Why do small holes scare me? What do you know about trypophobia?

s: Seeing tiny holes—like those on some fruits or plants—makes my skin crawl. What is wrong with me?

a: Some people have negative reactions to pinhole piercings. This is known as trypophobia. Visual stimuli include pods of lotus seeds, bubbles popping up on a pancake on a griddle, and even iPhones with camera lenses bundled together.

About 10 to 15 percent of people find looking at these images uncomfortable, says Nate Pepiton, an assistant professor of psychology at Florida Gulf Coast University who has been studying trypophobia for several years.

Images can cause feelings of disgust and disgust, as well as itching and nausea. It occurs in adults and children Even at 4 or 5 years old.

Researchers have examined two major evolutionary theories about why this aversion exists. Some venomous creatures display trypophobia—such as the eight-eyes of the tarantula—and many skin diseases, such as smallpox, create clusters of circular lesions.

While small circles in any context might be annoying enough to some, Pepito has found it Feedback is particularly strong When superimposed on images of dangerous animals – and in particular on images of human skin such as the hand.

“This suggests that the heightened discomfort seen among those disturbed by images of trypophobia may be an adaptive response to avoid infectious disease,” he said.

Pepitone believes trypophobia is related to how some people process basic visual information. Studies have shown that images of holes that make people uncomfortable tend to have a distinct visual property: high contrast.

Think of dark holes on a light background. Holes that look washed out usually don’t cause any discomfort.

the The circular pattern is also a crucial elementBibiton added. For example, pictures of palm leaves contain similar areas of light and dark, but don’t scare people.

Many venomous creatures, such as the blue-ringed octopus, have a distinct visual characteristic, leading some researchers to argue that the reaction stems from an unconscious response rather than a learned fear response.

For this reason, Bibitone is not confident that trypophobia will be amenable to psychological interventions such as cognitive behavioral therapy.

The easiest solution is to simply avoid these images whenever possible. In fact, Pepitone told me, students in his lab chose not to participate in trypophobia projects because of their reactions.

Another theory about trypophobia is a little less Darwinian, and has to do with the power of suggestion: If you’re ready to look up a picture of supposed trypophobia after hinting it’ll make you itch, you might itch simply because you were ready. to do that.

If you saw the picture in another context, you probably wouldn’t bat an eye.

Calling this phenomenon a phobia is also not entirely accurate.

trypophobia, which i It appeared in the medical literature 10 years agoIt is often associated with disgust rather than fear.

It does not fit perfectly with any psychiatric diagnosis. To be diagnosed with a phobia according to the criteria of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders — a guide that doctors use to diagnose mental health disorders — the fear or anxiety about a particular trigger must be strong enough to cause significant distress or functional impairment.

“For most people, even though they may find anti-trypophobia images repulsive when looking at them, they can still go about their daily routine,” Pepitone said.

However, it has implications for all of us.

Researchers are working to decipher specific combinations of combinations, texture or color to help positively design items such as clothing or even buildings. On the other hand, some filmmakers seem to like the effect that trypophobia patterns have on people.

Take, for example, horror series “Friday the 13th” villain Jason Voorhees. He’s wearing a hockey mask with tiny holes in it, which is oddly annoying. And the antagonist of 2018’s “Black Panther,” Killmonger, showed off small scars on his torso. which some people have reported triggering trypophobia.

What I want my patients to know

Trypophobia is a great example of the way we all view and interact with the world differently. The same visual input is distressing to some people, but not to others. Now think of the many medical conditions that may not be outwardly obvious — such as migraine headaches or prolonged COVID — where triggers in the daily environment may not bother others at all. For many people, it is frustrating to constantly struggle to be believed and heard.

Meet the Doctor: Trisha Pasricha, MD, is a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital, School of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a medical journalist.

Ask the Doctor: Do you have a health question? We will find the right expert to answer it.

Sign up for the Well+Being newsletter, our source of expert tips and simple advice to help you live well every day

Source link

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button