In this brief guide, we will look at a Trypophobia test, and some other information about trypophobia like trypophobia cure and causes of trypophobia.
Given below is a trypophobia test that may give you some idea of whether you have this condition, but bear in mind that because this condition is not recognized as a mental health condition by the American Psychiatric Association, this test is not diagnostic and is only meant to help you figure out if you have a strong reaction to trypophobic stimuli.
Read the statements given below and try to consider them in reference to the images of objects given below, and answer based on what response these images elicit from you:
- Did you feel sudden terror, fear, or fright in these situations felt anxious, worried, or nervous about the images presented above?
- Did you have thoughts of being injured, or feel overcome with fear, or other bad things happening in relation to these pictures?
- Did you feel a racing heart, feel sweaty, trouble breathing, faint, or shaky when you were looking at the pictures?
- Did you feel that you had tense muscles, feel on edge or restless, or had trouble relaxing when you were looking at the pictures?
- Did you avoid looking at the pictures or did you not look at them at all, and go straight to the statements?
- Did you look at the images but moved away from or scrolled down in a rush?
- Did you spend a lot of time preparing for, or procrastinating about (i.e., putting off) looking at these pictures?
- Did you try to distract yourself to avoid thinking about the pictures?
- Did you feel the need to have substances like alcohol or medications, or engage in superstitious behaviors or feel the need to seek reassurance from other people because of these pictures?
If you find that you answered yes to at least 6 of these 9 questions, you may in fact have trypophobia, and you should see someone about it.
Another trypophobia test can be found here.
Trypophobia: Signs and Symptoms
Trypophobia is not accepted by the American Psychiatric Association yet, but the signs and symptoms are supposed to be the same, and the diagnostic criteria of Specific phobia applies even to this condition.
The diagnostic criteria for trypophobia is given as follows:
“Marked fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation (e.g., flying, heights, animals, receiving an injection, seeing blood).
Note: In children, the fear or anxiety may be expressed by crying, tantrums, freezing, or clinging.
The phobic object or situation almost always provokes immediate fear or anxiety.
The phobic object or situation is actively avoided or endured with intense fear or anxiety.
The fear or anxiety is out of proportion to the actual danger posed by the specific object or situation and to the sociocultural context.
The fear, anxiety, or avoidance is persistent, typically lasting for 6 months or more.
The fear, anxiety, or avoidance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.
The disturbance is not better explained by the symptoms of another mental disorder, including fear, anxiety, and avoidance of situations associated with panic-like symptoms or other incapacitating symptoms (as in agoraphobia); objects or situations related to obsessions (as in obsessive-compulsive disorder); reminders of traumatic events (as in post traumatic stress disorder); separation from home or attachment figures (as in separation anxiety disorder); or social situations (as in social anxiety disorder).”
Causes of Trypophobia
Most researchers and psychologists attribute the causes of phobias, even trypophobia, to learning theories or evolutionary or biological perspectives, meaning that when we are afraid of something, there is either a biological or evolutionary reason, or we are afraid because we learned to be.
In case of trypophobia, most researchers tend to think that people may learn to be afraid of the holes on things because they learned as children to be afraid of holes stuck together, perhaps because they stuck their hands in a beehive, or they were burned by scalding hot coffee with froth on top, and now these things are reminiscent of the bad feeling.
However, the causes of trypophobia that have basis in evolutionary theory are much more common, and many researchers suggest that people are scared of holes in things because our ancestors likely associated it with danger, like beehives or other bug nests that have holes in them.
In some cases mold and other types of fungus also have holes, and some of them might have been dangerous, so the ancient man learned to differentiate on the basis of the appearance.
Of course, this doesn’t explain why some people have a stronger response to holes compared to others, but it is definitely a theory worth considering, and it might take into account some of the people who have a disgust response to the typical trypophobia images on the internet, if not palpitations or increased heart rate like someone with trypophobia.
Three main approaches may be used as a trypophobia cure, which are:
- Graded Exposure
- Anxiety Management
These techniques are all types of psychotherapy, and they are discussed in detail below.
Exposure is used in many phobic disorders, and may also be used in trypophobia treatment.
The basic procedure is to persuade patients to enter, repeatedly, situations that they have avoided previously, which in this case may be looking at or dealing with pictures of holes or objects with holes that the person usually avoids.
This is usually achieved in real life (in vivo), but, if this is not practicable, there is good evidence for the effectiveness of exposure in the patient’s imagination (in imagino).
This exposure is usually achieved in a graded way—graded exposure or desensitization.
Patients should practice graded exposure for about an hour every day. To ensure this it is often helpful to enlist a relative or friend who can encourage practice, praise success, and sustain motivation. When there-entry to feared situations is rapid, the term flooding is used.
The stages of graded exposure are as follows.
Determine in detail which situations are avoided, and rate the degree of anxiety experienced (out of 10) for each.
Arrange these situations in order of the amount of anxiety that each provokes, and this resulting list is called a hierarchy, where 0 is no anxiety and 10 is the worst anxiety possible.
Check whether the difference in the amount of anxiety induced by each item in the hierarchy and the next are about the same throughout the list.
If it is not, add or remove items until this aim has been achieved.
A hierarchy for a supermarket trypophobic might include items such as the local shop that has a net screen on the window (3/10), the local shop with the display full of strawberries (5/10), a supermarket where there are pipes laid bare right at the entryway (7/10), and a supermarket where there are many fruits and vegetables full of holes and dents on their surfaces (10/10).
Teach relaxation training (see above) so that it can be used subsequently to reduce anxiety during exposure.
Persuade the patient to enter a situation at the bottom of the hierarchy, monitor their anxiety regularly, and stay until anxiety has gone, like looking at the pictures of the hole-riddled things to actually picking up a strawberry.
Repeat with the next situation up the hierarchy, whose predicted anxiety level is likely to have reduced a little following this early success.
This treatment is used to reduce anxiety by lowering muscle tone and autonomic arousal, and used alone, relaxation is not effective for severe anxiety disorders, but it is a component of anxiety management training, which is often effective in these conditions.
Relaxation training is useful in the treatment of some physical conditions that are made worse by stressful events (e.g.some cases of mild hypertension).
The essential procedures are
- relaxing muscle groups one by one
- breathing slowly as in sleep, and
- Clearing the mind of worrying thoughts by concentrating on a calming image, such as a tranquil scene.
These techniques can be combined in a variety of ways but the results of all methods appear to be similar.
Organize a diary record to assess the nature and severity of symptoms, situations in which anxiety occurs, and avoidance.
Give information to correct misunderstanding about the cause of symptoms (e.g. palpitations, chest pain, and light-headedness are due to normal ‘fight or flight anxiety response/hyperventilation, rather than heart attack or stroke) and the consequences of symptoms (they are harmless).
Discuss the patient’s specific concerns about their symptom(s); for example, that dizziness will lead to fainting.
Explain the vicious circle of anxiety (‘fear of fear’), including the importance of fearful concerns about the symptoms.
Explain the maintaining effects of avoidance.
Teach graded exposure
Teach distraction to reduce the anxiety producing effect of any remaining thoughts.
In this brief guide, we looked at a Trypophobia test, and some other information about trypophobia like trypophobia cure and causes of trypophobia.
Trypophobia is actually starting to get heard about more and more recently, likely because of the popularity of forums and places where people can come together and discuss the things they are afraid of.
Trypophobia is actually very well known because of the trypophobia images that keep making the rounds of the internet, and they can sometimes be creepy enough to cause fear in anyone, let alone someone with a phobia.
If you have any questions or comments about the trypophobia test we have included here, or about any of the other things related to trypophobia, please feel free to reach out to us at any time.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Trypophobia Test
Is Trypophobia on skin real?
No, trypophobia on skin is not real, in fact, Trypophobia itself is not currently recognized by the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM–5), and research about this condition also seems to be mostly conflicting.
Many psychologists also hold the belief that trypophobia might be a variant of Obsessive Compulsive disorder, or perhaps it might be a symptom of another mental health condition, but it is not certain if it is a mental health condition on its own.
What are the symptoms of Trypophobia?
Some symptoms of trypophobia include:
Itching, goosebumps, or a feeling like your skin is crawling.
Shortness of breath.
A fast heartbeat.
What is the rarest phobia?
The rarest phobia is Allodoxaphobia, which is a fear of opinions, and this phobia is said to be associated with a situation where the person who has this phobia was placed in situations where their opinion was not heard enough or they were not able to express themselves in some way.