Most of the studies made today focus more on how people react towards the object of trypophobia. There are different tests made for people who claim that they have trypophobia. Experts decided to show images to the participants such as the famous lotus pod. Out of 286 participants, 16% admitted that they felt disturbed; the rest was disturbed not because of the images. The 2 researchers, Cole and Wilkins, analyzed the similarities between the different images. “Images that trigger trypophobia have high contrasts, said Wilkins.
There is no assurance why some people find it disgusting; however, the two researchers found reasons to believe that trypophobia is like triskaidekaphobia which was developed due to the influence of certain communities.
”We have reasons to believe that the human system evolves through a visual structure and not through the exposure to dangers,” Cole said. Both researchers claim that an image may trigger the fear of a trypophobe similar to the animal instinct of a cobra when threatened.
Basing from another study, the two researchers tried to show another set of images while monitoring the brain activity of participants using an image scan. ”We end up with extreme brain activity whenever the participants see an object of trypophobia,” Wilkins added. ”It is as if their brain interprets the image as a threat,” Cole claimed. There is a possibility that the pattern they see relates to a harmful being such as snake skins and the like. The researchers continue their studies to find the light behind trypophobia.
Does a cluster of holes make makes you uneasy? Many people have claimed to be suffering from trypophobia or also known as fear of holes.
One of the preliminary course from Britain’s University of Essex last 2009 regarding this phobia, Prof. Wilkins questions his students to join a simple experiment.
Prof. Wilkins presented a couple of images requesting his students to jot down if they feel disturbed.
One of the photographs was a woody landscape. The second one is the all-famous horrific image for a trypophobe which is the lotus seedpod – a flatten pod full of holes.
The majority of students did not feel any disturbance; however, a new student named An Le mentioned that he felt discomfort while looking at the lotus image. “It feels like an electric current crawl over my body,” he said.
An Le has been never alone about his experience. A lot of individuals claim that they suffer from trypophobia as well. The term trypophobia originated from the Greek word “trypo” – meaning, boring holes, punching, or drilling – and “phobia” which means irrational fear towards an object of no harm. In other words, trypophobia is a new and emerging type of phobia referring to the fear of holes such as those of the coral sponge.
If you will try to visit some online communities and blogs, many people claiming to be a trypophobe state that they experience nausea, sleepless nights, and intense anxiety whenever they see clustered holes. Accordingly, the images haunt them preventing them to live peacefully.
However, the field of Psychology does not consider it as an official phobia yet. This is why the term trypophobia does not even exist in the books or manuals regarding mental disorders.
Many psychologists remain doubtful about the trending existence of Trypophobia which emerged online. Many claimed that “the term refers to fear of holes, especially, clustered holes like of those on sponges, honeybee combs, and the likes.”
However, an etymologist disregarded the term Trypophobia on his list of phobias in the World Wide Web. In fact, different Psychological Associations do not acknowledge it as an official phobia either. Accordingly, the discomfort being experienced by people who claim themselves as Trypophobes were simply the product of influence and nothing more.
Experts believed that both phobia and fear originated from past experiences of influences by others.
“By referring back to the Trypophobia pages in different social networking websites, many people stated that they do not know that they have this kind of phobia until they have visited the page or read something about it,” PopScience stated in one of the site’s articles.
In other words, it is very clear that they were simply influenced by people who have the same discomfort when seeing a cluster of holes. Claiming that such kind of discomfort is a trypophobia will make others believe that such phobia exists; and they have it as well.
An expert pointed out the fact that “what we know as trypophobia today is merely a contagious emotion of people towards another.” He claimed that the disgust of others may or may not affect your personal perspective. This is why psychologists believe that such phobia does not exist.
“Primarily, what they feel is merely a discomfort and disgust on what they see – it is just a gross to be specific and not a phobia,” he added.