You have probably never heard of trypophobia , but it is possible that when you contemplate one of the images that we expose later you will experience a most uncomfortable sensation. We explain what this phobia consists of and the differences with dermatopatophobia, a disorder recognized by the scientific community.
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What is trypophobia?
Trypophobia is also called repetitive pattern phobia, and consists of the fear, aversion or revulsion of continuous geometric figures , especially small holes in flat surfaces or patterns of closely spaced rectangles.
This phobia does not have an easy explanation and, in fact, it is not included in the ‘Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders’. However, a very high percentage of the population (although there is no study that determines the exact percentage) feels a deep discomfort when contemplating certain “strong images”.
Etymologically, the term was coined in 2005 and arises from the combination of the Greek “typo” (“perforation” or “hole”) and “phobia”.
Some experts, such as vision science researcher Geoff Cole, suggest that trypophobia may be an evolutionary mechanism for rejecting danger . Apparently, some of the most poisonous animals on earth have some repetitive patterns on their skin, so fear of these patterns represents a defense mechanism.
Others, on the other hand, point out that trypophobia is related to the fear of parasites or skin infections , and that is that some of the images considered “strong” or likely to cause rejection bear a certain similarity to a dermatological infection. Symptoms of trypophobia
The symptoms of the phobia of repetitive patterns are very varied, although most do not put the health of the individual at risk. The full list is as follows:
- Aversion or rejection.
- Tingling sensation in the extremities.
Images and examples of trypophobia
Next we leave you with a series of images. Some are found in nature and others have been created artificially to produce the symptoms of trypophobia. If you experience a deep rejection of images, welcome to the tripophobic club.
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1. Sea coral
The porous surface of sea coral or some sponges can be very disturbing for those who suffer from trypophobia.
Structure of a sea coral. | Image from: Social networks. 2. Holes in the skin
If we put pressure on any surface or grainy material we will create the effect that we see below, one of the prints that tripophobes fear the most.
Marks on the fingers, catalysts for trypophobia. | Image from: Social networks. 3. Honeycomb
There are many people who feel a pathological fear of bees (or insects in general). What is less common is the fear or disgust towards the geometric structure of the honeycomb of the bees.
Hexagonal structure of a honeycomb. | Image from: Social networks. 4. Lotus seeds
One of the images that circulates on the net and that best exemplifies trypophobia. In it we can see the lotus seeds in the holes of the plant.
Lotus seeds, one of the images that best exemplifies trypophobia. | Image from: Social networks. Is there a treatment?
Any phobia can be treated by following different procedures. With regard to trypophobia, professional intervention is not usually necessary , but in the most severe cases the methods are the following: 1. Gradual exposure
This involves exposing ourselves to this type of visual stimuli until the anxiety disappearscompletely. It is a way of forcing our brain not to feel fear. It can be a bit unpleasant, but it is a quick and effective formula. 2. Cognitive-behavioral therapy
This is a somewhat more complex therapy, for those patients who require professional attention. In this therapy, the patient’s own progress in the process is taken into consideration, so that he responds positively and moves on. In this way, he will eliminate his pathological fear of repetitive patterns. Differences with dermatopatophobia
This aversion to holes or repetitive patterns should not be confused with dermatopatophobia, which is the fear of skin diseases. A person who is not dermatopathophobic may experience aversion depending on what visual patterns. In addition, dermatopathophobia can become a real problem that needs the intervention of a qualified professional.
At the moment trypophobia is considered something like a pseudophobia, and there are no studies that determine the exact origin of this fear. Most likely, it is a brain response to possible danger, although such a claim has not been proven.
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