Home Mental Health Everything You Should Know About Trypophobia

Everything You Should Know About Trypophobia

by Gauri Kolhe

You have heard the word trypophobia many times. But do you know what is it? If not then article is going to aware you everything about trypophobia you should know about trypophobi0a.

First of all what is Trypophobia:

Trypophobia is kind of fear of closely packed holes. This is kind of an aversion to the sight of irregular patterns or clusters by looking at this. Trypophobia is not included in the category of mental disorders but diagnosed as phobia on exposure of excessive fear.

People who are suffering from trypophobia feel queasy when they look at the surfaces having small holes on the surfaces. For instance, the head of lotus seed pod, body surface of strawberry could make discomfort in some individual with trypophobia.

Trypophobia is not officially recognised as particular disorder. There are not many studies on trypophobia and existing research have split on   whether it should consider disorder or not.

Triggers for trypophobia:

As not many studies have been done on trypophobia still there are some triggers which responsible for the trypophobia. These triggers includes such as :

  • lotus seed pods
  • pomegranates
  • strawberries
  • bubbles
  • cantaloupe
  • coral
  • honeycombs
  • condensation
  • aluminum metal foam
  • a cluster of eyes

Some animals that have spotted skin or fur, insects, mammals, amphibians can also trigger the symptom of trypophobia.

Symptoms of trypophobia:

Symptoms in trypophobic person are reported to have triggered when he sees some kind of holes and repeating patterns.

On seeing any of the specific patterns and a cluster of holes person with trypophobia start react with fear or disgust. Some of the symptoms are given bellow:

  • Person get Goosebumps
  • Individual start feeling repulsed
  • Feeling uncomfortable
  • Visual discomfort such as eyestrain, distortions, or illusions is also referred as the symptoms of trypophobia.
  • Person having trypophobia experiences distress
  • They feel like their skin is crawling.
  • Panic attacks
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Body shakes

Trypophobia: what does research says

Many researchers do not agree whether trypophobia should classify as a real phobia or   not. In a very first research which was published in 2013, it has been suggested as that a phobia is considered as the extension of biological fear of harmful things.  

Many researchers done some researches and found some symptoms triggers by highly contrasted colour in a certain graphic arrangements.

They also did some argue about the person having trypophobia experienced fear subconsciously associating harmless items such as lotus seed pods, dangerous animals like blue ringed octopus.

A study published in 2017 disputes these results. Researches done some survey in preschoolers to confirm the hypothesise that the fear on seeing image with small holes id based on a fear of dangerous animals or it is just a response to visual traits.

Results of the survey suggested that that people having trypophobia not experience the fear non-consciously they just triggered by the creature’s appearance.   

Diagnostic and statistical manual (DSM-5), The American psychiatric association’s do not recognised this trypophobia as an official phobia. However more research is needed to understand the causes and scope of trypophobia.

Risk factors

There are not specific risks factors are found related to trypophobia. In 2017 a study was found the risk factors as the link between trypophobia and major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety disorder (GAD).

According to some researchers found that people suffering trypophobia are more prone to have major depressive disorder or GAD in future.

In 2016 another study was publishes which says that there is a direct link between trypophobia and anxiety.


Trypophobia can be diagnosed by your doctor. They will ask you a series of some questions like about the symptoms you are experiencing; your past incidences related society and also some medical and psychiatric test.

In actual trypophobia is considered as non diagnosable disease as it is not recognised as a disease officially by medical and mental health association.


Treatment of trypophobia includes most effective exposure therapy which is based on focusing on the changing your response to the object or situation causing fear.

Cognitive behaviour therapy with the combination of exposure therapy helps you to manage anxiety and doesn’t allow to thing thoughts of becoming overwhelming.

General counselling with psychiatric also helps to treat trypophobia.

Some other options for the treatment include deep breathing and yoga, use of some beta blockers and sedatives to relive anxiety and panic syndrome.

Sometimes mindful breathing, listening and mindful strategies helps you to cope up of the stress and anxiety.

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