Trypophobia is a relatively new term used to describe the fear of clustered holes. People suffering from Trypophobia have an irrational fear of clumped holes that causes them to experience anxiety and other negative effects. The effects can be mild to severe. In addition, different types of holes can trigger the phobia. If you suffer from trypophobia and this condition affects your daily life, you should seek help from a mental health professional as soon as possible. Read on to learn more about how to overcome trypophobia.
Part 1 of 3: Understanding fear
Step 1. Understand trypophobia
People who have trypophobia suffer from an irrational fear of clustered holes. Some examples of triggers include bubbles, lotus flowers, and airy chocolates. These people report severe nausea, shaking, and anxiety when faced with triggers. Unlike some phobias that can dominate people's thoughts, trypophobia seems to only affect sufferers when they see holes.
Step 2. You should know that trypophobia can have an evolutionary basis
Although little is known about the origins of trypophobia, some scientists have speculated that the phobia may have an evolutionary basis. Some poisonous animals have clustered hole patterns in their skin, so the reactions that some people have may be a survival response. For example, blue-ringed octopuses and various venomous snakes have visual characteristics that can help explain trypophobia.
Step 3. Identify your triggers
It is important that you know what types of clustered holes trigger your anxiety and other negative effects so that you can begin to confront these objects. Make a list of all the things that seem to stimulate trypophobia and the reactions you experience to them.
- For example, do bubbles or anything that resembles them bother you? Are you bothered by honeycomb patterns or just real honeycombs? Are some animals uncomfortable because of their skin patterns? Try to identify all possible triggers.
- Try to describe how the triggers make you feel as well. Do they make you nauseous? Are you feeling anxious? Are you trembling? Identify the specific reactions you experience to triggers.
- If one type of clustered hole pattern scares you more than another, try sorting the objects on the list. This way you can begin to deal with the one that causes you the least fear and gradually work your way up.
Step 4. Try to discover the underlying causes of fear
Some people may find the source of trypophobia in an event, which can help you understand the fear and deal with it. Try to remember when the trypophobia started. Do you remember the first time clustered holes disgusted or scared you? As with all phobias, there is no single answer. For each one, the answer is different. Try to figure out what is bothering you, be it a bad memory, a bad experience, or just an upset.
Part 2 of 3: Coping With Anxiety
Step 1. Educate yourself
One way to reduce the anxiety caused by an irrational fear is to know the reality of the thing you fear. By educating yourself about the source of fear, you can demystify it. Learning more about the source of fear is an effective way to overcome it.
For example, if you feel anxious when you see a lotus pod, learn more about the lotus and why it develops clustered holes. What's its purpose? Learning what the reason for the clustered holes is will help you confront the source of fear and perhaps even appreciate the form for the function it serves
Step 2. Confront your fears
Although your first reaction to a clustered hole pattern may be to turn away or close your eyes and try to think of something else, this will only reinforce the fear. Instead, force yourself to confront the source of the fear and the way it makes you feel. This type of therapy is known as exposure therapy and is the most effective way to treat a phobia; however, it requires repeated exposure. Over time, you should be less sensitive to the things that trigger your anxiety.
- For example, if you come face to face with clustered holes that make you feel anxious, take a deep breath and then examine your feelings. What causes the object you want to make? How does it make you feel? Are those feelings irrational?
- Try to write down the response you experience to the triggering object and rephrase it as normal thoughts and feelings towards the object. For example, you can record something like, “I feel nauseous and anxious when I see a honeycomb. It makes me want to vomit. " Then recognize that this thought is irrational and rewrite the reaction you should have if you didn't have the phobia. For example, “I am in awe of the honeycomb pattern. It makes me want to consume honey”.
Step 3. Practice yoga, meditation, or another relaxation technique
If your anxiety is too intense to confront the object at first, try using a relaxation technique to reduce anxiety. Yoga and meditation are good techniques for relaxation, but you can also try progressive muscle relaxation, deep breathing, or you can just take a long relaxing shower. Find a technique that works for you and use it to deal with your anxiety triggers.
Consider taking a yoga or meditation class to learn some basic exercises that you can practice on a daily basis
Step 4. Take good care of yourself
Exercise, healthy food, and adequate sleep are important components of good mental health. Trypophobia can make you weak, so it's important to go the extra mile to stay healthy. Regular exercises, a healthy diet, and adequate sleep can also help keep anxiety under control. Make sure you take the time to meet basic exercise, eating, and sleep needs each day.
- Try to get 30 minutes of exercise a day.
- Eat a balanced diet of healthy whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean proteins.
- Get 7-9 hours of sleep each night.
Part 3 of 3: Get Help
Step 1. Determine if you need to seek help from a mental health therapist
If your fear of holes has become so intense that it interferes with your ability to perform normal activities and enjoy life, you should seek help from a licensed mental health therapist. For example, if you start avoiding certain activities out of fear, then it is time to get help. Other signs that you may need help include the following:
- feeling disabled, panicky, or depressed because of fear
- feel that fear is unreasonable
- deal with fear for more than 6 months
Step 2. Understand what to expect from a mental health therapist
A therapist can help you gain a better understanding of trypophobia and find ways to minimize its impact on your life. Realize that dealing with deep fear takes time and effort. Getting your fears under control can take time, but some people see dramatic improvement in just 8 or 10 sessions. The following are some of the strategies the therapist can use:
- Cognitive behavioral therapy. If you are afraid of holes, you are likely to experience certain mental processes that intensify the fear. Cognitive behavioral therapy is a method that therapists use to get you to challenge your thoughts and identify the emotions associated with them. For example, you may think to yourself "I can't go outside because I can see a flower with holes in it." The therapist will challenge you to realize that such thoughts are unrealistic, perhaps saying that the flower cannot hurt you. Then it will challenge you to examine the thought to make it more realistic, such as “I can see a flower with holes on the outside, but it can't hurt me. I can look away if it bothers me. "
- Exposure therapy. If you are afraid of holes, you can start avoiding certain situations, activities, and places that intensify the fear. Exposure therapy will force you to confront that fear head-on. In this type of therapy, the therapist will ask you to imagine that you are in the situation that you have been avoiding or to actually put yourself in the situation. For example, if you have been avoiding going outside because you fear seeing something with holes in it, the therapist may ask you to imagine that you are outside surrounded by holes. Then it can challenge you to really go out and look at things that have holes in them.
- Medicines. If the fear of holes is causing you to have severe anxiety or panic attacks, your therapist can refer you to a psychiatrist who can prescribe medication to help you. Keep in mind that medications used to treat fear-related anxiety will only reduce it temporarily. It will not treat the main cause.
Step 3. Talk about your fear of holes with someone you trust
It is always good to talk to someone about your fears or anxieties. Try talking to someone about your fear to start dealing with it. Talk to a family member, friend, or counselor about your fear and how it affects your daily life.