I was scrolling through my Facebook feed the other day when an image about sent me into a panic attack.  (I won't post it here, I'm even hesitant to use this one.)  NPR posted a story in which researchers at the Centre for Brain Science at the university of Essex decided to tackle why clusters of holes gave some people such an averse reaction.

Trypophobia isn't an actual phobia as designated by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.  However, the definition leads one to believe that it could be.  A phobia is an irrational fear of something and the sufferer will go to great lengths to avoid it.  Trypophobia then could be catagorized as a repulsion.  It's not something you would go out of your way to avoid like a tall building or speaking in public.  Then again, you don't go looking for spiders, they tend to find you.

What the illustrated to me, however, is that there are more people than I'd thought who "suffer" from this interesting repulsion.  (Do yourself a favor, don't Google images for "trypophobia."  And if you do, I'll wait until you get back from ruining your day.)  Sharing the NPR article, a friend immediately replied saying she wanted to tell me she had the same reaction, but she had to scroll the offending image out of site before she could type the response.

Turns out, there are a lot of people who have this reaction, but the thinking is also that if you don't immediately have it (by viewing just one image or seeing one thing in nature) then repeated viewing will give it to you.  I've always had it.  I have nightmares in which the pores on my face and arms becomes enlarged.  This happened long before I knew about this categorized reaction.  In fact, the first time I was really aware of it consciously was while watching Plymptoons on MTV way back in the day.  I don't remember if it was Liquid Television that ran it, but whatever it was shocked me.

The weird thing is, it's not clusters of spots.  I'm okay with polka-dotes.  And oddly I have no problem with honeycombs or even wasps nests or aerated ground.  It just seems like clustered holes, maybe with the probability of things coming out of them that tends to send my skin crawling.  The article posted made it seem that it's a latent fear of things that are poisonous.  We may have run into animals marked this way or plants that looked like this.  All I know is seeing lotus seeds make me want to reach back to between my shoulder blades and scratch really hard.

There is a positive angle to this, however.  I think now I want to make a group of "phobia" designs for shirts or stickers.  I think having cute cartoons with your given fear on a shirt would be a great conversation starter.  It might help you get over your fears as well by confronting them.  I don't know how I'm going to ever get past this.  *shiver*

I hope you all have a good day now.  Carry on.

1 comment:

Jennifer Peatross said...

Imma forgive you for the images.

I first became aware of my trypophobia when I was dating a potter. He gave me a plate that he had made that had lots of tiny holes in it. I had to ask him for another plate. He didn't understand that at all, which made me google it later. ::shudder::