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In this article, we describe the case of a girl who suffers from a phobia to repetitive patterns, known as trypophobia. This condition has not yet been recognised by diagnostic taxonomies such as the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Trypophobia usually involves an intense and disproportionate fear towards holes, repetitive patterns, protrusions, etc. It is commonly accompanied by neurovegetative symptoms. In the case we present here, the patient also suffered from generalised anxiety disorder and was treated with sertraline. After she was diagnosed, she showed symptoms of both fear and disgust towards trypophobic images. After some time following treatment, she only showed disgust towards said images. We finish this case report presenting a comprehensive literature review of the peer reviewed articles we retrieved after an exhaustive search about trypophobia, we discuss how this case report contributes to the understanding of this anxiety disorder, and what questions future studies should address in order to achieve a better understanding of trypophobia. Fear is the normal response to danger, while phobias are characterised by excessive, unconscious, and persistent fear that constantly triggers anxiety. Therefore, in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders DSM -5 1 , phobias receive the name of specific phobias and are classified according to their trigger.
Trypophobia is an aversion to the sight of irregular patterns or clusters of small holes or bumps. The scientific understanding of trypophobia is limited. The term trypophobia was coined by a participant in an online forum in However, it may fall under the broad category of specific phobia if the fear is excessive, persistent, and associated with significant distress or impairment.