As Apple unveiled its latest products — including the iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max at its annual event Tuesday, some people found their attention drawn to one particular detail in the new phone – the numerous camera lenses. The three-camera feature with a 12MP wide camera, a 12MP telephoto lens and another 12MP lens for ultra-wide photography exclusively designed for photography professionals has not quite gone down well with a lot of people, with some claiming that it has triggered their trypophobia
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Trypophobia is an aversion or fear of clusters of small holes, bumps, or patterns such that when people see this type of cluster, they experience symptoms of disgust or fear.
What is trypophobia?
“Trypophobia refers to an excessive and irrational fear of a cluster of holes. The discomfort at seeing such a pattern may have an evolutionary basis, where such shapes may resemble images that indicate disease or danger,” Dr Samir Parikh, director and head of department mental health and behavioral sciences, Fortis Healthcare told indianexpress.com.
While prevalence is unknown, a few research indicate that trypophobia may be quite common. A 2013-study published in the journal Psychological Science found that 16 per cent of participants experienced feelings of disgust or discomfort when looking at an image of a lotus seed pod.
Such a response might be driven by disgust rather than fear, a 2018 study published in the journal PeerJ found.
In contrast to a fight-or-flight response, gearing the body up for action, a parasympathetic response slows heart rate and breathing and constricts the pupils. “These visual cues signal the body to be cautious, while also closing off the body, as if to limit its exposure to something that could be harmful,” one of the authors of the study said.
However, this condition has not been recognised as a disorder by American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM V).
When people see trigger objects, they experience symptoms such as severe fear, nausea, itching, sweating, shaking, feelings of revulsion, goosebumps, rapid breathing, emotional distress and even panic attacks.
There is no specific treatment that has been demonstrated as particularly effective for the condition. However, many of the treatments used for specific phobias are also likely to be helpful in reducing symptoms.
While further research is needed, most people who experience this condition can find relief through treatment options ranging from therapy to medication to self-help.
“The right way forward to deal with this fear or disgust would be to practice basic relaxation techniques; ignore the sensations that may arise when seeing trypophobic objects – the fear is likely to dissipate as its novelty wears off and it becomes more commonplace,” advises Dr Parikh.