The irrational and deep dread or persistent fear of holes is known as trypophobia. The stimuli here is generally tiny holes seen within asymmetrical clusters rather than big holes.
It is an unusual and uncommon phobia that victims are reported to have inauspicious reactions towards images or objects with small asymmetrical holes.
TYPICAL SYMPTOMS OF TRYPOPHOBIA:
The brains of trypophobic individuals, as studied by Geoff Cole and Arnold Wilkins of the University of Essex, associates the holes with some kind of danger. The holes not only in images but also in meat, skin, vegetables and fruits, sponges, honeycombs, wood, etc might bring about a full blown panic attack.
To some others, the mere mention of “fear of small holes” is enough to trigger trembling and shivering.
The symptoms exhibited by trypophobics differ with individuals, they include;
Some feel their skin crawling, others may shudder, a few report feeling itchy while still others report feeling physically sickened or disgusted.
* Some phobics also report thoughts of falling into the holes triggering most of the panic attacks.
CAUSES OF FEAR OF HOLES:
Trypophobia, being yet another unexplored phobia, has been fervently studied by a group and the some of its causes has been established. Most people are often not aware of being possibly latent to the images of holes until they are confronted with a direct stimulus.
These dedicated individuals have given the probable causes of the fear of holes as;
* Deep rooted emotional problem-Some object associated with childhood that triggers traumatic memories associated with holes. Possible bee stings in the past that led to a swelling wherein the swollen skin displayed every pore.
* It is also reported that evolution may be one of the major causes behind the fear of holes. They explain this fact by giving the example of pockmarked objects which do not seem quite right or completely normal. Some primitive portion of the brain perceives or associates these pockmarks with something dangerous.
* Holes also tend to be associated with organic objects like rashes or skin blisters that typically follow an episode of measles or chicken pox.
TREATMENT OF FEAR OF HOLES:
Typically, the best approach to treating trypophobia is to face the fear of holes. Being an unexplored science, trypophobia is not fully researched but is closely related to most phobias, panic and anxiety attacks, and hence, the same methods of treatment may be employed.
Human behavioural cognitive techniques teaches the individual to redirect negative thoughts and perceptions to positive ones. It also aids the phobic in differentiating between reality and non-reality.
In the instance whereby the most likely cause of the phobia, hypnosis, human cognitive therapy and group counselling may prove to be very effective in the treatment of trypophobia.
Neuro Linguistic Programming involves the gradual exposure of stimulus to the phobic and recording their fears, and also reprogramming them to reduce the phobia.
There are no specific diagnostic tests to determine trypophobia, as can be seen, but steps can be taken to ascertain the origin and depth of the phobia. However, if images or thoughts of holes deeply affect the daily activities and work functioning of sufferers, medical consultancy is advised in order to regain control of over this fear.