemingly poke up out of a hole.

Picture Free Article

Pictures Too Offending
Pictures Too Offending

Types of Hole Phobias

Here are some examples of what types of holes cause distress. (DON’T WORRY, NO PICTURES HERE!)

Sponges

Honeycomb

Swiss cheese

Bubbles

Spots

Warts/Verrucas

Seedpods

Any small clusters of holes

Sometimes trypophobia can be triggered by cracks as well.

One of my most unforgettable images is that of the inside of a tooth that has fallen out. All of those root canals look like holes from the top... GROSS!

Some people actually have a phobia of clusters of any sort and these people normally feel disgusted at holes too, the phobias must be related somehow.

Causes Of Trypophobia

To whatever degree a person suffers from trypophobia one thing is normally common amongst all trypophobics, that is the compulsion to destroy the holey thing. Although I suffer with this, I have no explanation for why some images make me feel that way. Somewhere on the net, it has been suggested that trypophobics suffer with a type of visual discomfort where certain images cause a physical reaction such as dizziness or sickness but nothing has been confirmed.

No formal studies seem to have been conducted on what exactly causes this phobia of holes, or what other disorders may be related to it. Some sufferers have speculated, via analysis of their own feelings, that it is all to do with our fear of diseases. Whatever it is, there seems to be only one cure for it and that is to not look at the offending items. No matter how curious you are, DO NOT DO A GOOGLE IMAGE SEARCH because you will likely be disturbed for life.

But sometimes, just knowing that you are not alone and therefore not totally freakish can help towards feeling better about it.

If anyone knows any more about trypophobia, its triggers or its causes, please post it in the comments. I am always looking for more information on this.

Best trypophobia comment ever:

“The Pope was on T.V. and someone called him his holiness. It was enough to trigger my trypophobia!”

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Comments 158 comments

Anonymous 5 years ago

Thanks for clarifying this for me FranyaBlue, I think im a Trypophobic.


FranyaBlue profile image

FranyaBlue 5 years ago from London, England Author

Anonymous

Thanks for reading and commenting. I am happy to have helped in some way.


Anonymous 5 years ago

I also have this kind of phobia, and it's killing me.


ezgi 5 years ago

Thank you for not showing any picture. While I was searching this phobia on the net, I suffered from nausea and goose skin and it's like a vicious circle, to look at my own skin triggers the phobia again! I'm really curious about the causes but I don't think any trypophobic would be volunteer for any research, it would be the most disturbing experiment ever. And you know what, I can't eat or even look at strawberry because of this phobia. My family thought I was a bit strange but now I'm gonna tell them I'm not the only one. I wish there is a cure for it. It is worse than many other phobia. Thank you for sharing!


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FranyaBlue 5 years ago from London, England Author

Hi ezgi

Thanks for reading!

It's always better to know we aren't alone. I never found strawberries to be a problem, it's such a specific phobia, some things trigger it yet other don't, so strange!


Bleakeh 5 years ago

Shuddering as I simply googled 'fear of holes' when a few tiny images of holey things appeared, I was RELIEVED when your image-free article came up. To add some intrigue into your observations, I suffer from this same fear - and so do, to various degrees, my two younger sisters and my best friend. We've all had it since mid to early childhood. Neither of my parents have it and nobody else I know does. It seems highly unlikely to be random though, given the number of people around me who have it. And big red arrows appear to be pointing to me as the only connecting factor (this is probably very unlikely - I hope). I agree though with it possibly relating to a fear of disease or infection or worse: infestation. Fears of tiny eggs (e.g. insect eggs) are thrown under the same category for me. Just writing that made me cringe. Thanks again!


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FranyaBlue 5 years ago from London, England Author

Bleakeh

Infestations are the worst in my mind. I remember seeing this picture of maggot eggs laid on someones gums... GROSS!! Be warned... It's still on Google images, don't search for maggots! lol (not sure why you would anyway, but just in case!).

I don't personally know and I'm not related to any other person who suffers from this.

Thanks for reading and commenting!


SomethingNormal 5 years ago

I didn't realize that I was a sufferer until about a year ago. I didn't know anyone else that suffered from it either until one day, I heard a boy talking about how he disliked holes and clusters greatly. He suffers the same phobia as me! We totally started dating and now we suffer together! :D


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FranyaBlue 5 years ago from London, England Author

SomethingNormal

That is amazing! I love the way something so horrible has gone on to something great! If only all nasty things worked that way.

Well, what can I say except.. Enjoy the result of your trypophobia!


thegreenstrawberry 5 years ago

thanks for posting this it was rely helpful also since i believe im trypophobic id like to add that when see offending images like those on google i tend to get itchy all over and that continues for quite a while i hope that helps others aswell


Amy Fowler 5 years ago

Thank you so much for your picture free post, although I still got hot flushes reading the list of aggressors :P

I have been physically sickened (hot flushes, sweating, shaking and nausea) by holes (I hate the word, even!) since I was about 7.

(CAUTION - TRYPOPHOBICS READ AT OWN RISK)

I was outside on the deck playing with a water gun. A fat black spider scuttled past, and I, going totally James Bond on it's butt, shot it with the water. Good. Lord. The back slitted open into heaps of tiny holes and babies came out and went Everywhere!!

(END)

So yes. I always thought I was the only one that couldn't look at a slice of Swiss cheese at the deli. At least I'm not alone :)


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FranyaBlue 5 years ago from London, England Author

@thegreenstrawberry

Thank you for reading and commenting!

@Amy Fowler

That is a gross story... not only triggers my trypophobia but arachnophobia :/

Thanks for sharing your experience, as you said, it's nice to know there are others out there :)


Amy 5 years ago

I read somewhere that it could be triggered by such things as suffering from a lot of cuts or skin problems in childhood. Although I haven't suffered with this phobia all my life (only since my teens) I have suffered from quite bad eczema since I was young so have always had a lot of cuts all over my skin. Does anyone else have any sort of skin condition? Maybe there could be a link?


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FranyaBlue 5 years ago from London, England Author

@Amy

Yeah I heard that too, I did have eczema as a small child as well as mild dermatitis in my early teens, not sure if it's what triggered the phobia... but it's a possibility.


alli mally sallie 5 years ago

I agree with it being related toa fear of disease. I am constantly going to the dr because I feel like I have some rare disease I heard about. I do have a fewe medical conditions though so I'm not completely crazy! :) I've never had any skin conditions though, but I guess it is different for everyone. I thought I was the strangest person for feeling this way about clusters of holes/bumps, but I decided to tell my mom about it and she said she has been the same way since she was little. So that made me feel better :) my sister told me she thinks I'm crazy lol


Annie 5 years ago

I knew there had to be a name for what I was feeling. I try my best not to look at my skin or think about it too long because I think I would completely loose my mind. Don't get me started on what is on the inside of the body. I have to tell myself over and over again that I am the only human who does not have, whatever it may be, inside my body. I remember when my mom told me she had Osteoporosis and felt the need to look it up because she said it could be hereditary, DO NOT GOOGLE IT BECAUSE YOU WILL BE VERY SORRY YOU DID, I KNOW I WAS. I also remember my son knew I had a problem with holes and he tried to put several legos together and tried to put it on me and I screamed so loud and so long that I thought for sure my neighbors were going to call the police thinking I was being killed. I don't know why sometimes I can eat things like bread and strawberries and other times I feel like I am going to loose my mind just by looking at them. I wish I could get over this once and for all because it is really making me angry that I feel so mental from this type of fear. If someone was trying to kill me I think this fear of holes would keep me from escaping if my only way away from them was to run or climb over a cluster of holes. I hope someone come up with a cure asap. I see my daughter starting to have the same problem and it is worse for me to see her suffer from it than for me to suffer from it. I will keep checking back here for any updates for a sure cure. Thanks Franyablue for the information you posted it was helpful. Now I know there is a name for my problem and that other people suffer from it too.


Sahndra Yager 5 years ago

I am a Psychology Major and I also suffer from trypophobia. I am covering a chapter right now about how our brains processes images it is called Perceptual grouping. I think I may of hit on something in relation to why people react the way they do with Tyrpophobia. I am copying and pasting an excerpt from my paper so it is addressed to my fellow students and my teacher, but I wanted to share it with you to see if my theory makes as much sense to you as it does me.

Perceptual grouping is your brains way of trying to make sense of what you are seeing, by organizing images and putting together the simplest and most stable shape and form in order to identify and grasp its surroundings accurately. This is also known as “The law of simplicity” or “The law of Pragnanz.”

I will first cover perceptual grouping. I chose to discuss this principal because while reading it, it allowed me to make more sense of a personal phobia that I have and have never understood. I may be grasping at straws but it makes sense to me. Let me know what your thoughts are on this. I have what is called Trypophobia which is the fear of clusters of holes. Trypophobia is not just limited to clusters of holes it can also be clusters of many other things as well. A good example would be a honeycomb (especially when bees are inside with their little buts hanging out), a dried out lotus pod or a bunch of maggots. These images strike anxiety and repulsion in me. (For more information about trypophobia search Google it is all over the place) While reading about Perceptual grouping I began to wonder if it is possible that when I see these images, my brain cannot make sense of them. Kind of similar to the way a person would react if they saw someone shot in the head. The first reaction is going to be racing heart, anxiety and avoidance of looking. I have a theory that the reason we react this way is because it doesn’t make sense to us or possibly that is not natural. A normal human response to unnatural things is usually a flight response because it is not something that is understood, more or less a defense mechanism. It could very well be that people who suffer from Trypophobia are simply reacting in the same fashion to certain images because it is over stimulation of the brain, resulting in it not being able to make sense of what it is viewing. It could be possible that people with Tyrpophobia may be wired a bit different.


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FranyaBlue 5 years ago from London, England Author

@alli mally sallie and Annie, thanks so much for sharing your experiences of Trypophobia, it's always good to hear other people's stories, makes us feel sane!


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FranyaBlue 5 years ago from London, England Author

@Sahndra Yager

Thanks for providing some information on perceptual grouping and on parts of your study into Trypophobia. You've given me a new avenue to go down in the search for some form of an explanation.

What you have said about viewing something that seems unnatural does feel right, when I see clusters of holes or other things (like maggots as you said), there is almost a feeling of curiosity, it's like I don't want to look but something compels me... which to me seems like a morbid curiosity except I have an over the top adverse emotional and physical reaction to the thing I'm viewing.

Thanks for reading and for sharing the excerpt, please link to the published paper when you can, I would be very interested in reading it all.


Sahndra Yager 5 years ago

Yeah I find that most typophobics have a compulsion to look even though they know what the outcome will be. I do the same thing myself. I think it is almost (at least for me) A way of testing myself to see what I can handle and what I can't. Even though most of the time I get repulsed I still look almost every time.


An Le 5 years ago

Hi,

Im also a psychology student, and my dissertation is about this phobia. The reason I do it is because I simply have it myself, and have had it for ages. I remember being repulsed by burned rice/sauce/etc in a pan for instance, or the famous lotus seed plant. However there has not been much studies going on about this, in which I start with pretty much nothing to refer to.

It is easy to explain phobias for snakes/spides/height etc as it is associated with evolution and survival, however trypophobia does have any obvious explanation. I would love for you guys out there to send me your thoughts around it, as I will appreciate anything that is relevant. My research will definitely need some original thinking.

MY paper will be based on the brains activity when trypophobic pictures are encountered. I want to see what differs between trypophobics and non-trypophobics, to see if there are any brain parts that may have an explanation why we get this uneasy feeling and anxiety when looking at certain patterns. I will also compare the brains activity between trypophobia and other phobias studied earlier, to see if there is any correlation between the brain activity. Will holes trigger the same responses for the trypophobic as snakes does for Ophidiophobics?

Please do contact if this sounds interesting and you have any thoughts you want to discuss. My email adress is le.an@live.no and I try to follow up any serious emails this academic year (2011-2012)


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FranyaBlue 5 years ago from London, England Author

An Le

Thank you for posting your info, I would be very interested in the results of your study. Please do come back and post any findings, would be great to learn more on this topic.


Mike 5 years ago

I was wondering if a phobia of holes even existed! Sometimes I feel discomfort, not around anything bud holes. Sometimes I feel it's almost an eye socket, and that putting my hand through it would be almost sticking my hand into someone else's eye(...)This information was helpful to know!


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FranyaBlue 5 years ago from London, England Author

Mike, I thought I knew the level of holey grossness that trypophobia can sink to, but you just exceeded that with that gross eye socket description.

But I'm glad you found the information useful.


Mike 5 years ago

I now have a question, how did trypophobia start, and why isn't it yet considered an official phobia?


Lindsay 5 years ago

I also suffer from this. It was quite a problem when I was a young person, but I find I'm able to avoid any gruesome sights in my adult life. When out of curiosity I looked up the phobia online yesterday, I almost lost my lunch because of the images that people put on their sites. Disgusting! THANK YOU for not putting images. I agree with the others, I feel compelled to look and then I'm sorry because I get extremely nauseous. I would love it if they would make this an official phobia - it may be rare but it is indeed a phobia.


Kim 5 years ago

THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR POSTING THIS! I just realized I have a phobia of this recently. I get goosebumps all over my body and I really itch when i see photos like lotus pos and the like. I would trigger the same symptoms even by just thinking about it!


Kim 5 years ago

Also, THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR THIS PICTURE FREE ARTICLE! I suffer this fear too. I am glad that I am not alone. :)


Cyndi 5 years ago

Thank you so much for not having any pictures. I know this is the common feeling here but we all know how it is to see this stuff. Reading this article alone made my hairs stand on edge and my stomach twist. I have this fear and people think Im only freaking out over holes and cracks is to get attention. One time I ripped off the top of the crust of pizza, but inside where its baked there are the holes I hate! I started crying and had to eat the pizza but it was the most disgusting thing Ive ever done. I want to know as much as I can about this, and I really think more doctors/therapists need to research this fear.

Thanks for letting me know Im not alone, and that my symptoms are not uncommon!


Demz 4 years ago

This article was very helpful. The comment about perceptual grouping was especially insightful. I've had trypophobia since childhood. I remember always being grossed out by the magnified images of cells or specimens during science class, which still bothers me. And I also have friends and family who think I'm crazy.


An Le 4 years ago

My studies so far have shown that trypophobic images share some common characteristics (spatial frequency) with other images people find uncomfortable (abstract art, dangerous species as snakes). It seems to be something common with things people generally find uncomfortable, which may indicate that humans have one big visual system that is sensitive to certain aspects of properties. Our trypophobia may just be a part of say snake phobia.

I have also found that people generally do agree on what images are more trypophobic than others, despite the fact that many of my subjects so far dont report that they are afraid of holes. My data shows a correlation of .45 between spatial frequency and participant ratings, which is quite good as many of the participants did not understand why we had the phobia.

The responses from you guys have been good so far. I do repeat myself, I will follow up any emails about this phobia this academic year (11-12). My email is le.an@live.no so please contact if there is anything you have to say.

Thanks


Bob 4 years ago

I'm 48 and always felt this way. Weird thing though, was talking about flavors of Chobani yogurt, how pomegranate was my co-worker's favorite but how I don't like it due to the seeds. I casually mentioned that I can't stand seeing a cut pomegranate, that I find it disturbing and want to smash it. The guy thought this funny but I went on to explain how I hated the image, that it gave me the willies and that I experience the same thing with a lotus pod. He thought I was kidding and it went on to doing Google searches and seeing images that had me crawling in my skin. There was one of a coffee mug with holes and I explained that if it were in front of me, I'd smash it. He thought this was hysterical but it's making me itchy just thinking about it.

So, I had the discussion with my family. Everyone thought I was nuts but my 23 year old son told me he's heard of such, that it's a phobia. So, more Google searches and we find trypophobia.

I had no idea that this was something that others experience. I have to admit that the past 3 days have been very bad as I've seen more holey imagery than I would otherwise care to have seen. I even tried to desensitize myself by looking at it but became nauseous.

Seems odd that it's not all holey objects...beehives are no issue but the asymmetrical ones, such as the lotus pod or similar evoke such a strong physiological response.

I'm hoping that this all subsides again. I've lived so long without any real issue but it's been quite consuming of late.

I wish that someone would say that it just takes time to desensitize yourself but I haven't read of any success. Has anyone been successful doing that, continuing to look at such images and have these feelings subside?

Thanks


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FranyaBlue 4 years ago from London, England Author

Thanks to everyone who have read and commented here. It's great to know there are other trypophibics out there, the more people comment about their own experiences, the better we can understand the phobia.

@An Le - Thank you for posting your findings here, I have to say though, I am not afraid of snakes at all, perhaps it is a part of another phobia? A fear of spiders perhaps? I also fear spiders and I have a childhood memory of poking a stick into the holes of a vent and spiders came running out... so it could be related, but the two things evoke completely different reactions in me.

@Bob - Thank you for sharing your story here, I have never been successful in reducing the phobia by being exposed to the images, probably the opposite and I try not to look at anything that will trigger the side effects, as I find that it will disturb me for a number of days after.


Pauline Clarke 4 years ago

I feel very ill and tired when I look at all sorts of things. I rip cereal packets to shreds and burn things with matches to get get rid of offending holes. It ruins my life. I look at daily papers and shred anything 'poky'. My mum pointed out holey things to me as a child and ever since I tear, burn, curse or scrape holey things.


Susan 4 years ago

I didn't even know there was a name for this phobia, Im 18 and I thought I was the only person who felt this way. I cant believe how many people feel the same way as I do when I see H****s.... I cant even say the word because it makes me itch all over. Everytime I do see them I either have to make the h**e go away or I just end up grinding my teeth and clenching my fists. I also had eczema when I was young, I had it twice. Maybe theres a link.


Olli 4 years ago

I was just about to look at trypophobia images when I read that I will be disturbed for life if I google it. My life is weird enough, so I'll just keep it this way...


bb1t 4 years ago

Like everyone else before me, I thought I was alone with this weird "obsession". For me, it started at about 17, when i was replacing the round phone jack on my wall, with one of those new modular ones ,back in the early 80's. When i removed the round plate exposing the hole in the wall, i was immediately grossed out. It wad an opening to a dark, empty place. I felt scated, & immediately covered it, and someone else had to finish the job. The image of the ants crawling out of the palm of a hand in the old movie "Them", (i believe), was the grossest image. But tonite, for the 1st time, i got curious to see what was on the internet about my fear. But then i just found the grossest one, a fake alteted image of a womans breast with larvae in holes.. im sure it will stay with me for years... I want this to go away...But thanx Franya for allowing me to vent & know that others understand...


Netra 4 years ago

I have a phobia of holes in socks or clothing or cover Etc it really makes me befits and cringe and if I see them or find them on me I feel sick and have to get it off me immediately


Jenny 4 years ago

Omg I am so happy I am not the only one. I am 39 years old and I had this since I was little. It is certain things that trigger it. I saw the image someone post with holes in the breast! It's been over an hour and I'm itching and very nauseated. I'm trying not to think about it and I can't! My husband thinks I am crazy. What is this and why?? I have been good for years avoiding this and I am now studying anatomy and there it was!! Skin with well you know!! Ohh it's a very weird feeling and I hate it!!


Sally 4 years ago

I've had this phobia since sometime in childhood, I think when I saw some bugs on a tree. I was so grossed out. I have to look at patterns on clothing to make sure I don't buy something that will bother me. Otherwise, I'd want to rip up the clothing. I hate seeing clusters of things in science magazines (and I work in the science field) - I want to break the holes apart. I get sick just thinking of this - I get nauseous, get a headache and the chills.

I sure thought I was the only one - it's SO weird!


Jen 4 years ago

I just really want to know why I am so bothered by this....and why do I look at it?? I know after it makes me so sick to my stomach, itchy, goosebumps and headache?? The hair stands up on my head and it goes on for most of the day! I was in anatomy class and the teacher put up slides and it was pictures of it..cant even say it and I am very happy theres no pics here!


mika 4 years ago

very interesting article..i thought i was the only one..for me though the more i look at the holes the more i feel trapped in it, almost claustrophobic..it started when i was young..there was an insect with a honeycomb pattern and it scared me greatly..ever since then i cant look at hole clusters..


PharmD2012 4 years ago

Just got trypophobia after looking at google images. Lotus pod on skin is the worst for me. Attribute it to evolutionary survival 2/2 decaying flesh, bot fly laying larva egg in skin, forms of deadly infestations/infections, cancer/fungus growth. It's the most graphic and closest thing to death/aging/disappearance.


Mags 4 years ago

I'd like the thank you as I'm so exceedingly grateful that there are no horrifying images sporadically popping up as I scrolled down the page! After seeing a post on facebook, I searched the word 'trypophobia' into google three days ago having no idea what it was and was immediately greeted by horrifying images & i straightaway closed the browser! I was only looking for the meaning of the word and was left shivering and nauseous for two days straight.

However as I too am a sufferer of this dreaded condition, I was quite upset and disturbed reading some discriptions of the offending holed thing & find it particularly disturbing even reading about what the grossest thing someone has seen:-(

I'm so interested in hearing opinions & trying to find a way of overcoming this horrible condition as I've had it for so many years since childhood, (I'm 27). With me seeing clusters of asymetrical holes or bumps and even shattered glass or distorted shapes/images sends shivers down my spine, my ears tingle as if something is in there, my skin prickles & I often have to check my skin regularly as the prickly sensation makes me feel as though holes are appearing on my skin and I too must immediately distroy or ofen touch (only if I feel safe to do so) something with holes to be sure that it isn't harmful, why I think it would harm me, I don't kno?

I am also a Trichotillomania sufferer and have been since age 11, I don't know if this may stem from my urge or need to remove something that is emerging from a hole (hair from its pore, mainly from my head) but maybe it's linked? I'm actually goin to suggest this to my dr who thinks I'm just stressed, I disagree.

I hope this helps with research


Alvin 4 years ago

i never knew this was a real phobia. i have never like holes in cheese or sponges.. also on a decayed tooth.. i just cringe..


Nancy C 4 years ago

I know why I personally suffer from this, though I'm not sure if this can be applied to other people. I read another article that said that phobias are usually triggered by traumatic experiences. Well, about 5 or 6 years ago I went to thailand and got the worst sunburn i've ever had all over my shoulders and upper back. The area was COMPLETELY coated in tiny little bright orange sun blisters. And even worse, the next morning i woke up to find that some of the ones on my back had formed together to make 3 or 4 gigantic, eye yolk sized blisters. I don't remember being bothered by clusters of holes/cracks (and skin abnormalities) before this point. I've tried explaining to my friends and family, but none of them get it. Someone asked me if they drew a cluster of dots on a piece of paper would it bother me. They couldn't get that different people have different things that effect them. Before I knew it was actually a phobia I just thought I was weird. That's what people told me, so that's what I believed. However, now I've found out more about it and that it's very common I've been able to deal with it better. I find that it comes with a strange curiosity. Although I'm completely disgusted by it, I just can't stop looking at it.


Connie 4 years ago

Thank goodness i am not alone in this. Since i was young, people thought i was crazy when i described how i felt


Linda 4 years ago

I have this condition on my skin that causes spots to form and just a few hours ago I looked at my leg and flipped out because a few of them formed a circle and the first thing that ran through my head was the image of that as holes. I've recently discovered this phobia. There has always been something about clusters of small holes that just makes my skin crawl. My friend thought that it would be funny to creep me out and show me pictures of it on google search...I was about ready to slap her, it was so unnerving and now I can't get the images out of my mind. It's horrible. Can anyone offer help? Please, I'm desperate. Just thinking about it now sends a shiver down my spine, my hands shake, I can't sit still and it just makes my skin crawl.


Crazed 4 years ago

Thank you for posting this, it has helped me in some way. Well, at least I'm not the only one who suffer this. By the way, your description of Trypophobia was exactly how I felt. I still can remember an extremely disgusting image I saw in Facebook whereby on someone's eyes, there are extremely lots of hole-like things on it. Oh my god, I freaking disgusting, makes me want to destroy that image. And yes, I will also tend to look at the image again for some reason which I don't know why. But now when I read this, ot made me felt better. So thanks for posting this to help reduce that kind of fear in me and hopefully one day all Trypophobia victims will be free from such disgusting images in our mind.


garrett 4 years ago

none of this really seems to pretain to me. except the disgusting amount of fear i feel when i see images of holes with something in the middle stick out. i'm a built dude, united states marine, and im afraid of little holes in a plant. ahahhaha god i hate google for enabling me, i cant stop looking at it at least once a week.


yan 4 years ago

i didn't know it's a phobia but i have also thought that cluster of holes (especially the first picture to show when you search Trypophobia on google images) are extremely disgusting. My brother, one day, explained that he suffers from the same phobia, trying not to look at it, he shows me a pic that makes him almost faint. But I had a worse reaction, my trypophobia worsen when I knew that there was such. If my brother didn't tell me that or didn't have to show me that pic, I wouldn't have felt what I felt and I feel like going crazy evrytime I think of it. One of my friends feel the disgust while I was telling her the story and gives her goosebumps too.. but it kind of helps me to tell her the story as often as I want (may be to vent out emotional stress) but I believe that thinking that this fear can be overcome somehow helped. What I did was looked at it again after a few days of thinking of it (I dont recommend though :D) and the disgust was lessen though I still hate looking at it. ugh! Its like a button being flattened when you keep pressing on it.. but I guess its all in the mind


Christie 4 years ago

Thank you so much for this article! It feels good to know I'm not alone. I've had this phobia since childhood as well. It's gotten worse with age. Just talking about it makes me feel very uncomfortable. Sometimes it keeps me up at night, and I start scratching myself all over. I even have nightmares about it, I guess it's from thinking about it too much in the day. This phobia is on the verge of ruining my life! I wish there was a cure!

Anyway, i'll stop thinking about it now and it might go away for a while haha!


tonya 4 years ago

I'm so glad I'm not the only one that had this problem. I believe my first experience was over 20+ years ago, I was a burn victim I had 3rd degree burns all over my body. I remember having my arms wrapped in gulze, and my skin poking through the holes!!! I remember crying and pleading to my mother and nurses to remove it. I also have a problem with cracked or broken windows or glass. Just thinking about those images makes me itch all over. My 5 year old has the same issues and she does have skin problems.


Mona Liza Jayme 4 years ago

i suffer this phobia since i was young.. i really hate it! i feel somethings crawling in my skin, feeling uneasy whenever i see ant pictures related to that.. i could still remember when we were in the beach with my family and my younger brother showed me a starfish and opened it and you can see its tentacles that has many holes.. oh it was terrifying it was a struggle.. until now i can remember the exact picture of it in my mind.. my brother teases me a lot about it but he doesn't know that it greatly affects me .. well,it good to know i'm not alone in this fear.. i almost thought i was the weirdest person on earth..


Linda 4 years ago

How about staples all bunched together,grains of rice entangled in the fringe on the end of a placemat, anything that goes into any part of your body and comes out the other side, and the way fur grows on some animals , twigs or grass that gets stuck under a layer of ice, big thick knots of anything entangled with something else, the word "mesh",the words "pulled pork". I can go on and on!!! Please tell me someone knows about this. Is it the same thing? I also have the thing with the holes. I'm grossed out just writing all this.


ZoeGB 4 years ago

Wow! This is so mad. I thought I was alone in this. I have had this fear as long as I can remember and I could never explain it or understand it. It's so strange how it links in with disease and skin conditions as I have eczema since I was a baby. Although I am still learning about this phobia and how it affects me I get the same thing with holes but it tends to be to do with touch as well. When I was younger about 8 or 9 I remember stabbing a pen through a piece of paper several times close together and then feeling the back of the holes. It made me feel so sick, but also I wanted to keep doing it. It also seem to be associated with my feet for some reason and I can't go to the edge of swimming pools (maybe because of the cracks) I feel so sick writing this so I'm going to stop now!!!


Lily 4 years ago

I just found out about this term from a friend and thank goodness this is the first article I clicked on hoping to learn more about my phobia without having to look at it. Also, SO glad I'm not alone. I've always gotten sick looking at certain pattern formations but holes/close clusters of circles in particular. I have to eat strawberries with my eyes closed and would have spasms whenever I'm aware of it...like throwing a stuffed octopus animal across the store like it's a grenade. It's been getting worse and on my birthday my friends had unknowingly ordered me a cake but it had close polka dots on it and i had to close my eyes and pretend to enjoy it. I really wish a formal study could be conducted upon this or help us understand it better. I don't have the urge to look at the images like some others I've read nor want to destroy it, my scream just get all choked up and I can't hear anything for several seconds...I esp hate looking at ant holes with its raised mound and ants crawling out of it...gives me the worst chills as I'm writing this.


Jiffy 4 years ago

Would being scared of the pictures of people's eyes and how gross it is when they have trypophobia be trypophobia for me?


Destinee 4 years ago

Im 17 and I've always been aware of my 'issue', but only recently did I try to see if there was a name for it and if there was anyone else like me. I must admit I nearly gave up on the research, as I was affronted with so many horrible images (why would someone do that!?)

I have always had a very violent reaction to these types of things. I have to destroy them- because after I've seen it I cant be okay knowing that its still around. I have become a bit desensitized to certain things though, a babysitter from my childhood had a pomegranate tree and sent the kids home with some- now I can actually de-seed one for a while before getting dizzy (I always have to destroy the leftovers though)

I always thought that the violent reaction was what really made it a fear. Thats the most natural way for people to behave when they're scared.

The actual fear of it, I attributed to my mild OCD. These things arent smooth, or neat, or 'natural' in any aspect so of course it'd make me go into nutso mode.

I've always had this fear, as long as I can remember. I recall getting out of a river at 6-7 years old, seeing little buds of sticky moss stuck to my palm and then smashing my hand against a rock to make them go away.

I do have eczema, and as a toddler I had to go to the hospital after getting an outbreak of huge (my mother says the size of quarters) boils on my back.

I see how these things could contribute to the problem. I feel better knowing it has a name, and a lot of other people feel the way I do.


Didobhav 4 years ago

I always wondered why is it that I feel sick and creepy when I see a cluster of holes ... now I got my answer !!!

Thank you so much for making it picture free there were some sites which literally freaked me out.


Tiara 4 years ago

Hi you mentioned something about a phobia of clusters and it being related to the fear of holes.....i wonder if i have a prob with both...hmmmm there was this time i saw a cluster of ants. It was irregular and just soooooo disgusting! grrr

But funny though im mixed and i have very pronounced pores....im wondering if looking at it all my life has triggered this response. I suspect this for myself, don't know for anyone else!

Its god to know im not the only one who is freaked out by this issue!!!


shana 4 years ago

I am trypophobic person, my friends posted some photos in facebook that triggered my phobia it is a disease on skin. very nasty and i cant stop thinking about it even im watching tv i can see the image on the screen, when im playing games i can still see the image of it. i want to know how to prevent it! my pores on my arms are bumping upto my cheeks and down to my legs. and my tummy hurls. i feel sick and i want to throw up.

i wish i would know how to stop it like even i see images of holes i wont be affected anymore.


Nic 4 years ago

I have this too and i have tried researching it but all i found was pictures. loads of different things can triger it. loads of circle windows on a building that made me feel sick but the most recent thing that i discovered was the shower nozzle. shower nozzles have sooooooo many holes on it that lead to other holes this made me feel sick and i haven't been able to shower the same since that day. my fear of holes is taking over my life is there anything i can do ???


cjang 4 years ago

I didn't even know what this was until today. I just knew certain clusters of holes were so disturbing to me that i thought i was crazy. I tried to tell my husband that my brain just couldn't take clusters of bubbly things. I think my son may have it too and that is why I decided to do some research. I'm glad to know I'm not alone, and neither is he.


Gretchen 4 years ago

I'm so glad I found this information. I thought I was the only one. It's been an ongoing joke with my friends and family over my "weirdness" with holes, and as comical as it may sound to outsiders, it's no laughing matter to me.

I am repulsed (usually resulting in an uncomfortable tingling in my scalp and extremities that lasts for sometime hours) by the typical honeycomb, seed pod, loofah, etc. I also get really skeeved out by not only holes themselves but by small areas of negative space created by groups of things being really close together, ie: schools of fish and bricks that are depressed away from the mortar, making the mortar more prominent. Has anyone else experienced this? Same thing do you think?


FranyaBlue profile image

FranyaBlue 4 years ago from London, England Author

Hi Gretchen, the negative space thing sounds familiar to me. I think it's the same as cracks in the ground (but if the sides are sticking up it makes it worse).


jbu92 4 years ago

I am definitely a sufferer, but I don't feel the urge to destroy. Sometimes I've got the urge to feel it or lick it or for some things even bite it, but even talking about that urge has me gagging right now. It's very strange indeed. I know that I am have a mild case, when compared to many others, but it is debilitating at times- I've quit jobs because of wall paint that had at one point had small bubbles which later cracked and peeled off.


tallie 4 years ago

My skin was crawling just reading this and it really is one of the worst Phobias because you can't run away from it. I just get a queezy feeling and... just... urggghhh


Sophie 4 years ago

Just reading about this makes me feel sick, discusted and sends shivers through my body. Both my mum and I have this problem but we just thought it was only us, in the world, who suffered. until tonight when the terrible subject came up and decided to google it.

Thankyou for all your info, and now hoping to get the thought of holes out of my head, as I automatically picture images eeww


Marie 4 years ago

Thank you so much for posting this...I have always had strange feelings when looking at certain textures and groupings but it got a lot worse a few nights ago. I had a dream about clusters (I won't go into details) and decided to search to see if anyone else had this fear. After an internet search I found out I was not alone, but unfortunately it is all I can think about now. I have an urge to google "fear of clusters" and find cluster formations everywhere I look. It's starting to affect my sleep, when I close my eyes all I can see is clustered objects, making my skin crawl. I really don't know what to do, if anyone has a suggestion, please let me know.


TJ 4 years ago

Thanks for posting this! I thought my aversion to clusters of tiny holes, seeds, eggs (and polka dots!) was just a part of my quirkiness. Unfortunately mine is not an actual fear - my physical reaction is itching. When I see small cluster holes or polka dots, I physically itch. I know - pretty bizarre. Anyway, thanks for adding a new word to my hypochondriac vocabulary. By the way, I'm itching right now, as I type. It seems the mere thought of those things makes me itch. It also seems that each of us has suffered some remembered or forgotten childhood event that triggered the fear/reaction. The mind is an awesome thing! Thank God for psychologists!


Gabby 4 years ago

YES!! I feel as if I have had a break through because I have been dealing with this my entire life but didn't know it was a real thing and all my friends thought I was crazy. I feel so much better...


It should be called trypofoB ITCH:/ 4 years ago

That this is a phobia is for sure, but the most annoying part of this phobia is that I trigger it even when I'm thinking about it. Chills all over y freaking body. Besides that a phobia means it scares you. It actually doesn't scare me but it gives me this freaking annoying chills all the time! Haha it's a bit funny but freaky at the same time. It's nice to know there are more people who "suffer" from this though...


chychy 4 years ago

i suffer from this too i just found out i had it this year and its gotten too the point where i wont eat pomegranates anymore they make me cringe! a friend showed me a picture of trypophobia i got goosebumps and almost started crying.... i hate circles and cracks now too i cant even hold a basketball anymore without wiping my hands and wanting to wash them its awful just reading some of these commenets made me cringe and get goosebumps good to know im not alone


Adrienne 4 years ago

Omg so happy I'm not alone! I've been thinking I'm crazy and I've had this for years. A couple of months ago I realised it wasn't just holes but cracks too - I cracked the screen of my phone and I couldn't look at it without getting goosebumps from the tiny cracks spreading out gahhhh. Also, looking at broken windows and things makes me wanna vomit - yet I still look! Ohh and when my computer goes fuzzy. Awful! Glad to know people have this too and also that i can name my phobia!


relieved 4 years ago

i thought i was the only one. I hate seeing snow when it mealts cause it creates holes in it. Or leaves with holes in it, creeps me right out


Alex 4 years ago

I have this too, and in addition to holes, I am repulsed by photos of cell clusters, and also by fish and frog eggs. I get nauseated, and feel driven to crush them. My earliest memory of this phobia was when I was 4 and my mother tried to put a natural sponge she got in Florida in my bathtub. I was terrified. I feel better knowing there are others put there with the same problem. Does anyone else out there have a little sang froid about it? Do you feel sickened but compelled to keep looking at them?


Cole 4 years ago

Im so happy I found this! I never knew what this was or thought it could be a phobia until today. My first memory of it is of seeing a decorative bowl filled with marble like circles. Today seeing a video maggots crawl out of an orifice ruined me! I cannot stop picturing it. I too had eczema. I hate sponges, sunflowers, close ups of pores or the tongue, and I can remember destroying mounds of ant piles compulsively as a child. No fear of snakes but a definte fear of spiders. I am also compelled to look at the images. I wish there was some type of help for this. "/


Rachel 4 years ago

I have this fear. At my local supermarket they sell a chocolate bar, and the design on the packaging is a photo of a cocoa pod split in half, with all the seeds showing. It makes my skin crawl, I have to turn it round so I can't see it on the shelf. Seriously, do NOT Google "cocoa pods"- I just did...urgh.

Just reading the comments here is making me itch all over and feel nauseous. What a weird phobia!


lee 4 years ago

Omg! I'm so glad I'm not the only 1...I'm a South African n thers a Sanex Tv add that I cannot stand, jst talkin abt it makes me ichy.


Nikita 4 years ago

Thank you for posting it.

My phobia is horrible!

When I look at clusters of holes, I start screaming and sometimes throw up. If I don't throw up, I feel nauseous and I can't do anything for hours.


Anonymous 4 years ago

I'm very glad to know here are so many people with the same problem. Granted it's not all small holes now but when I was a child anything with a cluster of holes would set me off. Itching restlessness nausea dizziness just from a strawberry. Now however my fear has moved to skin disorders involving the clusters of holes which like many of you my family finds odd that I'm physically bothered by it. This article is probably the best thing i've found about this fear.


Kiwi619 4 years ago

AMAZING!! I had no idea that this was actually something other people experience!! I once dropped a strainer that was full of those pinwheel type pasta noodles because they had all flattened out! Then I had seen a picture on the the web of this girl with tiny circular crystals on here, and I just had this urge to scrape them all off!! I mentioned this to friends, how I cannot control my urge to wanna immediately destroy the site of those types of things, and they think I am the strangest person alive. I honestly didn't come clean with this to friends until very recently! I thought I was just strange.

There is also a frog that flips me out because of holes on its back, I screamed and changed the channel. My husband could not figure out why I suddenly had a moment, and for that matter neither did I until this very article. So thank you!


Anonymous 4 years ago

THANK YOU SO MUCH!! I guess that I AM Trypophobic. Seriously it's so nice to know that there IS a name for this phobia. I googled "fear of holes"... and EVERY SINGLE photo that popped up, made me nauseous and want to vomit. I've been this way ever since I can remember, but I honestly think it really started about 6th grade, when I popped my first pimple and the crud flew onto the mirror, & left a tiny hole in my face. Since then PORES disgust me, and pretty much ANYTHING with holes, clusters of circles, even to the point of animals with bulging eyeballs (I feel like the animal needs to be smashed til it's eyes pop out)... Crab holes in the sand, cutting a papaya in half & seeing the seeds all clustered together, strawberries look like clogged pores up close to me, fish eyes, frog eyes, crab/shrimp eyes. I especially get disgusted when I imagine that things will pop out of the holes/pores. Gaaaaaaag. The spaghetti play-doh toy makes me want to vomit watching the doh strings come out!! EWWWWWW. I couldn't even watch that video to see if you are tropophobic, so my friend watched it & explained what each picture/video clip was about & I was already getting "itchy" and nauseous, and sweaty. She started describing the frog clip with other frogs climbing out of it's holey bck... & although I didn't watch that clip, just thinking of it the past couople days has already caused great anxiety!! But I do thank you very much for letting me know that I am not the only "weird" person who suffers from this fear.


Michelle 4 years ago

Ohgoshh!!! so glad i'm not the only one! I know extacly how you feel!!! It's just soo disgusting looking at the holes! like ewwwwwwwwwww. I srsly taught that i was the only one, so so glad i'm not! Someone really need to find a cure for this! Cuzz i srsly cant live like this .. there are holes everywhere!!!


MsWonderful4u 4 years ago

I just so happened to google this after telling my husband about my life long fear of clusyeted bubbles and holes. I am so happy I am not the only one.


Sam 4 years ago

Add me to the list...I don't have it as bad as most of you.... No descriptions needed all of the things mentioned above that make me want to stratch. Oddly enough...my sister and brother have the same issue. My sister has it the worst...I'm not compelled to look everytime but she is. I itch instantly she often screams and runs from the room only to come back and look again. CRAZY I just do get it...I'm definitely happy to know I'm not alone. But geez....this disorder absolutely horrible!


Tatiana J 4 years ago

I was so happy I found your article! Not only am I the only person I know who suffers from this phobia but I could never find an article that was picture free. I literally get sick to my stomach to the point that I have to vomit and my whole body gets covered in goosebumps which usually makes me feel even worse and I cant even look at my body. It's really horrible.


Siska 4 years ago

I thought I was all alone... :)


Brianna 4 years ago

Growing up I always thought I was weird when I would get extremely anxious or queasy when I saw certain patterns. I wasn't ever sure why and whenever I tried to explain it to family or friends the only response I ever got was "That's weird" or "You're weird." That never helped much. -_- Either way, a couple of weeks ago a friend told me a story about something that made me sick to my stomach just picturing it and I proceeded to explain about my "weirdness" and how it made me anxious and my skin crawl at just the mere though of it. I had always thought I was just weird, but then my friend told me I should look into it because he didn't think it was common and so ever since I've been trying to find out what i can about this. It' s just really nice to know that I'm not the only person who gets sick at just the thought of it. I hope one day I can get over this BS.


bconnell 4 years ago

I am 71 years old and I have had this problem for years. There are two words that I cannot bear to hear - clusters and inbed. I get the chills and itch. I sometimes think it has something to do with stress. I've also thought it might be caused by some allergy. I get the same feeling when I smell "bounce" softener. I do have allergies to odors and certain scents. I am bothered more when I am feeling stressful about a particular thing. I do wish there was something that could be done about it. I had no idea that I was not alone in this.


John 4 years ago

holes make me angry, like when you go to the beach and u see all the sea shells when the tide go's back and forth it gets me angry i gross out why


ascevv 4 years ago

I thought I was the only one.. Thank you so much for posting this. Although I had goosebumps while reading this, I did continue my research about trypophobia and when I type that word into google, pictures appeared. I didn't prepare myself to see any pictures so I literary got frighten by them. I look down immediately and my eyes got teary... Seriously, my mom had to come over and close the tab for me because I was in a brief shock. I can't believe I am this scared. I wish there is a way to get rid of this phobia.


kams99 4 years ago

Thank you so much for not having any images. I thought I was alone and this made me feel like I was a weirdo. The first time I knew that I suffered from this when when I was a teenager (i'm now 26) , I was boiling macoroni when all of a succed, it formed a repetative pattern with the end(holes) facing up in my pot. I freaked out started to destroy it and almost burn myself. I started crying, had panic attack, hot flushes. I didn't google anything, didn't even know what to google so I told my boyfriend about it and he thought I was crazy.

I think this has a lot to do with fear of deseases for some reason since I too have hypochodria.

When I get a panic attack from any of these images, I gentle rub my whole body. To soothe my skin, it helps a lot!

I'm so glad to know that I'm not alone and that my immidiate reaction (destroy it) is common to all sufferers.


Emma 4 years ago

also i find um (its hard to describe) deeps cuts like wounds... and i have recently seen a close up picture of an eye and its structure it looks all messy and stringy.... it really freaks me out and makes me really angry it took me a LONG time to actually get over seeing that its still making me feel stressed and scared and sick.... and at the supermarket things like hock bones with stringy white bites and holes ... but the stringy thing gets me wild as well!! navel oranges , strung out packed mince meat,but this picture of the eye is the worst iv seen yet....i always thought i was really weird for this glad to know i can call it something other than just being weird lol


Emma 4 years ago

alllsssooo..... just remembered when i was about 4 when i closed my eyes woould freak out koz i could see like a messy clusters of shit like gause i would then think of something like rippled milk and calm water it helped and after watching videos on this i needed to calm right down .... pictures of calm water REALLY helped a lot .... so try that...


Fernando 4 years ago

My sister burned herself on the heater and the formation of the grill formed on her arm. it was a circular pattern, picture a metal crate. After I saw that my hair stood up on my neck and my skin crawled. I was suddenly filled with anger and I wanted to hurt myself or someone else. It was a weird feeling, my body felt electrified. Other things that seem to trigger the attack is a cracked lollipop or a cd in a microwave and watching it cook (mythbusters)


Anna 3 years ago

Oh my goodness what a relief! Thank you so so so much! I have been googling all sorts of phrases for a really long time now because I've realized that I have a problem and for the longest time I didn't understand it but I'm so thankful to put a name on it and know I'm not crazy! I've always hated seeing little things very close togheter, wheter it's holes or just a repetitive texture it just drives me insane. I was recently studying for a biology exam and came across a picture of cells in my textbook and just burst out in tears because of the disgust! My whole family thinks I'm nuts... and I think it's really a curse, I hate it. But it's great to know I'm not alone.

I actually just googled "Trypophobia" and I nearly regurgitated because of the images that popped up, even Wikipedia is torturing me.


Amy 3 years ago

Oh my goodness. I was so glad to come across a website that had no pictures. It's like, if Trypophobics come to a website to learn, why torture them with images that scare the crap out of them?! I was so happy till I scrolled down to look at the comments and right before them there's a few small pictures..I almost had a panic attack. I can't explain how I feel when I see them, i don't think it makes me sick, it just scares the living hell out of me, and literally pains me to see.

I've had it for as long as I can remember, I'm 15 so it started way early. My brothers think its funny and like to torture me with it. I remember in 6th grade my brother would come to walk me home and I'd look at his hand and he would've drawn little black dots with pen all over it and up his wrist. I don't know what kind of mental illness drove him to do that, all I know is that I screamed at him and forced him to keep it hidden. This happened multiple times that year. My other brother sort of gets it, like this one time he was telling me how he had a dream where he looked down at his knee and there were holes covering it. But he's not as bad as I am, Because he can still shove drawings or pictures in my face without getting scared. My uncle on the other hand, my dad used to tease him about it as well and he said that when my uncle saw it his hairs would stand up and get goose bumps and everything, at least he gets it.

When I was reading I was thinking how my science teacher (she likes to pull pranks on people) said that she wouldn't do anything if the fear were so bad that it drives the person to cry. And it got me thinking, would I really cry? And so I imagined being locked in a room with no escape and nothing but white walls covered in clusters of holes or dots. (It freaked me out thinking of it) and I thought..yeah I would definitely cry if there were no way of escape. I'd probably even claw my eyes out with my own hands.


Sarah 3 years ago

I am not afraid of holes but when I see clusters of holes or something poking through a hole I itch like crazy. Sometimes clusters of small objects make me itch too. I do have a compulsion to destroy seed pods and things like that. Sponges, bubbles, rice etc.. don't upset me but for example, I recently saw a photo of a child's skull. The skull still had the baby teeth but the jaw and mandible had been scraped away to reveal the clusters of adult teeth crowded beneath the baby teeth. Seeing all those teeth clustered there in little pockets just made me itch all night. Is this a form of trypophobia?


jfhcuyhsdid 3 years ago

I don't suffer from this, but I'm curious. I think the reason could be:

1) The holes if on skin would be an illness, possibly dangerous. 2) If there are things in the holes, it could be bees or wasps or larva that could be dangerous. And irregular holes are creepier, because order in nature is nature being healthy. It's understandable, but as any other form of anxiety, it's an over-reaction. Our bodies need healthy food, exercise and sleep to name a few to behave normally so our reactions are in proportion. And also genetics play a part. But it's difficult with anxiety, I know myself


TriniFels 3 years ago

I have been experiencing this for some time now and I am to the point where I am DESPERATE for some help. I can barely drive because potholes make me sick. Its getting worst by the day. Anyone with an answer please PLEASE post.


Yassaar 3 years ago

I thought i was mad, now i know im so happy im not alone, i physically go into a sweat when i see tiny holes with things in the middle, clustered holes, i just cannot deal with cutting a pawpaw in half those black seeds kill me. im so glad is there anything i could do to fix this problem?


dietpepsicarousel 3 years ago

I have Autism, and also Tryphobia, and for a long time I have thought that the two were related. People with Autism have a sensory processing disorder in that the brain cannot always process visual or auditory stimuli as fast as everyone else. Therefore, the person's brain gets overloaded and people with Autism cannot always make sense of the information. I believe it is the same thing when Trypophobics see clusters of things or even something that is just out of place (ie a two-headed animal or a person with a bad skin disease). Because those are items that my brain is not used to processing, it cannot process all of the information at once and therefore the Trypohobic reaction occurs. I am curious to know how many other people out there with this condition have been diagnosed with Autism?


Natalie 3 years ago

I've always been afraid by small holes, such as strawberries and honeycombs. I wasn't until recently that I've decided to look it up, for my curiosities sake. It all makes sense now. Thanks so much!


Polly smith 3 years ago

I call clusters of anything poky cos I have to smash it. Take a look at tree mans skin. I would love to sand it all away. Look at coral mans skin, would love to sand it. I could smash pods an bee hives. I spend my evenings tearing up poky images in the paper. Am I crazy.


unknown 3 years ago

This is me... ever since i was a kid... finally decided to look it up... totally me... however, i only feel weird inside for small holes in things... just GROSS ... thinking about it... makes me ill


LexiNoel 3 years ago

An example of it being debilitating would be when i was about to cook chicken one day. I opened it up from the bag and i see about 5 tail feathers. The butcher forgot to pluck those all the way and they looked like 5 little straws attached to the chicken. I literally freaked out because i wasn't expected that.

I couldn't touch it, I started itching and crying over this and my mom thought i was stupid. i asked her to please cut it off because i couldn't look at it. she did but left it in plain sight so i couldn't go back into the kitchen until someone threw it away.

just writing this is making me itch and have goose bumps..


Hannah 3 years ago

So glad to have found this, I didn't want to recognise this phobia in myself for ages even though I knew it was there. I think it started for me when I was in school, in science class looking at cells through a microscope and also pictures of things like sea tube worms and sponges. Another thing that gets me is looking closely at the skin of an orange. A weird thing not so long ago was looking at a large pile of seed or something that was covered with a white tarp, and had lots of black car tyres on top holding the tart down. All these things make me feel weak and sick in the stomach. Reading all the comments above has been very distressing for me. I am going to show this article to some family members who think I am either weird of making up this 'phobia', and look forward to reading more comments in the hope of finding out how to combat it.


Anonymous 3 years ago

Ya i definitely suffer from trypophobia. I knew i had a fear of bubble like things so i had to look it up. I freak out when a cluster of droplets of water form. I get itchy and i have to look away or wipe it off. It gives this unusual, uncomfortable feeling and i hate it. I'm starting to each by just talking about it now. I dont know if its the same thing but i also tend to hate clusters of bugs. I want to talk about it with my parents and my older sister who is becoming a pharmacist but my sister is probably going to say that I am over-diagnosing myself. I guess i'll just have to hope for the best!


Anonymous 3 years ago

Definitely thought i was the only one!!! Looking at images like that make me grind my teeth and I start shivering! All I wanna do is destroy the holes. When I'm making pancakes and they start to bubble, I have to smooth over the pancake or I'll freak out. Yuck. Talking about it right now gives me the willies!!!! I wish there was a cure of some sort! But I guess all we can do is stop looking at the holes.


Kayleigh 3 years ago

Cant quite believe that im not the only person that freeks out at the sight of holes. Theres an advert on the tv the now that zoomes in on someone skin and its lots of people, it freeks me out and i have to turn the tv off right away. I just googled it after a chat with a work mate and i feel so uncomftable now after a picture of cheese! i felt so silly so iv only ever tld my boyfriend about the fear, but im so glad there are more people that cant stand it. I think mine started from a nightmare i had when a man got shot and i could see all these holes, aww honestly iv got shivers at thinking about it! possibly it started there, or maybe before and i dream about it now. ethier way im truly disgusted by this fear and i wish it would just go away!


DAMIAN 3 years ago

THIS IS CRAZY, I THOUGHT I WAS THE ONLY ONE WHO FELT THIS WAY AND I DO HAVE A MASSIVE URGE TO DESTROY ANYTHING LIKE THAT WHEN I SEE IT. HOW STRANGE...


eduardosilva2007 3 years ago

please help me! i'm getting sick all the time by thinking, I can't stop it.....


rstone1990 3 years ago

I had a terrifying dream that my whole stomach was covered in belly buttons and the feel of what it would be like to touch still scares me....

My iPhone screen recently cracked and the sensation of touching the cracked screen made me wince I don't know if my reactions are typical of that of a trypophobic.


Hermn Castro 3 years ago

Thanks for this post. I don't real have a phobia but whenever I see things like bee hives, seed pods, and sponges I get this weird urge to crush it. I physically feel the urge to tear it apart. I don't feel disgust, or nausea just a kind of compulsion to destroy it, even slight rage at the thing. Thing is I can look at a lotus seed pod picture and be fine but if I had it in front of me I would do my best to tear open all the holes. Whenever I have a natural sponge in my hands I squeeze it a few times till I'm satisfied its not crunchy. Bee and wasp hives are the worst for me I can't stand them because I want to crush them but can't. I do hoever think bees are awesome creatures so I would never do it anyways.


BLAKF1RE 3 years ago

I've only recently discovered this and what it meant. I always thought it was just myself being silly and immature but now I know that there are others that have the same fear. It has given me closure in a way and comfort knowing that I'm not some sort of freak. I now realize why Sponge Bob made me cringe as a child and still does now. I wouldn't have found this if I wasn't tricked into searching for it in Google images. I'm glad I did in a way so I could get a sense of what it is. I just thought I was being immature or something! Thank you so much! Sorry for rambling on.


mari 3 years ago

one of my brothers and i are both trypophobic. we didn't know there were others out there. we thought we were crazy. i really appreciate the sensitivity of this article in not showing pictures. i thought i was crazy, for sure. thank you so much. great article. any coping mechanisms you know of? it's hard to search at all because a row of google images always shows up for me, so i don't want to do a search at all.


hubby105 3 years ago

I can't believe so many people actually suffer from this. I only realized my phobia a year ago when I was in a flower shop and on one of the shelves stood a whole vase of lotus seed flowers. It immediately made me very uncomfortable and sick to my stomach. I ended up looking it up on google and every time I have to throw my phone and I feel very sick. It's a terrible and very particular phobia to have to live with. Really appreciate that you did t include pictures!!


jcm11279 3 years ago

Wow! I am so relieved! I thought I was crazy, I have had this phobia for years. I am also mildly OCD, and so is my dad, and we both have this problem. Maybe its genetic? Could it be related to OCD or anxiety? I can't stand holes, clusters, seed pods or insect eggs, skin conditions, even certain clothing patterns, although most of what bothers me seems to be organic. I too have the urge to destroy what I'm looking at. I get chills, my skin crawls, my stomach clenches, my jaw locks and its a horrible icky wrong feeling. My family didn't know whether to laugh or be concerned one night when we were making fajitas... My mother in law was cutting bell peppers in half and when I looked at them I freaked out, dropped what I was doing, and attacked the seeds. I have to be very careful watching nature or medical shows. The image will stay in my head for hours after I mistakenly see it. Soooo glad there are no images on this site! Although just reading about it still triggers the reaction! I just accidentally looked at a lotus pod, really freaked me out. Anyone who wants to talk or has more info please email me jcm11279@gmail.com. thank you!


lourdes 3 years ago

I really thought I was alone. It has never made sense to me why small irregular holes make me freak out, they definitely produce in me a sensation that's hard to explain that just makes me feel very uncomfortable. I have told my friends this unusual fear but they say I'm insane, so I'm glad I'm not alone. I realized that I have this phobia when I saw the small holes of the bones my dog chew, it just creeps me out. Like the person writing this article the only thought of it just makes me feel very weird. I really wonder what's the cause of this, because not all people has it, but the number is not so small either. I appreciate that the writer didn't post pictures, thank you!


sert 3 years ago

@Sarah I cannot stand that picture of the childs skull showing the adult teeth inside. Like you it makes me itch like mad. I want to take all the teeth out and fill in the gaps, it drives me mad. Although like you I wouldn't be bothered by holes in general but certain images just make me physically itchy, especially across my scalp. A mild form of Trypophobia perhaps?


E something 3 years ago

I actually reached this article via an image search of the term. Seeking refuge, as it were, in a page with the picture: "No image article" attatched. I'm afraid your warning came a bit too late, I've always had this sort of phobia but only discovered the name of it recently. Needless to say, my skin is crawling and I WON'T be doing that again.

I also suffer from mild OCD (usually with symmetry or rows/ordering) so this is kind of freaking me out a bit.


Yeng 3 years ago

thanks for this article because of this im relieved when I first search the trypophobia and saw those tiny holes i starting to search about it then at my first thought , when you see those wholes in a person skin and feel itchy it is possible to have that holes in your skins when you feel those itchiness I act like weird I experience goose skin .


Angela 3 years ago

IT becoming a BIG PROBLEM NO IT IS A BIG PROBLEM I recently went to the doctor concerning this creep feeling when I see hole in bed sheets cloth curtain any thing that's not right give me the creep Listen UP ITS A NERSE PROBLEM am now on medication and receiving disability.


trixxy 3 years ago

omg i was reading other articles before this one and they had up these unnerving pics. my insides feel so queasy now and my pores are constantly raised.. apart from the holes, things like cracked mud and clusters of little moving things bother me. baby turtles scurrying to the beach water from the sand is at the top of my list of things that bother me


trixxy 3 years ago

i keep reading about the lotus pods. i dont know what it is and im really curious and wanna check it out but im also scared sh*tless lol. dont want to end up rocking in a corner pulling out mytri hair


Bdwairi 3 years ago

My Trypophobia almost KILLED me more than once. Its not merely a disgust of holes, I mean honestly who wouldn't be disgusted of something that looks like that and infectious for example. What we (tryophobics) suffer from is not at all a mere disgust, NO, it is a complete shuddering fear...its a WHY IS THIS HAPPENING TO ME...type of fear. Its a physical shock...I cant even talk about thoroughly because Im already in TEARS!

Im reading about it and the descriptions each person gives to their unique experience and I realize I have a combination. This started for me since I was a child...I cant remember how or when, but I was terrified of it. Later in high school we studied about bacteria that accumulates on teeth, and .....Im not going any further in description of specific stuff because I absolutely cant, but I started carrying a tooth brush with me every where after seeing the microscopic image of a tooth (even after being cleaned), I would brush all the time. i stopped that eventually by default. I worked at a factory once and I was on a metal press machine, we put grease on the metal before pressing it and shaping it, well, one day as I was working, im not sure how or why, but grease clusters in the shapes I abhor were appearing, I was taking i held the line up for ever until someone started screaming for me to move it...(I worked at a sink factory when I was 19 to support my mom and 6 siblings) I then in tears reached to grab the sink but couldnt look at it anymore. I closed my eyes as I was slinging this sharp edged bowl to the line and ended up hitting my face, causing me to bleed and get stitches...It couldve been worse. I started looking it up since then, but never found anything back in 1999-2000. My near death experience happened on the road, I was driving out of town on the Intrastate and got behind an 18' wheeler, carrying pipes, somehow...it was weird this was a first...my eyes fixated on the holes of the pipes and I started panicking badly...in utter fear...I shut my eyes and was crying and screaming...I pulled the wheel suddenly, (eyes still shut) and then heard horns all around me, I almost went under another 18' wheeler on the right lane, and then almost ended up in the ditch. I stopped on the edge of the road just in time...and couldnt move...(no fear from almost wrecking and flipping the car) NO, I was still shaken by the image.

What Id like to know, is what is the age group of everyone experiencing this? I have never heard of this before, it has never been brought up by the elders in my family/ they never even heard such "ridiculousness". I am not a psychology major, but would like to do an independent study, and maybe even get someone involved in this...i think there is a link.


jahh 3 years ago

Well. I didn't listen!!!!!! I went an Google image now im terrified. I suffer with this. Everyone thinks im crazy. It was the hardest thing for my bf to take me serious when I told him about it.. good to know im not alone


Amberly 2 years ago

I had goosebumps and still do just reading this article. I never knew I wasn't alone. I have no idea how this started with me. The soonest I remember having problems with it is probably around 9 years old?? Everyone in my family thinks I'm crazy and find it funny to point out or describe these things. Oh I hope that this is studied or at least taken seriously. Either way good to know!!!


Zoe 2 years ago

I'm so glad I'm not the only one here. Sometimes I feel crazyyy!!! I hate this phobia! I cant even eat certain foods because of it. Chocolate covered strawberries and strawberries are a no go. I picked one up and saw the imprint of the seed holes. Yeah, I freaked out... I want to get rid of this phobia but feel sick to my stomach even thinking about it


Wanda 2 years ago

Sixty years old and been suffering with this for at least 40 years. Never knew what it was. Someone needs to research this as it is more common than not.


marynn 2 years ago

I am 17 and I only just realised I had a real thing! I can't believe other people go through the same thing! I have suffered from it as long as I can remember. but yeah some things are ok like polka dots are usually ok but almost all naturally occuring ones send a shiver through my body. When i see an image I try and rub it away and yeah stupidly google imaged it -__- everyone thinks I'm crazy when I'm like "yeah I can't look at holes"


Nyu 2 years ago

Ever since I can remember I get repulsed when I look into deep dark water or drainage. I recently noticed that I have problems with images of snakes, maggots (maggots in skin is the worse of all) and severe bruises. I find it hard to forget those images.

Once I watched a documentary of snakes with my family I got dizzy and end up vomiting.


Hayley 2 years ago

I was talking about this in my group therapy session yesterday and a girl told me that it's actually a thing and she feels disgusted about it too. My biggest fear is of infestation which some of you have suggested a link between. I have Trichotillomania (hair pulling OCD since early childhood) and I learned about the demodex mites in school and FREAKED OUT. It was horrifying. I was feeling itchy all over but when I saw a picture of the eggs and mites clustered inside a hair follicle I lost it... Ripped out all my eyelashes which I had not done in a long time. I was at a party and someone at my table didn't like the hardened yogurt on their strawberry so they scraped it off with a knife and the strawberry holes were imprinted on the yogurt and the seeds had peeled off. GROSS UGH I can't handle this. Wow.


Kkcarpy 2 years ago

I suffer from this. It is real and I have been reading posts saying "yes! Exactly! OMG, me too!!" The burnt rice.. Ugh for me aerated lawns. Can we even mention the move "H#%es"? Gah!! And pictures of cracked deserts in a drought. I was driving one day and saw a tree with a horrific pattern and started panicking and sobbing and couldn't look. It is awful.


Kkcarpy 2 years ago

Why does it say "picture free" but then the site has links of disgusting photos!?!? That is verging on cruel.


mandy 2 years ago

The images actually enrage me. I want to scratch my eye balls out, I can't explain it but it's a very uneasy urgent kind of distress. I've got to smooth out the holes. The viral picture of the holey breast. OMG!!! For me it's the hard mass emerging from soft flesh maybe, I want to rip the sh#t out, make it bleed whatever I have to do to make it be NO MORE!!!! It's like an electric shock to my senses. It's just not right on any level.


AddieMarie 2 years ago

I'm relieved to find out that I'm not the only person that has this problem. I've been looked at as crazy by so many people for my reaction to different things with holes. Today while at my boyfriends house I was set off by a picture/ video going around on Facebook titled something or other about people not being able to watch for more than 5 seconds. Seeing these things makes me feel queasy and I start itching and uncontrollably digging at my skin. There have been many times that I've wounded myself during an attack because I can't stop. I constantly have to check my skin to make sure the holes and/ or the things in them haven't appeared on my skin in the form of rot or infestation.

It usually isn't a huge problem because I avoid seeing these things, but it's miserable during the few days after I have encountered something. I wish there was a cure for this!


wendywoo14 2 years ago

Hi. Just like you all I decided to actually Google this subject this evening after seeing a terrible image on facebook which made me feel physically sick. I decided it had got to a stage in my head that i needed to see if there was any information out there and was shocked but comforted (in a way) to see so many others have this phobia too. It has only become apparent in this last two years and cannot recall anything in my past or present that could have escalated this phobia. Please Please Please do not look at the face book image. I cannot take the vision out of my head now and i guess it will stick with me for life. I once saw a shocking image 15 years ago to do with infestation and that has haunted me . Please please please someone out there come up with some solutions for all us sufferers. :( xx


minkie 2 years ago

I am so relieved to find that I am not the only one. for me it started grade 9. I was going through my biology textbook and the was an image of the structure of a bone and all of a sudden I stared feeling sick, dizzy and nauseous and this happened everytime I looked at the image and it takes quite a long time for me to get the image out of my head. it truly is a horrible feeling that I cannot even describe.

anyway so I am a medical student and I am currently doing my rotation in orthopaedics. so I was searching for an image of the structure of a bone just now and as I looked at the image stared feeling dizzy and nauseous. I just feel like literally jumping out of my own skin right now.


Janira Robles 2 years ago

I am so relieved to find this I am as of late finding that I can't go on a certain social network because people keep posting these fake links and pages with pictures of things that are supposed to be super gruesome but in reality are this dry potpourri found pods with make up, but still the thought of it makes me physically sick and the memory of it stays lodged in my head and I feel anxious and jumpy the rest of the day! I'm ok with bread and strawberries but now with the help of your article I am realizing that I've had this fear since I was a child when I remember something that burned to the bottom of a pot and I was doing dishes, my mom thought I was insane but I didn't know why it freaked me out. Thank you so much for keeping this picture free!!!


Rashida 2 years ago

I did not know this was a phobia. Until I literally googled "help with sickening feeling from holes and cracks". I just always thought there was something wrong with me and try to make a conscious effort to avoid the items and images that make me physically break out and nauseous.

I wish there was something to make this phobia go away. But I must say that I am relieved that I'm not the only person who suffers from this phobia.


tanya 2 years ago

Not only that after seeing this type of clusters of holes my hole body becomes itchy.


emmyjay 2 years ago

I am 60 years old, and just recently closed my FB account because of the disturbing images. I was very frightened at how severely I reacted. I have all the same physical reactions as you all do. I don't know of anything in my past to contribute to this. I do have mild OCD, always have. Over the last 3 months as I have been dealing with this, I've tried to think of what could have caused it, or even when I may have had a similar reaction. (as you can tell, I can't even stand to even say the shape). I realized that I've probably always had some mild aversion to certain things, but the FB images somehow sent me over the edge! Interestingly, just as most of you felt, I was embarrassed and didn't want anyone to know what I was feeling, but I felt compelled to research it, and ended up more freaked out the more I searched. I soon discovered that one of my daughters reacted the same way to the FB images but both of us could barely stand to even talk about it! No one else in our family seems to share our phobia, and basically, they all think we are being ridiculous, so we just don't even mention it anymore. I thought I had put it behind me, for the most part, but a strange thing happened. I wouldn't even describe this, but I was amazed at just how deep this phobia goes. A couple of days ago, my granddaughter was playing on the floor near where I was sitting and she said, "Oh Nana, what is this little circle that just fell out of the wall?" I turned to look at it, and it was a perfect circle, about the size of a pencil eraser, that had popped out of the sheetrock, exposing a #### with a screw inside. I literally almost got sick, and her mother, my daughter who doesn't have the phobia, said "oh that's just a wall popper. We've had that happen in one of our walls before. It's where the house settles and a nail or screw pops out a circle of sheetrock". I was frozen with fear and I just stared at her, and finally she asked me what was wrong. I said "oh nothing" and tried to calm down, but I finally told her what it reminded me of. She, of course doesn't really understand what that sight does to me, but she tried to be understanding. I've just avoided looking at it, but actually feel compelled to go look at it anyway, but am fighting the urge. Later today, my other daughter, who has the phobia, came over and when the subject of the #### came up, I didn't say a thing about it, but I waited to see her reaction when she saw it, and sure enough, I could tell she was repulsed by the sight of it, and later I asked her about it. She said "mama, I can't even talk about it or I'll get sick". So we didn't mention it again. I feel sick just knowing it's in the next room, and I feel sicker still, that I am so bothered by something like this. I still feel like I should be strong enough to conquer this fear, but I can't. I told myself that I wouldn't search anything about it again, but that's how I found this page. As far as the FB images, I believe that someone deliberately put them out there, knowing they would be seen by so many, and that they would trigger this kind of response. Why, I don't know, but I am amazed that our minds can be so controlled. It's pretty scary! I loved being on FB and keeping up with family and friends, especially my grandchildren. That shows how powerful this fear is! I too, am glad that I'm not alone, and I truly feel badly for all of us. I wish there was a cure!


Amy Smedley profile image

Amy Smedley 2 years ago

I feel so relieved to of found this! I always thought I was weird because when I was asked what I was afraid of, I always had a hard time describing it! I'd always be like... Umm clumps of warts and holes. You described it as clusters and yuck, just saying that word gets my skin crawling.


Unknown 2 years ago

I saw the word on an MSN article and then I think I might have it since the Senax advert me uncomfortable. I did a search on the internet which I regret as most sites show a lot of pictures and some are enough to make a normal person uneasy like pictures of disgusting larva or rotten organic matter. My fear growth exponential in just a few look of those pictures. Particularly bad is trypophobia.net. I just hope that I can have the whole situation reverse back to the original level. Yours article has to be the best that is really informative and not worsen anything.


Kim H 22 months ago

I realized I suffered when I saw a doctored picture on FB (I think it was. Lotus pod superimposed on to someone's neck). For two days it made me scratch at my neck and I could not get the image out of my mind. I can really relate to the desire to destroy those holes. After researching some on the web, I found a video on YouTube that really helped me. It was a psychologist who helped walk you through meditation to alleviate anxiety. At first I thought it didn't work, but it did help. Be careful when looking it up, lots of triggering images are out there on the web.


mariam 22 months ago

This is so real i was thinking i was abnormal but does anyone of you having a problem with 'dry sound' i dont really know how to explain it but an example is the sound of metals especially the sound of a train,cracks,using a pencil on a paper and even cotton balls.


Ann 20 months ago

I have been suffering with these images since I seen that lotus pod on skin a couple of months ago! I feel like I am going round the bend with the image and it gets worse imagining I have these holes over my body!

Does any one know how to get over this phobia?


Torie 19 months ago

Wow I always thought that I was the only one that was bothered by this kind of stuff. The worst for me is looking at logs/ tree with little tiny holes from ants makes my head hurt and makes me want to vomit. I was always so confused about this because I don't mind dots, but holes are the worst.


rbsojm 17 months ago

My 10 year old daughter suffers from this phobia. She says the sight of small holes makes her feel angry and she feels the urge to bite them apart. When she first started saying this I didn't really pay too much attention to it because I had never heard anything like that before. She also hates the sound of chewing and is a constant nail biter. I am not sure if any of these phobias are somehow related but I feel like it's getting worse as she is getting older and that I should try to gain some answers to why she has these phobias. She functions fine but any more information would be very helpful.


liza 16 months ago

Thank you for no pictures. I also felt better reading some of the other comments. Thank you.


Carolyn 14 months ago

I think this is the same thing...Roots projecting from the bottom of a surface(e.g. mustard and cress), mesh fabric covering something, but especially the Sanex Advert where hundreds of people are clustered together. Actually makes me feel sick and faint!


SANDRA 13 months ago

Aree there any doctors or nurses out there who suffer from trypophobia. I want to be a doctor but i am afraid that this phobia will limit me. Any help would be great thank you!!


Tasha Ayala 10 months ago

Omg im so glad that i finally found a name to this horrible anxiety that i get when i see holes. Trypophobia. I get very bad anxiety violent one i have to destroy the image i just seen. I hate it. I feel really disgusted just seen pics trying to figure it out.


Britney 9 months ago

Not sure if mine fits but I can't manage potholes, I keep thinking about them and right now I'm freaking out because they're everywhere in my city!!! Ughhh I have goose bumps right now.


Lynn 8 months ago

My husband tonight thought it was funny to stick his toe thorough a hole in his sock!! Not funny. He still can't undersand why I felt sick and very angry , also helpless. I was so angry with him. He is very frightened of spiders and I tried to make a comparison, as I am not frightened of them, still he laughed.. It's just not right

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