I have Trypophobia, the fear of small holes
She can’t even look at a crumpet
Third year Miça has a fear that is relatively unheard of. Until recently, when national newspapers published articles explaining that if you found a picture of an object with lots of holes sickening, you most likely had an ‘overactive brain’, according to scientists.
Trypophobia isn’t a recognised phobia, but many people have self-diagnosed themselves as having a genuine fear of holes, and third year English Language student, Miça, is one of them. Her fear of holes has meant she can’t look at cheese graters, or even crumpets. She said: “It’s not just any holes, it’s small holes that are really close together, such as in a crumpet or in a line like a cheese grater,” Miça tells me whilst wincing like she’s smelt something bad. “I wouldn’t be scared of a cave, it’s just small holes”, she says.
Upon seeing the holes, Miça’s skin crawls and she feels nauseous.
The 20-year-old didn’t always have a trypophobia. It wasn’t until she was seven, walking on a beach in North Wales when the phobia began. Miça said: “I was in Nefyn, North Wales, when I was about seven, and we were walking along the beach and my dad went “look at that cliff at all those holes” and on the cliff face there was, it makes me feel ill thinking about it, all eroded away with loads of tiny little holes in it.
“I just freaked out at the holes. My mum and brother reacted the same , it was like a domino effect. My dad was scared, but from that day on my mum, brother and I all have a fear of holes.”
Other day to day objects that scare Miça are sponges for the shower, condensation on windows and the Sensodyn advert currently on television, where they show a tooth with lots of cavities in it, which Miça has to turn off. She also added: “I work in an ice cream shop at home but I can’t serve honeycomb ice cream because of all the holes so close together.”
Although irritating for her, the English Language student doesn’t think she’ll ever fix the phobia. “I don’t think I’ll be able to get over it”, she said. “I would get treatment , but if it was expensive I would just get over it cos you can avoid it. Just don’t look at the holes.”