What is Trypophobia?


Is Trypophobia a real mental mental illness?

Trypophobia is not recognised by the American Psychiatric Association’s DSM-5 as a phobia. However, I recently had the opportunity to speak with someone who believes that he has Trypophobia, he is not in treatment or on any kind of medication to treat this phobia as it only occurs when he sees or is in direct contact with small clusters of holes that looks like the image below.

What exactly is Trypophobia?

Trypophobia is a condition where a person experiences a fear or aversion to clusters of small holes which is thought to be triggered when a person sees a pattern of small clustered holes, bringing about symptoms, such as fear, disgust, and anxiety.

Trypophobia is not currently recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5), although the term trypophobia has been in use since 2009.

Look at some facts on trypophobia:

  • There is limited current research on the condition, yet some theories do exist and some researchers question the validity of trypophobia as a condition or phobia, as suggested by a recent study. Since some potentially dangerous animals have similar ‘holey’ patterns on their bodies, people may make an unconscious association between these patterns and the animals.

A person with trypophobia experiences symptoms, such as fear, disgust, anxiety, goosebumps, and panic, on seeing clusters of small holes.

There is conflicting research as to whether the condition is, in fact, a genuine phobia. More research is needed in this area to validate the condition.

Published by Coach Amy

BS, Psychology graduate, Certified NLP Master Practitioner, Certified Life Coach, training in Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT), Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy (REBT) Certified Confidence Life Coach,

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