Reply To: supporting trypophobia

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    Some people who have Trypophobia may also have other mental health disorders for instance major depression, generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) panic disorder, social anxiety, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)or even bipolar disorder.
    As many GP’s don’t know much if anything about this subject matter and some mental health practitioners may also not be aware, it can be hard to diagnose, even when someone does note it, the fact it is not officially recognised by name as a mental disorder and therefore is not a specific diagnosis within the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, Fifth Edition (DSM-5). However, it may well fall under the overly broad category of ‘specific phobia’ if it involves fear that is excessive, persistent, and associated with significant distress or impairment.
    There was a well-known study amongst academics some while back whereby most of the participants with Trypophobia met the DSM-5 criteria for a specific phobia, even though they experienced disgust rather than fear when shown some imagery of clusters of holes; however, they did not meet the distress or impairment criterion. Due to Trypophobia not being officially recognised as a true disorder, there is no set treatment for it as such, however I am aware of some people receiving cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) as this attempt to change the negative ideas that cause fear or stress and, in some situations, has proved to be helpful, as has exposure therapy. There are some academics whose studies show Trypophobia is more likely disgust rather than fear.
    Stress and anxiety should never be underestimated, as with students with autism, alleviate some of the stress and anxiety then we progress slowly.