|People who suffer from Omphalophobia are terrified of looking at their own belly button and others / Photo by nampix via Shutterstock|
Just like fingerprints, each person has a unique kind of belly button, says Lisa’s Writopia. However, seeing this scar which comes from cutting off the mother’s umbilical cord can make some people cower in fear. Listed in the unusual but real phobias of The Press and Journal is Omphalophobia or the fear of belly buttons. It comes from the two Greek terms which are “Omphalo”, which is translated as “navel” and “phobos’ which means “deep dread’ or “fear.”
People who suffer from Omphalophobia are terrified of looking at their own belly button and others. They also dislike touching their navel and other people’s navels. They may also be disgusted by seeing others touching others’ belly buttons.
There are two known celebrities who are affected by this fear. One of them is Khloe Kardashian who tweeted that she has to scream every time she has to clean her belly button. The singer Jenny Frost also admitted her phobia of navels. She tells people that her fear is persistent and is not something to laugh about. She also reminds people not to touch her belly button.
What Causes Omphalophobia?
This kind of phobia is categorized as a specific phobia, which means its causes do not depend on social factors. As with the case of most phobias, this may have developed because of traumatic or negative event related to the navel which they have experienced in their childhood. Fearof.net provides some reasons which may have triggered Omphalophobia.
As a child, the phobic may have tried exploring their navel by playing with it. In the process, they may have injured their navel and as result, have felt pain from it.
Other people who suffer from Omphalophobia have seen some dirt in their navels. In turn, this dirt causes them to feel unclean and makes them feel like vomiting whenever they see a belly button or even just thinking about it.
Some individuals who are affected by this phobia are afraid that if someone tries to poke or tug their belly button, their internal organs may come spilling out.
There are also some phobics who have this phobia because they are afraid that a portion of their umbilical cord is at the back of their navel. Individuals who have anxiety may feel disgusted or afraid because of knowledge.
In their childhood, someone may have physically or sexually abused their navel.
Genetic factors and hereditary factors may also be some of the contributing factors of the phobia. Upbringing too may drive them to be afraid of navels. Their parents may have directly warned them about the dangers of belly buttons as a child. Omphalophobia may be prompted by an overprotective mechanism. External reports or experiences may have also played a role in developing this phobia. They may have seen one of their relatives or friends suffer from this phobia, heard some people talking about it or seen it broadcasted in the news. Like most phobias, it can also come from emotional problems which have not been fixed.
What Are Its Symptoms?
The symptoms of this phobia often manifest when someone unintentionally touches their navel or by seeing another person touch somebody else’s belly button.
A person who is affected by Omphalophobia may display the following symptoms: they may be shaking, trembling, experience a rapid heartbeat, crying, curling up or trying to run away from it or finding a place to hide from it. They may also feel nauseated and want to vomit. Thoughts of death or dying may also cross their mind.
The phobic may also get the feeling that they are powerless when faced with a belly button. To add, they may also get the sensation that the circumstance is out of their control. Their breaths may also become shorter. They may also engage in avoidance behavior, experience diarrhea, and headaches. The phobic may also be too preoccupied with their fear of belly buttons.
|Omphalophobic may engage in avoidance behavior, experience diarrhea, and headaches / Photo by Photographee.eu via Shutterstock|
Hypnotherapy is said to be one of the alternatives an Omphalophobia patient may have, the website Stresstonic says. Other suggested approaches of treatment are Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) and relaxation techniques. When they go through CBT sessions, a therapist will help them get used to being around their phobia.
More therapies they may try are group therapy, in vivo exposure, Energy Psychology and Response Prevention, Massive Phobia suggests. They may also use self-help techniques such as positive visualization, meditation, and gradual desensitization.
For some cases, the doctor may prescribe medicines that may aid in addressing their anxiety. However, it is said to only be used for the short-term as using medication for the long-term could result in having the patient experience side effects. Moreover, it only relieves the patient from the symptoms for a while and does not actually heal them from it. Health24 suggests that others should not try to teasingly induce fear from the phobics by presenting them with an image or an actual belly button.