Is Trypophobia Honeycomb Skin Condition Fear of Holes Real

by Mousumi Mukherjee
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Do you ever have a sick or shaky feeling inside your stomach when you see a spotted creature or stuff that has several holes on its surface? Do you think you have a fear of holes? Then, you might be suffering from a disease named Trypophobia. People with this disease feel an aversion to things that have regular or irregular-shaped holes in them. 

In fact, surfaces with regular shaped (same-sized) holes may not give some people as trouble as surfaces with irregular shaped (different-sized) holes give to them.

And, for the other people, closely packed holes on a surface becomes more upsetting than the other kinds of holes. But, what are the symptoms of this disease & how can it be treated? Come, let’s go deep into it:

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What Is Trypophobia?

What Is Trypophobia
What Is Trypophobia

It’s nothing but a phobia of holes. It may be defined as a condition in which you will have an intense fear and disgusting feeling of closely packed holes. 1st introduction of this term happened in 2005 at a web symposium.

The term ‘Trypophobia’ is made of 2 Greek words, ‘trypa’ & ‘phobia.’ Trypa means punching, or drilling holes & phobia means fear & hatred towards something. 

Individuals suffering from this condition generally feel nauseous, disgusted & despicable when they look at small-holed surfaces, especially where the holes are closely gathered to form a pattern.

Though people usually think that Trypophobia is a mental health ailment, no official recognition from the experts has till now confirmed that.

In fact, after research, the experts have not corroborated whether Trypophobia is a specific kind of phobia or not. Also, some people mistakenly call Trypophobia tryphonia.

But, there doesn’t exist any condition named tryphonia & neither does it have anything to do with Trypophobia. 

Is Trypophobia Real?

Is Trypophobia Real
Is Trypophobia Real

No, it’s not a phobia in the real sense. This is because those phobias are known as real phobias by APA (American Psychiatric Association), which interfere with anyone’s day-to-day routine & makes them feel worried or feared.

However, this standard is not met by Trypophobia. And hence, this condition doesn’t get any official recognition in the 5th edition of DSMMD (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) as a serious mental illness.

According to the experts, Trypophobia has more of a feeling of disgust than an actual phobia or fear. 

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Trypophobia Honeycomb Skin Condition & The Triggers Of Trypophobia

Some people’s skins may have holes/bumps/nodules just like a honeycomb has because of certain skin conditions. Such type of skin is called Trypophobia honeycomb skin.

And, looking into such skin type may trigger trypophobia in a person. Also, many things can trigger trypophobia & such things are:

  • The holes or pebbles present in a concrete
  • The air holes present in loaves of bread
  • The frosting patterns of a pie/cake
  • A lotus flower’s top
  • Different spotted animals
  • The holes present in an old mask of hockey
  • Various skin issues such as sores, pimples, blemishes, scars, etc 
  • The head of a shower outlet in the bathroom
  • The traffic light LEDs
  • Honeycombs
  • Swiss cheese
  • Certain fruits like Pomegranates
  • Sponges
  • Bubbles & so on.

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Trypophobia Symptoms

There are some symptoms of trypophobia & they include:

  • Anxiety attack
  • Nausea
  • Shortness of breath
  • Sweating and shaking
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Itching
  • Goosebumps
  • Visual discomfort
  • General discomfort
  • A strong feeling of getting away from the picture or item 
  • A feeling that one’s skin is crawling. 

A trypophobiac person may experience these symptoms every day or multiple times a week. Even in many cases, it has been seen that the trypophobiac person never gets rid of their fear of holes. 

Trypophobia Skin Disease:

In reality, there’s no such disease as Trypophobia Skin Disease. But, since Trypophobia is a phobia related to holes, the skin of people with clusters of holes, nodules, scars, or bumps is termed by many people as Trypophobia Skin Disease.

These types of skins of people are usually seen in many movies, video games, or TV shows.  

What Causes Trypophobia?

According to the statements given by various researchers, people with Trypophobia experience a kind of phobia of holes & this powerful reaction comes from their inner self as a means to safeguard themselves from multiple dangers associated with holes.

On earth, the planet where we live, many poisonous animals such as cobra, poison dart frog, pufferfish, etc. exist whose skins comprise hole-like patterns. And, these kinds of patterns exactly trouble the Trypophobiac persons.

Besides, we live on a planet where various deadly diseases like measles, smallpox, etc. exist & these diseases cause circular rashes on our skin.

Trypophobia may be a response of many people due to these ailments’ fear of avoiding getting sick with these diseases.  

Moreover, some people may be more sensitive to the combination of something light & dark (maybe in an image of holes, etc.) & so their fear gets triggered by seeing any such image of holes.

Furthermore, the images having hole-type patterns possess a kind of observable energy that has a unique ability to cause an unpleasant reaction. 

Many researchers also suggest that some persons turn Trypophobiac because they may get nervous at any social gathering or party & the holes appear to them like a cluster of eyes gazing at them.

So, they become upset about seeing any surface with holes out of social anxiety.

Trypophobia Test Or Diagnosis:

Since Trypophobia has, till now, not acquired the place of any real phobia or serious ailment, it’s tough to diagnose Trypophobia by fixing an appointment with a doctor.

However, some researchers have found some ways to diagnose it. They have made the Trypophobia questionnaire, a list of seventeen questions that ask people to rate the symptoms like anxiety on a ranking from 1 to 5 after making them see some pictures with holes. 

Besides, some self-tests are available online that detect if you have Trypophobia or not. Such tests include the tacit Trypophobia Measure 0.5a test.

However, one should click & continue to these tests only after knowing that by doing so, he may get confronted with some images that may be disturbing for him, even if he doesn’t have any problems such as Trypophobia. 

Treatment For Trypophobia

Trypophobia, not being recognized as a valid disorder, doesn’t have any treatment as such. However, through the trial & error method, some studies have claimed that antidepressant-like sertraline plus( Zoloft plus) helps treat it.

Also, they say that Trypophobia can be treated through CBT, that is, cognitive-behavioral therapy. This is because CBT can change various negative ideas responsible for causing fear or stress.

Also, consulting a psychiatrist sometimes helps. He will teach you some quick relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, yoga, etc.

Besides, he can also help you by confiding techniques about mindful breathing, listening, silent observation & other knowledgeable tricks that will benefit coping with stress.

He will advise you to keep aside some time in your busy schedule for your hobbies & other enjoyable activities. 

Also, a person’s self-care sometimes helps him cope with Trypophobia. He must take care of himself by obeying the below-written tips:

  • Try to sleep for seven or eight hours each night
  • Ensure that you have a balanced diet 
  • Stop or limit anxiety-triggering foods
  • Exercise regularly
  • Stop taking caffeine or modify it
  • Try to spend most of the time in your friends & family circle & chat with them open-heartedly
  • Discover a support group & engage with other persons in the group who are experiencing similar symptoms like yours.   

What Kind Of People Are More Prone To Trypophobia?

Any such person whose family member has been detected with Trypophobia is more prone to it.

Also, women are more likely to have this disorder than men.

Besides, chances are there that the persons who suffer from major depression, social anxiety, OCD (Obsessive-compulsive disorder), GAD (Generalized Anxiety Disorder), panic disorder, & bipolar disorder can develop Trypophobia. 

Our Final Outlook:

So, Trypophobia can’t be called phobia or mental illness in the actual sense & so no sure & shot treatment as such is available for it. However, if you get to see or experience any of the above symptoms of Trypophobia, try meeting any other Trypophobiac person who has resolved his problem. Who can say they might be waiting for some suggestions for you, and such suggestions may work for you. Otherwise, you should consult your physician or a psychiatrist & other aiding groups to resolve the problem. 

FAQs

Q.1. What causes trypophobia on humans?

Answer: The powerful reaction of trypophobia can come from a person’s inner self as a means to safeguard themselves from various dangers associated with holes or dangerous animals such as cobra, poison dart frog, pufferfish, etc., whose skins comprise hole-like patterns.

Besides, Trypophobia may also be a response of many people to various deadly diseases’ (like measles, smallpox, etc.) fear, to avoid getting sick. 

Q.2. What is trypophobia skin disease?

Answer: In reality, there’s no such disease as Trypophobia Skin Disease. But, since Trypophobia is a phobia related to holes, the skin of people with clusters of holes, nodules, scars, or bumps is termed by many people as Trypophobia Skin Disease.

Q.3. Why do holes make me uncomfortable?

Answer: Holes make a person uncomfortable if they have Trypophobia. People with this disease feel an aversion to things that have regular or irregular-shaped holes in them. 

Q.4. Is trypophobia a mental illness?

Answer: APA approves only those phobias as real phobias & mental illness that interfere with someone’s day-to-day routine & makes them feel worried or feared. However, this standard is not met by Trypophobia.

And hence, this condition doesn’t get any official recognition, in the 5th edition of DSMMD, as a mental illness. Trypophobia has more of a feeling of disgust than the actual phobia or fear.

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