Fear of Holes – Trypophobia

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Trypophobia: The Phobia of Holes

What is Trypophobia?

Trypophobia is the fear of objects with small holes. Many people claim to suffer from the affliction, while it is not recognized by American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

Common Triggers

Strawberry skin
Lotus Pod
Pores and marks on the skin

Trypophobia symptoms

Some people with Trypophobia describe extreme reactions similar to the physiological symptoms of panic attacks, such as tremors, anxiety, tachycardia, nausea, or shortness of breath, compulsive need to clean yourself or take shower.

Tryptophobia usually appears when viewing images with color patterns reminiscent of a surface full of holes very close to each other.


Trypophobia Test

If these 4 hole-riddled photos give you some of these symptoms: panic attacks, such as tremors, tachycardia, nausea, or shortness of breath, then you have Trypho-phobia.

Trypophobia Test

Causes of Trypophobia

Geoff Cole and Arnold Wilkins (2013), psychologists at the University of Essex, found in two studies that approximately 15% of participants seemed sensitive to Tripophobic images; this percentage is slightly higher in women than in men.

This reaction is based on “the primitive portion of the brain” that associates the shapes with danger, and that it is an “unconscious reflex reaction”. The imagery of various poisonous animals (for example, certain types of snakes, insects, and spiders) has the same visual characteristics.



There are no documented treatments for Trypho-phobia, but only exposure therapy, which has been used to treat phobias, is likely to be effective for treating Trypophobic people.

Exposure therapy – To find relaxing ways such as breathing control and mental visualization exercises.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) – CBT is focused on understanding the negative images, and replacing them with positive ones.

These treatments are with the help of mental health professionals.


References and sources:





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