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