How to Overcome the Fear of holes (Trypophobia)?

What is Fear of Holes (Trypophobia)?

Every time that small little hole makes you nauseated, anxious and mad then there is something major hinting at you. Well, this may come across strange but recently an unusual phobia came under the scanner which is making lives difficult. The phobia is fear of holes or Trypophobia which makes the person fear any sorts of asymmetrical shapes specifically small holes in body, insects or anything similar.

Trypophobia is the fear of holes which are created by nature especially. People suffering from this kind of fear face a lot of difficulty in their day to day life. Since holes in the bathroom basin or even in the trees can make them anxious and uncomfortable.

Trypophobia is not anything related to the holes in general, it is more related to the perception of the person regarding the holes. Trypophobia is a condition where the person senses danger related to the holes and whenever he/she comes across such holes, panic strikes.

For example, a person is normal when he is in some room or seated comfortable on a round bed or anything but as soon as he sees some small pores on his friend’s skin, he feels panicked and disgusted. He can even start behaving in the most unexpected manner because those pores make him feel sick. He has lots of perceptions about those holes, he thinks there are dangers residing inside or those holes are life-threatening.

This person is trypophobic and he should definitely consult a doctor since this can majorly affect a person’s confidence and lifestyle.

Symptoms that trigger the fear of holes (Trypophobia):

As mentioned above, some people are just scared of insects and not holes in specific and this condition is not trypophobia. Therefore, one should have a clear idea about trypophobia to make the treatment easy for them. Trypophobia is related to fear of small holes. Like the ones on skin, honeycomb, bot or anything in a natural environment. Though even small holes on things can make the person panic, the natural one effects more disastrously.

Whenever the trypophobic patient comes across any such holes they react in a strong way. Reactions include:

  • They feel like their skin is shrinking
  • They feel very itchy on their body
  • Some may even fall sick physically
  • Some get weird thoughts that people are living inside the holes or they can fall inside the holes, these thoughts result in panic attacks.

Sometimes even just an image of such small holes can make the person react in the same manner. Therefore this condition should not be avoided for too long.

A boy or girl hiding and peeping out of the hole. This can be example of fear of holes.
Image by Free-Photos from Pixabay

What exactly makes the person fear the holes?

For a layman, trypophobia may across to be something beyond their understanding. Since holes are the most basic thing to be fearful about. However, trypophobia patients don’t see holes as something small. The fear, therefore, exists and that too in large number. Trypophobe sees a hole as a potential danger. Their brain has associated the hole with danger, life-threatening thing. Therefore whenever they see any hole they get disturbed and defensive. It’s the stimulus that triggers the fear over which they exercise no control. Even when trypophobes are told that there is no danger attached to the holes, they do not change their behavior. This happens since they have no control over their thinking and reactions. It just happens since its unconscious response action.


  • Even an insect bite can make the trypophobic become paranoid as they think it can make holes in the skin.
  • The most feared species is bot flies, as the trypophobes believe that use humans for their larvae and they make a hole in the skin.

How to overcome Trypophobia?

For a better life, getting healed from such phobia is essential. It’s not like trypophobia cannot be treated, it can be fought with a lot of patience and will. These are key things that help the patient get over the phobia and lead a normal life. The medical help is, of course, necessary and here are some of the therapies listed below:

  • Behavior Therapy

This therapy helps in altering the unwanted behaviour which the person is aiming to get rid of. This therapy will help the person to take control over their reactions which are triggered with the tiny holes. They can possibly even not get panicked if the therapy is properly followed and executed. Hence behaviour therapy is a good option that helps in coping up with trypophobia.

  • Cognitive Therapy

While the behaviour therapy helps in controlling the response to stimulus, cognitive therapy focusses on the thinking process of the trypophobe. Since the person’s thoughts are the main source of the fear, this therapy becomes an important part of the healing process. This helps in discarding all the negative thoughts which creates a loop of harmful perceptions of the holes. Basically, it helps the sufferer distinguish between the real thoughts and the unreal ones. In order to make this therapy a success, the patient has to fully cooperate and take part so that he/she recovers quickly

  • CBT or Cognitive and Behavior Therapy

When the two therapies are together used to treat the patient, we call it CBT or Cognitive and Behaviour Therapy. This therapy comes handy to sufferer since they can apply it to their daily life and overcome the panic attacks triggered due to trypophobia.


It’s not an easy journey for the person who suffers from trypophobia, since this phobia is related to something that is so general and basic, something that can be seen anywhere and unexpectedly. The sufferer is always under a tension mind and the panic attacks furthermore gives them confidence issues and the negative feeling. So the best way to get over the fear is to face it rather than just dealing with it or running away. It’s the only hope to get cured and the patient must take immediate action so that the condition doesn’t worsen up.

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Debby Clarke

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