The Fear of Holes: Trypophobia Test, Causes and Symptoms

People have many reasons to be afraid of. Some are afraid of darkness, some of the heights, and some of the water. Trypophobia is a peculiar kind of scariness that happens when you look at holes. It can make people feel uncomfortable and frightened. Unlike other types of phobias, most of us don’t know about this one and its remedies. Here, we give details about what trypophobia is. We also tell you about the causes, symptoms, and possible trypophobia test.

What is Trypophobia?

Before taking a trypophobia test, you need to know what it really is. To define what is trypophobia, it is the fear of holes, patterns or bumps that are clustered together. The term Trypophobia is been derived from two words. They are ‘trypta’ a Greek word that means ‘holes’ and the word ‘phobos’ which defines fear. The people who have this phobia feel uncomfortable when they see many bumps or holes packed together.

However, this phobia is still not recognized by the doctors as one of the mental or psychological disorders. The signs and symptoms of this kind of phobia are various. The degree of reaction of a person that has trypophobia on seeing a cluster of holes or bumps together can range from mere fear or disgust to even a panic attack. The reaction is emotional, intense, immediate and adverse.

The word Trypophobia however is not ancient. The word was coined and introduced in the year 2005 and since then it has helped many people to identify, recognize their fear and come out to try trypophobia test and treat it. However, since it is a comparatively new term that is been coined, there are neither much studies to support it, nor much researches to term or treat it as a genuine problem.

What are the triggers of Trypophobia?

Since trypophobia is a relatively new term, there are not much studies present to give a clear idea about it. However, the people who have trypophobia has the tendency to feel extreme discomfort, uneasy and fearful which can even lead to a panic attack when they come across a cluster of holes, bumps or patterns that are clustered together.

Hence, some of the things that can trigger a person with trypophobia that we come across in daily life are:

  • Honeycomb
  • Many eyes clustered together
  • Bubble
  • Bubble wrap
  • Strawberries
  • Lotus seeds
  • Sea sponges
  • Pomegranate
  • Coral
  • Water condensation
  • Zoomed pictures of holes of the skin
  • Animals with patterns of holes in their body like certain snakes, fish and frogs.
  • Sponges
  • Beehives

What are the symptoms of Trypophobia?

The people who have the fear of holes tend to have immediate reaction when they come across some object or thing that have bumps, hole like patterns or holes in it. The reaction of the person to such objects can range from a mere disgust, fear or anxiety to severe panic attacks.

The symptoms and signs of the fear of holes, trypophobia are quiet similar to those of any other phobias. To mention a few of the symptoms of trypophobia are:

  • Goosebumps
  • Feeling of disgust
  • Feeling of discomfort or fear
  • Nausea
  • Panic attack
  • Skin crawling
  • Skin itching
  • Sweating
  • Anxiety
  • Rapid and heavy breathing
  • Shaking
  • Vomiting
  • Emotional distress
  • Feeling of Revulsion
  • Illusion
  • Body shakes
  • Distortions and eye strain
  • Dizziness
  • Increased heart beat
  • Loss of breath
  • Fear of dying
  • Body trembling

What is the Trypophobia test?

Like any other fear or phobias, the fear of holes is extremely common in humans.  Any person affected with this kind of phobia feel extreme discomfort, fear and anxiety that can even lead to panic attacks. However, the term trypophobia is relatively a new term that was just coined in the year 2005. It therefore since then helped people to face and understand their fears and conduct the trypophobia test to check whether the image or sight of many holes clustered together do make them uncomfortable or generate a sense of fear in them.

Conducting the trypophobia test to understand if a person really has the fear of holes is quite simple. The person on whom the test is conducted is made to relax and sit in a chair. After that a set of images that contains holes or patterns, the intensity of the holes increasing with every picture are shown to the person. The duration of the image that would be kept before getting changed lies between one to eight second. The goal of the person is make it till the end of the video without feeling uncomfortable or disgusting or anxious.

Process of trypophobia test

There are certain points that are laid to ensure that the trypophobia test is conducted accurately. These points are:

  • The body especially the elbows and shoulders of the person on whom the test is conducted must be relaxed.
  • The screen must be at the level of the eye of the person in question.
  • It is important to ensure that the feet, the soles must be placed flat on the surface of the ground.
  • The lower back of the person must be supported by the backrest.
  • The back of the thighs must be completely at rest on the seat.
  • The arms of the person must be kept parallel to the floor and must rest on the arm support of the chair.

However the authenticity of the trypophobia test cannot be blindly trust upon. This test conducted for the purpose of education and not on any professional ground. Therefore the results of this test do not cater to guarantee any theory.

What are the steps to deal with Trypophobia?

Like any other phobias, the fear of holes, Trypophobia causes an extreme discomfort and irritation amongst the people who have the phobia. The reaction of a person with the disorder when they come across a cluster of holes can range from mere irritation at the sight of it to chronic panic attacks. Therefore, it is important to first identify and understand the phobia and then take provide necessary attention to it to cure it.

Hence, here are the certain steps that points towards the remedies of trypophobia:

Identify and understand the triggers

The people who have the fear of holes or trypophobia get uncomfortable when they come across a cluster of holes. The intensity of the reaction to the same varies from a person to another. However, the first thing is to understand that a person has the fear of holes and what are the triggers that make them uncomfortable. To identify the triggers means to understand the kind of cluster that bothers a persona and the intensity of reaction a person has towards it. This remains an important step for conducting the trypophobia test.

Deal with the anxiety

One of the best ways to overcome the cluster of holes that bothers a person is to understand and educate them of the same. Educating oneself and exposing themselves to witness the clusters that bother them can help in healing the fear to a large extent. The ‘Exposure Therapy’ as a part of the trypophobia remedy, involves exposing a person to the fear and make them understand what makes them uncomfortable and confront the same. This is done with the view that running away from the sight of what makes one uncomfortable only worsens the fear.

Practice Meditation and Yoga

Exposing oneself to practice certain relaxation technique every day as a part of the daily routine can do wonders in reducing the anxiety of a person. Certain relaxation techniques such as practicing yoga and meditation or exercising on a daily basis can help to reduce the discomfort and reaction of a person when they come across some cluster of holes that they fear. Some other techniques such as taking a long warm shower, or breathing deeply or reading a book can also help reduce anxiety.

Maintain a healthy life style

Maintaining a good mental or psychological health is one of the first steps towards dealing with the various kinds of phobias. This refers to having a good lifestyle that involves good eating and sleeping pattern and regular exercise on the list. Some of the small changes such as getting minimum eight hours of undisturbed sleep; eating proper and regular meals without skipping any; having a balanced diet that includes healthy fruits and vegetables and exercising for a minimum of thirsty minutes every day amongst others can help to fight the anxiety of a person to a large extent.

Take professional help

In cases where the phobia of the person has become extremely intense that it has started to hinder the regular life of a person then it is a must to seek professional help. The person should therefore seek the help of a professional license mental therapist who they can rely on. The whole point of going to a mental therapist is to find ways to minimize the effect of or overcome the fear altogether. The person seeking the help needs to attend session of find some relief. The number of sessions that is to be needed to treat the fear varies from a person to another.

Some of the therapies that the mental therapist uses to help the person overcome the phobias are:

Exposure Therapy

This therapy involves exposing the person to what the fear of, in this case, a cluster of holes, to help them face it and confront it. The therapist may ask the person to close their eyes and imagine them being in such a situation or actually put them with what disturbs them.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

There are cases where a person might fear doing a certain thing because of a phobia that in return affects their regular lives. The therapist in this therapy would ask you to identify the fears and then provide explanations with facts to prove the fears baseless. This therapy also involves setting up different goals and achieving them.

Group Therapy

Group therapies remain one of the best ways to get rid of various phobias. The whole point of attending is to feel good knowing that there are others are too who are a part of this and feel a certain way when they come across certain things. Conversing and the fear and disgust towards certain thing also help to find various ways on how others deal with the deal thereby helping the person.


In severe cases the doctor might prescribe certain medications for the person to take. These medications are primarily focused towards helping the person fight anxiety, depression and panic attacks. However, none of the medications are directed towards treating the main cause of the phobia. It is therefore recommended to avoid having the medicines if the case is not extremely severe and unavoidable.

Final thoughts

The fear of holes commonly referred to as Trypophobia although was not initially recognized, has now helped a lot of people to identify, come out and take various measures to cure themselves of the fear. Like any other phobia, the intensity or the degree of the reaction of a person when they come across a cluster of holes can range from a mere disgust to severe and chronic panic attacks.

There are various factors that can trigger a sense of disgust amongst the people suffering from trypophobia. It can happen that two people suffering from the fear of holes react differently to a certain trigger of trypophobia; a person might not react at all to one while react severely to another.

There are various remedies to the fear of holes. The most important remedy or cure is to bring about certain life style changes that help to reduce the stress and anxiety of a person that largely monitor how a person reacts when they come across a trigger of the phobia. Along with that, a person can choose to seek medical attention to help them overcome the fear.

Shusree Mukherjee
Shusree Mukherjee
With 10+ years of experience in SEO content writing, Shusree believes content can move mountains while you deep dive into a pool of new experiences through learning and unlearning. Shusree loves to write on travel, health, beauty, celebrity, food, and all that jazz.

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