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How I suddenly developed Trypophobia

Or how the Internet triggered my Trypophobia.

In 2017 I was just a normal 33-year-old guy doing my own business, without any sort of phobias whatsoever, and no signs of any mental disorders. One day sometime mid-year, I came across a post on the Internet on a viral meme site. I remember it said something in its title like "These images will trigger a phobia that you never knew existed". I got baited and clicked through even though the caption image for the story was a little gross I felt. I went through the post. I may have felt a little disgusted looking at the images in there. And I think it did trigger a little bit of OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder) kinda of thing for the five minutes or so I must have read the post, repeatedly looking at the pictures. But that's about it.

I forgot about the post by the end of the day and never felt too disgusted, dreadful, anxious, stressed, creepy-crawly, or crazy by the pictures and the post. These are kind of feelings I go through nowadays by such posts and images. Even everyday objects with certain patterns can trigger them for me now. At the time, I assume, the post wasn't just enough to trigger the neural connections required to cause the phobia. But am sure it did something, somehow changed the underlying neural network in my brain or altered the chemistry a bit. I do not know. But I do feel it did its bit for developing a full-blown phobia later.

Because the next time I got exposed to a trigger image, I had acquired Trypophobia! This was months later, but not a year later. In fact, I remember spending the whole day obsessing about my newly acquired fear, anxiety, dread, adverse reaction - the mixture of emotions and physical feelings that all Trypophobia sufferers know about. Researching I learned I wasn't alone and there were thousands, if not millions of people suffering from the same phobia. This trigger for me was not one of those meme posts that are created to induce the phobia. This was another clickbaity article on a reputed site but with the real story of a person who was injured in an accident. The site had images of the person with healed holes on their head. And these holes or the pattern triggered my Trypophobia for the first time,

In fact, it makes my skin crawl now as I write thinking about it. Am sorry, it may also make you very uncomfortable reading about it so I want to stop here. But I believe it is important for us sufferers of Trypophobia to share what triggered the fears and when. Maybe there's a pattern. Maybe some researcher who will find a cure will gain something from reading this. Who knows, I just hope for the best and a permanent cure for people with Trypophobia.

I started this forum on Trypophobia to share my journey with it and build a community of people with Trypophobia. This website will never ever post pictures of any triggers and I request the same from people who comment here, discuss, share their stories too. Please be very mindful of others' feelings and what may trigger an adverse reaction in them - even with words. Share only the minimal without going into graphic details of your experience. Thank you.

I will keep updating this website both with my experience, other related useful content and resources, and features for a community. I welcome you to join in the comments section for now to share your experience of when, where, and how you acquired Trypophobia. Also, do signup as a member of this community.


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A Trypophobia Virus?

Can Trypophobia be the result of a viral infection? Well, I have this hypothesis anyways. That Trypophobia may be the result of either a viral infection or suddenly some endogenic retograde virus becoming active due to external factors like stress, sickness, or some other new viral infection like a flu.

Just before my Trypophibia got triggered after seeing an image with a series of holes, I got a mysterious illness after visiting China, where I had persistent 99-101 temperature for more than 2 weeks. It went away on its own. A couple of weeks later a blood report showed borderline high lymphocytes of 3.58 × 10^3 /micro liter (normal is 1-3) , and lymphocytes % of 40.1 (normal range is 20-40). While basophils were 0.01 × 10^3 / ul (normal should be 0.02-0.1). This indicated to me I had got some infection.

Now very shortly after this blood test, I was exposed to some article with some trigger images - not exactly one of those clickbaity Trypophobia trigger articles but it had ima…