Trypophobia is a disorder in which a person has a fear or anxiety of groups of tiny holes. People with trypophobia are said to experience sensations including fear, disgust, and anxiety when they witness a pattern of little clustered holes. 

Trypophobia symptoms are frequently caused by particular visions of collections of tiny, uneven holes. In this article, you will learn about trypophobia, the causes, the treatment, and therapy.

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Price Comparison for Trypophobia Therapy

Therapy can help people with trypophobia much like it can help individuals facing other forms of phobia. Now, with online therapy (teletherapy) becoming so popular, people can also do therapy at home with just an internet connection. Also, it’s more affordable. 

Going to a local therapist can cost up to $200 for a single session and you may need many sessions to get rid of your phobia. On the other hand, platforms like BetterHelp charge only $60 to $90 per week, providing one therapy session and unlimited texting with your therapist. 

In-Person Therapy BetterHelp
$50 to $200 per session

$60 to $90 weekly

1 live session weekly

Unlimited messaging

$240 to $360 monthly

4 live sessions monthly

Get 10% off on Betterhelp.com

Trypophobia

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What Is Trypophobia?

Trypophobia is characterized by an extreme disliking of holes, lumps, and repeating patterns. When an individual encounters these patterns can feel miserable and may exhibit symptoms including repulsiveness, itching, tingling, and shivering. 

Trypophobia can cause fear, panic attacks, rapid heartbeat, and vomiting in more severe instances. The American Psychiatric Association Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders  (DSM-5) does not recognize trypophobia as a mental health problem. 

However, it is acknowledged as a condition by many mental health experts, and anybody who experiences it can attest that it is a genuine fear and can occasionally be very unsettling. To date, it has been a challenge to pinpoint the cause of trypophobia.

Whereas, research published in Psychological Science reported that 16% of the individuals surveyed experienced fear, hate, discomfort, and disgust when they see a collection of holes, for instance seeing a lotus seed pod.

What Causes Trypophobia?

Due to the lack of available research, the precise cause of trypophobia is unknown. Trypophobia has several different causes, including lotus seed pods, bubble wrap, honeycombs, and fruit seeds. 

People who suffer from trypophobia frequently find it difficult to discriminate between safe and destructive settings. They frequently suffer involuntary responses that are unconscious reflexes.

Trypophobic responses can also be brought on by certain bumps, patterns, images, and patterned animals. 

To explain trypophobia origins, researchers have proposed a variety of theories, including evolutionary causes, a natural response to visual stimuli, links to other disorders, and associations of related visual imagery with dangerous diseases and animals. 

Trypophobics may display repulsion or terror when viewing objects or pictures with asymmetrical lumps, clusters of holes, or shapes.

According to a study, trypophobia may have evolved as a defense mechanism against parasites and other infectious disorders. Trypophobics automatically identify harmful circumstances with holes or things with erratic patterns.

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To support the work of the people working on TherapyHunter.com, we may receive compensation if you sign up for online counseling through the links provided.

Symptoms of Trypophobia

There are several therapeutic approaches for dealing with this kind of psychological issue. Avoiding triggers, such as specific animals and foods, or things connected to clustered holes, might be a sign of trypophobia. 

Similar to other particular phobias such as philemaphobia or nyctophobia, trypophobia symptoms often appear after coming into contact with a trigger and include emotions of fear and repulsion that can cause sweating, panic attacks, and palpitations. 

On the other hand, trypophobia can also experience trembling, vomiting, uneasy sensations, itching, goosebumps, and nausea. 

Trypophobia may combine with other mental health issues including obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), depression, or problematic drug use for certain individuals. A complete assessment by a mental health specialist is crucial in order to manage trypophobia effectively. 

Because trypophobia is not a diagnosable disorder and its symptoms may be vague on their own. Additionally, pinpointing its precise causes may be useful in enhancing preventative and treatment methods. 

Therapy and treatments like talk therapy with a mental health professional or support group, exposure therapy (ET), lifestyle changes, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), and, in certain situations, medications are all possible treatment choices. 

In general, resolving trypophobia is not an easy process and necessitates the affected person’s determination, devotion, and patience.

Treatments and Therapy

Trypophobia is not a diagnosable illness because it is not currently recognized as a mental disorder in the DSM-5 by the American Psychiatric Association. Although there is not a unique therapy for trypophobia, there are various phobia-specific therapies with varying degrees. 

However, if symptoms are extreme and persistent, causing emotional distress and functional impairment, some mental health practitioners may recognize trypophobia as a particular phobia. Following are the treatments and therapy for trypophobia:

Self-Help Methods

Self-help methods, counseling, and pharmaceuticals are all possible forms of treatment. Self-help therapies can be used by an individual alone or in groups with a therapist. 

Group therapy is highly beneficial for a lot of people. These approaches have varying degrees of effectiveness and may or may not be successful in treating certain phobias.

Talk Therapy or CBT

Talk therapy called cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) is used with a counselor or therapist to examine how ideas influence behavior and feelings. Therapists assist their patients in setting and achieving goals. 

This might consist of having a conversation about inaccurate beliefs, and then altering behaviors. In order to lessen one’s reactivity to feared objects, CBT may also require progressive exposure to them.

Working with a therapist to alter the underlying beliefs and habits that may contribute to trypophobia is called cognitive-behavioral therapy. For those dealing with a phobia, general talk therapy with a mental health professional or a support group might be beneficial. 

Fear of holes

Exposure Therapy

A variant of CBT called exposure therapy involves gradually exposing a person to the thing they fear in the hopes that their phobia symptoms would subside.

Furthermore, a therapist may use exposure therapy to treat a patient by gradually exposing them to their phobia. Exposure therapy is the most successful type of therapy. This form of treatment assists the patient in managing their fear and altering how they react to the trigger. 

People can utilize exposure treatment, the most well-known method for conquering phobias, if trypophobia significantly interferes with their everyday lives, lowers their self-esteem, or makes them extremely anxious.

This procedure is carried out very gradually. A person may begin by picturing the thing they fear, then look at images of the thing they fear, and finally touch or get close to the thing that makes them feel uneasy.

Through progressive exposure to the trigger that triggers the phobia, this therapy should be carried out with the assistance of a psychologist. Through the use of relaxation methods, the therapist helps the patient face their fear until the discomfort subsides.

Exercise-Based Relaxation Techniques And Visualization Techniques

Trypophobia is a condition when a person reacts to groups of tiny holes by feeling dread, anxiety, chills, revulsion, and panic.

The addition of relaxation techniques to one’s lifestyle may include obtaining adequate rest, sleeping, and engaging in yoga, meditation, or mindfulness. 

Furthermore, people may be able to lessen the intensity of their panic emotions by consuming less coffee and engaging in more physical exercise. 

By promoting constructive coping strategies and general health, these lifestyle adjustments are intended to assist in reducing the symptoms of trypophobia, which include anxiety, fear, and revulsion.

On the other hand, online support groups offer a secure setting where you may talk with individuals who have experienced similar things about your triggers and symptoms. 

In an online support group, individuals can also discuss personal coping tactics that have been effective in easing trypophobia symptoms, for instance, relaxation exercises and deep breathing.

Conclusion

Rejection or fear of groups of tiny holes, patterns, or bumps is known as trypophobia. Individuals display signs of repulsion or panic when they witness this kind of cluster.

It appears to exist in some form, according to some studies, and trigger exposure causes actual symptoms that can interfere with day-to-day activities.

If you think you might have trypophobia, go to a psychologist or doctor. They can assist you in managing your symptoms and identifying the cause of your fear.

Josiane Camilleri

Josiane Camilleri

Professor

Writer for Therapy Hunter as well as psychology
professor at Malta University.

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