Home Mind & Brain How Do You Know You Have Trypophobia?

How Do You Know You Have Trypophobia?

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Trypophobia brings fear or disgust when seeing patterns with lots of holes. It is a type of anxiety disorder that must be focused on. Some people have no true fear of holes. The exposure therapy helps manage repulsions towards holey patterns. 

Trypophobia is a repulsion or aversion to objects, such as honeycombs and sponges.

These have repetitive patterns or clusters of small holes, just as you see in a sponge. These people with trypophobia are disgusted by the pattern of holes and do not have a fear of holes. If you think that you are disgusted with a pattern of holes, you need to take a trypophobia test.

What does trypophobia trigger?

A person with an adverse reaction to the holey object or an image closer to it may trigger Trypophobia, these may include:

  • Cheese with holes
  • Bagels and bread with seeds
  • Insects and bees
  • Fruits with small seeds
  • Soles of shoes
  • Skin on reptiles
  • Sponges

Diagnosis and tests

The APA doesn’t recognise trypophobia as a disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. It may be because the conditions are uncomfortable, but not debilitating. Since it is not recognised as a disorder, there are no established criteria for the diagnosis. There is a test for the diagnosis. 

Completing the test helps determine whether a person has an existing aversion. The test does not collect personal information. The trypophobia test is performed through the following:

It displays various images for 1–8 seconds each. Some images have clusters or patterns of holes, while others don’t.

It asks you to estimate for viewing the tryphophobic and neutral images and gives a ratio when the test is over.

If you get a ratio of more than two, it indicates that you have trypophobia. You can talk to a mental health professional about the test findings and the adverse reactions to the holey patterns.

Trypophobia treatment

If trypophobia affects your ability to engage in activities or enjoy life, you can benefit from exposure therapy. The therapy gradually exposes you to what triggers Trypophobia to help you manage the reactions. Exposure therapy is a type of psychotherapy that helps 9 out of 10 people overcome specific phobic disorders. The exposure therapy is performed, during the session, here are the things that happened:

  • It teaches breathing and relaxation techniques to use before and on exposure.
  • It shows images or videos of patterns or clusters of holes while it helps manage your response.
  • It gradually expands the exposures until touching or holding something with hole patterns, like a sponge.

You can also get CBT or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. The therapy helps change perceptions and responses to circumstances that trigger Trypophobia. Keep in mind that anti-anxiety medications don’t help people with phobic disorders. If you know you will be in a circumstance that triggers the reaction, the provider might prescribe anti-anxiety medicine for short-term help.

If to other people Trypophobia is not a serious problem, it is a serious one to some. So, it is best to get treatment for this kind of anxiety disorder.




Ellen Diamond, a psychology graduate from the University of Hertfordshire, has a keen interest in the fields of mental health, wellness, and lifestyle.

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