Fear for holes or Trypophobia

Trypophobia is a fear of packed holes. People suffering from this phobia feel queasy while looking at surfaces that have small holes assembled together. Some of the examples of this fear for holes, trypophobia are the head of a lotus seed pod or strawberry body that could make a person feel discomfort. It is to be mentioned that this phobia is not officially recognised. However I see at my London hypnotherapy practice many people who have a fear for holes, and it’s very real for them. If you are looking for help resolve a fear for holes, get in touch to find out how my sessions can help you.

Fear for holes or Trypophobia

Studies on trypophobia are limited, and many types of research that are available have not categorically decided whether or not a fear for holes should be considered an official condition. There is not much known about trypophobia. Yet if you google ‘fear for holes ‘ or ‘phobia of holes’, literally thousands of people are looking for answers about this phobia.

What are common triggers for a fear for holes?

Common triggers for a fear for holes include things like lotus seed pods, shower plg filters, bumps by traffic crossings, honeycombs, strawberries, pomegranates, bubbles, air holes in a slice of bread, cantaloupe, a cluster of eyes, etc.

It is important to mention that animals, including, insects, amphibians, mammals, and other creatures that have spotted skin or fur, can also trigger symptoms of trypophobia, a fear for holes for some people.

Is a fear for holes, Trypophobia real?

Trypophobia- a phobia of holes or repetitive patterns of closely packed holes or protrusions- is not recognised as an official diagnosis. It is considered by some experts to be a form of anxiety disorder. I would say that it is a real phobia as much as any other. It shares characteristics of a phobia and in my experience, using hypnotherapy, a fear for holes is resolved using hypnosis, like any other phobia.

Fear for holes symptoms

The symptoms of a fear for holes are triggered when a person sees an object with small clusters of holes or shapes that resemble holes. When a person suffering from a phobia of holes comes across a cluster of holes, they react with disgust or fear. Some of the symptoms include:

  • Goosebumps
  • Feeling repulsed
  • Feeling uncomfortable
  • Visual discomforts such as eyestrain, distortions, or illusions
  • Distress
  • Feeling your skin crawl
  • Panic attacks
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Body shakes
Fear for holes

Root causes of a fear for holes phobia

Research on this phobia is limited but there are some theories that explain why a fear for holes occurs.

Evolutionary Causes

As per this theory, this phobia occurs due to an evolutionary response. People have a response against the things which are either related to any danger or disease. The theory also suggests that a person will experience more disgust than fear when they will come across looking at a triggered object.

Associations With Dangerous Animals

One of the theories explains that there are some similarities in appearance. That some dangerous animals have clusters of holes over the skin and coat, and so it makes sense therefore, that people might also fear looking at such animals.

Associations With Infectious Pathogens

In a 2017 study, research concluded that after viewing patterns of holes, the participants reported skin-itching and skin-crawling. This showed that participants were inclined to react to patterns of holes, demonstrating a fear for holes. Participants also reacted to skin-transmitted pathogens. Researchers concluded that this phobia of holes is real and a fear for holes was seen in research participants.

How to Treat a fear for holes?

Exposure therapy: In this therapy, an individual is repeatedly exposed to the objects which s/he fears. It is a good method for treating a fear for holes. This is a method I use during hypnotherapy at my London practice.

Flooding: the objective of this therapy is to desensitise the person of their fear for holes. This objective is attained by completely immersing the person in non-debilitating stimuli. The process is continued until the fear of the object completely vanishes. This process is used in conjunction with relaxation therapies to obtain positive results.

Cognitive behavioural therapy: the objective of this therapy is to change the perception of the patient arising from thoughts and emotions that are unsettling. Through this therapy, the patient learns to differentiate unreal situations from the real ones and gain perspective on their feelings and thoughts. CBT is a very common treatment for phobias

Hypnotherapy: I use primarily hypnotherapy for a phobia of holes. Hypnotherapy works to shift the subconscious thoughts and feeling about holes. Often just one session is enough to resolve fear for holes

For information about my London session to resolve your fear for holes, click here.