Here’s something deeply unfair: Every time you google a specific phobia, google shows the object of the phobia on the first page. I feel bad for people with serious phobias who go online to search for help to overcome it and instantly run across a picture depicting the very thing they hate. Here’s a good thing though: Wikipedia seems to have thought about this and doesn’t include photos in the articles about specific phobias.
Trypophobia is described on wikipedia as fear for objects with small holes. I’ve always had a bit of an obsession with anything that reminds me of pores, but oddly I’ve never thought about it from the perspective that pores are many tiny holes. I just figured it’s damage from when I was a teen and my great aunt (the only elderly relative who I saw on a regular basis) would pinch and cut her skin because she had larvae and eggs living under her skin that she needed to get out. A couple of years later I found out that she was in fact psychotic and there wasn’t anything living under her skin at all, something that my parents had known all along and just failed to mentioned because A) Maybe they thought it was obvious B) Maybe they didn’t want us children to know that she was psychotic C) Maybe they just didn’t occur to them to tell us (knowing my parents I’m definitely going for option C). Maybe I was a dumb teen but I really thought she had insects and eggs under her skin and the idea grossed me out immensely and I was afraid that I would catch what she had every time I visited. Because of this I thought my aversion to everything involving skin and particularly pores was reasonable. Just last January I made a drawing that reflected my fear about this (click on the picture for the description at my DA). Don’t click if you’re severely trypophobic, lol.
I’m not much for self-diagnosing and I think people in general are too quick to label something as abnormal or needing to be fixed, but it is interesting that it isn’t just me and that maybe humans in general have some biological aversion to things like this. While there isn’t much research on the subject, some people have suggested that it is probably less socially produced and might be because trypophobic patterns can be found on poisonous animals and the brain is wired to be afraid of them.
Anyhow, it’s an interesting topic and I hope there will be more research done on it. I just wished that the authors of the articles could be a bit considerate and maybe not illustrate the phobia all the time! Seriously, just writing this blog post has made my skin crawl. If you want to look at some images and decide whether you have trypophobia, I suggest going to this buzzfeed article or watch “true facts about the frog” because those things have ruined me forever (and yes, that’s where I came across the term).
To bring this post to a conclusion: BLEEEERGGGGHHHHHHH!