Fear vs Phobia– Fear is the normal response to danger, while phobias are characterised by excessive, unconscious, and persistent fear that constantly triggers anxiety. Therefore, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM)-5, phobias receive the name of specific phobias and are classified according to their trigger. A particular type of phobia, known as Trypophobia refers to a pathological fear of, or aversion to, clusters of concave objects (holes) or objects reminiscent of clusters of holes. Fear of holes- Trypophobia is a term coined by internet users in 2005. About 16% of people have trypophobia according to a study in Psychological Research. It is the fear to cluster of holes of any variety that possesses no threat. The severity of trypophobia varies from one person to another.
A study in 1942 revealed that not only clusters of holes but also clusters of other objects such as eyes and faces induce aversive reactions. The same study established that Social anxiety is directly linked to discomfort due to the trypophobic images of human face clusters.
Specific phobias, such as trypophobia, have the following characteristics:
- Intense fear or anxiety caused by objects or specific situations (ex. flying, heights, animals, injections, the sight of blood…)
- The phobic situation or object almost always causes immediate fear or anxiety.
- The phobic situation is avoided or actively resisted with strong fear or anxiety.
- The fear or anxiety is disproportionate if we analyze the real level of danger that the object or specific situation presents. This includes the sociocultural context.
- The fear, anxiety, or evasion is persistent and typically lasts six or more months.
- The anxiety, fear, or evasion causes clinically significant discomfort. On the other hand, it might cause social, work-related, or other types of important functional deterioration.
It’s common for people to have multiple specific phobias. Approximately 75% of people with specific phobias fear more than one situation or object.
Trypophobia isn’t considered an illness, but it could become one.
People with trypophobia tend to have symptoms of anxiety when they see coral, beehives, soap bubbles, spotted dresses, bubbles, or a bunch of stacked logs.
When can you consider trypophobia a problem:
Feeling aversion at the sight of these geometric figures or holes is not a disease. We consider it a normal and frequent fear in humans. This is because it prevents certain dangers such as contracting diseases or suffering harm.
Nevertheless, this irrational fear could come to interfere with our well-being or daily lives. It could hold us back from having a normal life. In this case, it would translate into a disorder which would have to be dealt with.
So, fear of holes trypophobia could have an evolutionary explanation. Those who feel disgusted toward these geometric patterns keep a distance from dangerous animals. This would help them survive and avoid being “poisoned or attacked” by these types of animals.
This explanation differs from the causes of other phobias since we learn most irrational fears. We learn to feel fear toward certain stimuli due to personal or external experiences. For example, it could be from observations or what people have told us. With that being the case, trypophobia disease origin doesn’t lie in a trauma. Nor does it have a cultural origin.
Aversion, fear, or disgust toward holes in organic matter is easy to explain. This happens because trypophobia images are often associated with diseases.
Whether your fear is based on some irrational or irrelevant stand, overcome it before taking it on you.
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