Tripophobia symptoms, causes and treatment

Tripophobia is an extreme fear or repulsion of some pattern of geometric figures close together. These numbers can be holes and small rectangles or convex circles. In fact, the word tripophobia literally means “fear of holes”.

This irrational fear is quite common in humans, but not much is known about it today. And it is that millions of people have claimed that they feel the disturbance and symptoms of anxiety when observing patterns of small agglomerated holes.

What is a phobia?
Phobias are defined as a fear of intense and irrational behavior towards a person, object or situation that poses little or no danger. The word comes from the Greek term Phobos which means “panic”.

In Greek mythology, Phobos was also the son of Ares, god of war and Aphrodite, the goddess of love. He personified fear. Alexander the Great prayed to Phobos before every battle to avert fear.

When we talk about triphobia, we are referring to a specific phobia that it is characterized by fear or anxiety of clearly defined objects or situations, which can be called phobic stimuli. In that case, all these geometric shapes would be very close to each other.

According to DSM-V (Diagnostic Manual and Statistics of Mental Disorders), specific phobias, such as tripophobia, They fulfill the following characteristics:

Fear or intense anxiety about a specific object or situation (eg flight, altitude, animals, administration of an injection, blood search …)
The object or phobic situation almost always causes fear or immediate anxiety.
The phobic situation is actively avoided or actively resisted with fear or intense anxiety.
Fear or anxiety is disproportionate if we analyze the real danger that awakens the specific object or situation and the socio-cultural context.
Fear, anxiety or avoidance is persistent and usually lasts for six or more months.
Anxiety, fear or avoidance cause clinically significant discomfort or deterioration in social, labor market or other important areas of functioning.
It is common for people to have several specific phobias. About 75% of people with specific phobia fear more than one situation or object.

Tripophobia is not considered a disease, but it can be
People with triphobia usually show symptoms of anxiety when they observe corals, bi-panels, soap bubbles, polka dot outfits, aerated chocolate or a handful of stacked logs.

Feeling distracted by these geometric figures or holes is not a disease. It has been confirmed that it presupposes a normal and frequent fear of man, as it prevents certain dangers such as suffering from disease or causing injury.

If this irrational fear would interfere with our daily lives or well-being prevents us from living a normal life when we talk about a disease that is necessary to intervene.

What are the causes of tripophobia?
The causes of tripophobia have recently been studied by the University of Essex (2013) and published in the journal Psychological Science. The visual patterns that trigger the symptoms of anxiety in people with triphobia are similar to those found in various toxic animals.

So, Tripophobia may have an evolutionary explanation. Those who feel turned off when they observe these geometric patterns are moving away from dangerous animals. This would help them survive because they would not be “poisoned or attacked” by this type of animal.

Another explanation is offered to Arnold J. Wilkins (professor at the University of Essex) and his team, based on the holes configuration. apparently, “The configuration gave the image mathematical properties that are similar to most images that cause visual discomfort, tired eyes or headaches. The brain cannot efficiently process images with these mathematical properties so it requires more oxygenation”.

These explanations are different from the causes of other phobias, as most of our irrational fears are learned. We learn to be afraid of certain stimuli from personal or other experiences, observed or who have been told. In this way, Tripophobia does not originate in a trauma. Neither does it have a cultural origin, which is the case for fear of number 13 or triscaid decaphobia.

The reluctance, fear or closure of existing holes in organic material can be easily explained. This is so since These are images that are often associated with illnesses.Symptoms of triphobia
The symptoms of tripophobia are the same as any other specific phobia. In this way, the symptoms would be as follows:

Fear excessive and irrational, besides persistent, triggered by the presence or anticipation of the anxiogenic stimulus. In this case, the anxiogenic stimulus would be the observation of a specific geometric pattern.
Anxiety response due to exposure or anticipation of anxiety stimulation. In the most extreme cases, there may be attacks of asiety or panic attacks.
Avoidance of said stimuli or situations in which they may appear.
Disturbances in everyday life. These avoidant behaviors and associated anxiety symptoms seriously interfere with different parts of the person’s life.
If you feel identified with the symptoms described, you may have developed trip hobia. However, we must remember that the diagnosis can only be done by a specialist. If so, it is best to seek help from a psychologist.

Treatment of triprophobia
The treatment of choice for tripophobia is Live exposure to the feared stimulus, in this case to certain figures or geometric images. In some cases, it is also useful to complete live exposure with relaxation techniques.

Relaxation can be used as a complement to the exhibition because relaxation in itself hardly has any therapeutic effects in phobic disorders. Exposing yourself to these geometric shapes or groups of holes means that we are present in the situation we fear, for example, before a certain plant or hive.

One of the common problems in the treatment of phobias has to do with the emergence of panic attacks. In this regard, it seems that practicing the exhibition is usually incompatible with their existence. However, the likelihood of occurrence increases if the patient makes disastrous interpretations of the situation. In these cases, you must try to counteract this type of thought by practicing the use of appropriate thoughts.

If the panic attack occurs, try to stay in position until it decreases. You need to get as far away from the situation as possible and return to it as soon as possible.

As we see, Tripophobia is an irrational fear of various geometric shapes or groups of holes or holes. Like any other phobia, it is a disease that has a solution, as long as it is treated by a mental health specialist.

How to overcome fear of heights? The fear of heights or acrophobia generates strong anxiety in people who suffer from it. Situations with a remarkable height, leaning on a balcony, lying on the edge of a precipice or lying at a high vantage point, are typical of this type of phobia.

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