Tuesday, October 2, 2012

A New Kind of Phobia?

dried lotus flower seed pod
dried lotus flower seed pod
by neurovelho (Wikimedia Commons)
Trypophobia - if you look it up, there's not much out there about it, but many people seem to be aware of it, at least those who suffer from it. A fear of holes? The WP explores this topic in depth (wow, everything sounds like a pun when discussing this!) and reveals that modern psychiatry hasn't officially classified it as a disorder. After reading the article, I can actually understand why some people might be so affected by the sight of holes - it can look disturbing when you see a bunch of them arrayed so as to appear disease-ridden. Each of us finds different things disgusting or disturbing based on some past unhappy experience and I suppose holes could remind some people of something not quite right or downright wrong. Researchers are now exploring whether there might be some evolutionary reason for this fear in some people. Hole-like patterns are often found on the skins of poisonous creatures so a fearful reaction to this could be responsible for the phobia. Wikipedia has refused to include Trypophobia in its list of phobias because the editors do not feel there's enough research to support it. They have an entry for Trypanophobia which is a fear of needles, which would appear to be the diametric opposite of Trypophobia, so why not just at least have entry for it in case people wonder about it? Ok, after reading and writing about phobias now, I feel a need for an anxiety-reducing antidote!

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