Button Phobia! Are you kidding me?Very often we know people around us who have phobia towards heights or darkness. But we hardly hear of people afraid of buttons. Yes, buttons. The cute, tiny and colourful circles on your clothes. Isn’t it strange for someone to be afraid of buttons?
I have a close friend who has a button phobia. I could not believe it when she first told me that she felt the sickness, irritation and fearful feeling whenever she saw me wearing clothes with buttons, or whenever she saw buttoned clothes on the displayed mannequin. I was amazed when she told me she has no clothes with buttons on them. So, out of curiosity, I googled the phrase “button phobia”. To my surprise, a whole list of websites about button phobia appeared on my computer screen.
I learnt that the scientific name for button phobia is Koumpounophobia. People experience different levels of severity of the phobia. Some extreme sufferers will vomit when looking at buttons and there are people who will wash their hands continuously after having contact with buttons. It is not a great experience to have.
After a long browsing on the Internet, I found that the cause of this phobia is still not very clear. Some people might think that it is genetic while others think that it is caused by a traumatic event during their childhood. While I believe that the cause of button phobia is just like any other phobia: the work of mind. Our brains play a very major role in controlling our emotions as well as triggering fears from our past memories which are stored in it.
Is there a cure to it? Yes, therapies are the common treatments for any phobias. There are behavioural therapy and cognitive behavioural therapy. In behavioural therapy, patients learn to use relaxation techniques to control and to respond their bodies differently to the fear stimuli while cognitive behavioural therapy helps them to learn what causes their fear and to try to change their behaviours towards their fear.
I found one interesting treatment centre located in the United States of America. It is called The Anxiety & Phobia Treatment Centre. They help patients to overcome various phobias such as heights, driving, enclosed spaces, animals and many more. Here is the link for more information http://www.phobia-anxiety.org/index.htm. What about Singapore and Indonesia? So far, I could not find any centre. Nonetheless, it is curable.
There are, indeed, many people who have different kinds of phobias. So, good news to my friend and all the people out there who have button phobia, you are not alone and it can be cured!
If you have any of these “rare” phobias, or if you know someone with an interesting fear, do share with us your experiences! Also, do you know any phobia-treatment centre in the community where you stay? I am sure it’s going to be an eye-opener.