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My Weird Phobia - prepare to laugh!





Captain Fertile
(This post was insired by a post a left on another thread)

I suffer from one of the weirdest phobias I know of. I have a phobia of buttons – yes, the kind on clothes. Rolling Eyes

I hate even saying, writing or even typing the word in that context. I have no trouble saying buttons in relation to remote control buttons or lift (elevator) buttons etc but in the context of clothing it is all very different.

I have suffered from this my entire life and I am at a loss why I have this strange irrational phobia.

I have always had to avoid clothing with them on wherever possible and when it is unavoidable I hate it. I have even cut dates with girls short because they have turned up with the ‘wrong’ clothes on! Sad

I believe this phobia has an official name but have never tracked it down yet – anyone know???

Some days are worse than others but they really can knock me sick, especially if they catch me by surprise. Say someone has put one in a drawer and I open it and see it – or worse, TOUCH it!!! UUUUUUURGGHH!!!! Shocked

I’ll tell you how crazy it is. What is the most awful moment in the movie Silence of the Lambs? The moment you have to look away from the screen for a moment. Well for me it is a scene that will not even have registered with many people. Near the end of the movie when Agent Starling graduates she is congratulated by Crawford and they shake hands and Crawford’s finger is clearly seen TOUCHING the button on Starling’s shirtsleeve! EEEEEK!!!! Shocked Shocked Shocked

I know that is crazy but it is 100% true and I bet most of you won’t even have noticed this moment in the movie. For me it is the worst part of the movie and makes me cringe every time.

Completely weird but there are others out there with the same phobia as me I am sure. I am sure there are others out there with even weirder one too I guess.

Can anyone suggest how I might get over this phobia I have suffered for almost 40 years now?

Does anyone else suffer from this, or even know someone else who suffers from it?

Do you know the official name for it?

I have learned to live with it but it is a real bitch to live with sometimes although I can understand fully how other people find it very funny and totally illogical.
Star Wars Fanatic
Erm... Little odd, so, how can you stand touching the buttons on your keyboard? Or do you consider those to be keys and not buttons. And I would think that the name of it would be the Latin word for "button" and "phobia" put together, though the only translation seem to find was "puga pyga" so you might have a puga-pygaphobia...
HoboPelican
Koumpounophobia. Isn't the web amazing!

Very strange. I can't say I understand (who can understand another's phobias), but I have my own phobia about needles (the doctor kind). I used to turn green and swoon when ever I had to get a shot. I skipped my TB test in HS and got away with it for quite a few years. Even now I never get shots at the dentist. I got 3 wisdom teeth pulled and a crown done without novacaine...the dentist was sweating worse than me Laughing It's stupid, I know...It isn't the pain, it is just seeing the damn hypo. I think I know it's origin, but it doesn't help me cope much. My pediatrician was the kind that lied about not needing to get a shot and then come at me with his hand behind his back (holding the hypo). Even a three year old isn't fooled by that!

I guess I'm getting better, but I still have the doc take my blood pressure AFTER he draws the blood Wink

Cap'n, have you thought about hypnotherapy? I've heard good things about it.
Captain Fertile
@starwars I certainly cannot aruge that it is a strange phobia indeed.

The keyboard has keys so no problem at all, and even buttons in the context of the buttons on a remote control are not a problem. It is purely clothing related buttons that cause the problems.

All of my day to day clothees have studs, velcro, laces or zips as fastenings. I have shirts for special occasions and meetings etc with buttons on but it is uncomfortable for me to wear them and I have to wear a tie if I wear a shirt to hide the offending thngs.

@Hobo
How did you find the name so quickly? What was your source? I could only ever find sites that said what Star Wars said about adding the latin name to phobia but could never work it out.

As for Hypnotherapy, not something I really considered, I am rather sceptical of hypnosis.

Also THANK YOU for finding the name for me, since putting the word koumpounophobia into Google I have found a ton of info and even support groups:
http://www.gregology.net/koumpounophobia/

I really had no idea it was this widespread. You have introduced me to a whole new section of the internet.

The thing that impressed me about the link above was the fact that it saus very early on:

Quote:
Koumpounophobia is a phobia of buttons. I will not use the "b" word again as a lot of sufferers do not even like to read the word.


This is so true and I can tell whoever has written this understnads what it is like to suffer this.

Thank you so much. I am donating 100FriH$ to you because I have really have been searching for years for this information without success. I really thought I was alone and how wrong I was.

THANK YOU! Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause Applause

<Yet another edit> I have been reading the info I have found and discovered all the other sufferers say the exact same things I have been saying for years, and the same items do and do not set off the phobia - AMZING (like a kid with a new toy here - I am not alone!!!!!!!!!) Very Happy Very Happy Very Happy
Star Wars Fanatic
Wow, that is really crazy... I had no idea, and HoboPelican probably searched for "fear of buttons" where-as I searched for a Latin translator. Good going HoboPelican Wink As for the phobia, do you have any idea how you got it? It is very strange... Maybe someone close to you suffered a tramatic event in relation to that. I personally can't really relate to it, as I don't have a really big phobia, except for heights, and I can stand that...

Although, I have to admit, when I read your post, I was a little sceptical, Rolling Eyes but after reading some of the material in relation to this phobia, I see that is is a very real fear.

I hope you do overcome this phobia, as it probably has caused problems in your life. And maybe (if it becomes a huge problem) you should consider Hypnotherapy.
Captain Fertile
I have no idea how I got this but it doesn't ruin my life or even spoil it to much, I have learned ways of avoiding and coping with situation in the past 40 years.

There were no truamatic events in my pasts involvng the things, but ever since I can remember I have had this disgust of them. My mother even tells stories of me in my pram as a baby and crying and screaming when the children's TV shows were on and they used buttons to make a picture or something.

I mean even writing the word in the last sentence sends shivers down my spine, it is that strange.

I fully understand when people think I am making it sound worse than it is, I am a very logical person and this is a very logical phobia. The thing is it is not like a fear as such more like an intense overhwleming distaste like someone waving a... ...erm (trying to come up with a good analogy)... ...scab covered in someone elses pus in front of your face. It knocks you sick, makes you feel all weak and all you can think about is getting it away.

I have a phobia of heights but it is nowhere near as much of a problem as this and my fear of heights feels like a fear should feel, this as I have said is like the purest form of distaste - the best way I can explain it.

Obviously when you see it coming you can prepare yourself but when you open a drawer and there is one in there it really can freak you out - this happened only yesterday.

I have put up with the practical jokes people pull when they first find out, I don't mind because I would do the same if the roles were reversed.

Luckily my wife supports me and wears them as little as she can but my approach to her differs depending on how she is dressed. I am far more distant with her when she wears them. I just can't help it.

But since finding out the name and doing a bit digging about it seems quite common and so dar 99.99999999% of what I have read I suffer from. The only thing I have found that I do not do is have a compulsion to wash myself and I have never actually vomited although I have retched before but VERY rarely does that happen.

Some days are worse than others but I have never felt the need to vomit thank god.

So please feel free to ask more questions if this strange foible peaks your interest.
HoboPelican
Just curious, if I told you I would never use that word but instead would say "Dimplefet" to indicate the object, would dimplefet used in sentences cause a similar reaction? How about pictures versus the actual object? Is there a difference in your reaction to a dimplefet lying loose or one "in use"? I guess what I am getting at is it the object or the concept of the object that bothers you most.
Captain Fertile
HoboPelican wrote:
Just curious, if I told you I would never use that word but instead would say "Dimplefet" to indicate the object, would dimplefet used in sentences cause a similar reaction? How about pictures versus the actual object? Is there a difference in your reaction to a dimplefet lying loose or one "in use"? I guess what I am getting at is it the object or the concept of the object that bothers you most.


I would have no problem with the word Dimplefet but if I suspected it was the actual word for button in another language rather than a made-up word I am not so sure whether I would like it as much.

Pictures are just as bad as the real thing. I was reading one site last night talking all about the phobia when I finally scrolled to the bottom of the page and guess what image they used as the button to return to the home page? Yes a picture of a big Dimplefet.

A dimplefet laying loose is much worse then on clothing, and when one is hanging loose from a shirt this is pretty bad (like an open wound). God I am cringeing and winceing so much typing this.

After visiting so many sites last night I was amazed how so many of the things I felt were repeated by others in just about every case. Things re[peated by all sufferes and me include:

Plastic ones are worse then metal ones
Studs on Jeans are not a problem
They are worse when loose or hanging (URGH!!!)
It is quite common yet sufferers tend to feel they are alone
It occurs from a very early age (maybe birth)

It was a real revelation to me last night. I was awake unitl 4am reading websites dealing with the subject. When I last checked (about 4 years ago) there were no such sites and no matter what search string was entered into s search engine I could not find the actual name for the phobia or any info at all.

I am reallyconsidering starting a self-help group online because there seems to be information online but a lot of it is repeated a lot and there are no organised support groups. It meant a lot to me last night to discover I am not alone and that the most precise aspects of the phobia are shared by most sufferers.

Any other questions please feel free to ask.
Montressor
Captain Fertile wrote:
Plastic ones are worse then metal ones
Studs on Jeans are not a problem
They are worse when loose or hanging (URGH!!!)
It is quite common yet sufferers tend to feel they are alone
It occurs from a very early age (maybe birth).

Not to cause you more agony, but may I ask why a plastic dimplefet is worse than a metal one? I can understand the loose/hanging and the studs as well as the early age, but I (since I do not suffer from this phobia) don't quite comprehend what differentiates between a plastic and a metal dimplefet to such a degree as to make one much less appealing for a significant majority of those who have the phobia.

As to the needles, they have never really been a problem to me (I regularly donate blood), but my brother strongly disliked them and used to get fairly nervous when he knew that a needle would be a part of some near future experience (I think he's a bit better now, but I'm not certain since I don't talk to him too frequently, and have even less cause to talk about needles with him).

Which brings me to another question; have you found any documentation as to why the phobia doesn't seem to deaden/ease after time for you (at least as much as some of the more common phobias)? If someone has a fear of needles it seems that after continued exposure, the phobia can lose a little or a significant portion of its power. But since you have, undoubtedly and unfortunately, had countless exposures to dimplefets and still find them distressing, I was wondering what makes this phobia seemingly much stronger and harder to crack than some others.
Captain Fertile
I really wish I had some kind of answer to your questions my friend - it seems every aspect of this phobia is irrational and illogical.

I honestly cannot throw any light on the whys and wherefors of this wierd affliction. I am however, a happier man than I was 24 hours ago when I never realised that a lot of people are going through this too.

Another thing that freaks me out (I remembered this while talking to my wife about it today) is when she is hanging the washing on a radiator to dry and a dimplefet hits the radiator and makes an audible noise it makes me whince.

Just as when someone is sitting with their arms on a table and they move, if a dimplefet scrapes across the surface of the table it is like fingernails down a blackboard.

PLUS - when the washing machine is washing the clothes and I can hear things clicking aginst the glass door I just know what it is and have to leave the room!

I know you guys think this is exageration but it is true.

I am now giving serious thought to running my own small internet suport group for fellow suffers and really try to find how many of us there are out there - it is spooky how mo matter where in the wrold we are, our fellings and experiences are remarkable similar.
Montressor
Captain Fertile wrote:
I am now giving serious thought to running my own small internet suport group for fellow suffers and really try to find how many of us there are out there - it is spooky how mo matter where in the wrold we are, our fellings and experiences are remarkable similar.
If you do eventually choose to do so, I'll be sure to refer it to anyone that I run into who has the phobia.
Captain Fertile
Montressor wrote:
Captain Fertile wrote:
I am now giving serious thought to running my own small internet suport group for fellow suffers and really try to find how many of us there are out there - it is spooky how mo matter where in the wrold we are, our fellings and experiences are remarkable similar.
If you do eventually choose to do so, I'll be sure to refer it to anyone that I run into who has the phobia.


Have you come across many before I trundled onto the scene?

Before yesterday I thought I was pretty much alone with maybe a couple of others but was pleased to see there seem to be a few of us hiding in the shadows.
Montressor
Captain Fertile wrote:
Have you come across many before I trundled onto the scene?
No, I've never come across someone with this phobia (that is to say nobody I've met has claimed to have the phobia, or shown an adverse reaction to nearby dimplefets), but if I ever do I certainly now know what to say, and where to direct them. (there's also the added factor that my life-span is currently about half of yours)

Perhaps you ought to start a foundation, over here in the states we have a foundation dedicated to the cause of making public spaces fragrance-free for those who are sensitive to fragrances. Maybe you could make it the aim of your foundation to eradicate the dimplefet, or lessen its use in public places (whenever I wear a shirt with dimplefets on it, I wear a tie anyways, so I'm not an extreme offender)
Captain Fertile
Montressor wrote:
(there's also the added factor that my life-span is currently about half of yours)


OH WELL THAT MADE ME FEEL GOOD!!! Shocked

I suddenly feel like I should be calling you sonny and explaining how things were diferent in MY day! Laughing

Now excuse me while I struggle up stairs and empty my underwear!!!


(just kidding)
Montressor
Captain Fertile wrote:
Montressor wrote:
(there's also the added factor that my life-span is currently about half of yours)


OH WELL THAT MADE ME FEEL GOOD!!! Shocked

(background info for the long-winded story):
My car lacks a CD player as well as a tape deck, and to explain why it isn't that old (its just an economy car) I tell those younger than me that Windows 95 came out in a CD so the CD was in wide use by the time my car was made (94), and I even go further back to explain to them that Windows 3.1 could be ordered on CD if you wanted.(end of pointless long winded story)

So not only am I younger than you, but I have reasons to feel old myself (an old Atari system, some use of a Commodore 64, DOS games*, messing around with 286's, 2MB memory sticks (nowhere near your 16K, but still very outdated), Packard Bell computers, cassette backups, 5 1/4 floppy's, an absence of mice and many more).

You're 2x as old as me, and I feel aging, which makes you....

*It's really hard to explain DOS to this up-and-coming "MySpace" generation
Captain Fertile
LOL - at least you make me laugh when you tell me how old I am so I guess it can be forgiven.

ANYWAY back on topic - I have spent a long while checking the sites I have found for this phobia.

One even has a forum, with only a couple of posts I may add. So I am wondering if there is a need for a forum, even if there is eneough people to justify a forum I can't exactly see them logging in each day to discuss the cursed items once they have said, "Yeah I have it too" I think they may wish to move on.

Kind of like organising an agoraphobic support group field trip, its not going to be a great success! Laughing

I really am trying to think how a forum culd owrk, you would have to structure it well.
Montressor
Captain Fertile wrote:
One even has a forum, with only a couple of posts I may add. So I am wondering if there is a need for a forum, even if there is eneough people to justify a forum I can't exactly see them logging in each day to discuss the cursed items once they have said, "Yeah I have it too" I think they may wish to move on.

Perhaps it would be best to facilitate a forum where solutions to (or ways to deal with) the problem are discussed rather than the negative aspects of that problem. For instance encourage people (through your own posting/responses) to talk about ways to avoid dimplefets, kind ways to ask spouses/friends to refrain from wearing dimplefets, procedures that alleviate the negative responses to exposure, better ways to explain your phobia to others, etc.

Really narrow focused forums are hard to start (I assume), but if you get people who are very interested in the topic regularly posting, then they can thrive (again, I assume).
Nikkori
An unusual phobia! ^_^
HoboPelican
Captain Fertile wrote:
...
One even has a forum, with only a couple of posts I may add. So I am wondering if there is a need for a forum, even if there is eneough people to justify a forum I can't exactly see them logging in each day to discuss the cursed items once they have said, "Yeah I have it too" I think they may wish to move on.
....


Something to consider is that there are probably many other similar phobias out there. Your forum could maybe have a wider range of topics to give a larger audience. A lot of what people would need/want to talk about is of a general nature: how to talk with loved ones, strategies for coping, support, etc. Just a thought, Cap'n.

BTW - it might be more annoying that it is helpful, but would it help to throw a coin in every dryer load? That way, the metal on metal noise would be the coin. Wink

And if you kids don't stop making "old" comments, I'm gonna get out of my rocker and drag you by your ears out back of the shed! Laughing
Captain Fertile
HoboPelican wrote:

BTW - it might be more annoying that it is helpful, but would it help to throw a coin in every dryer load? That way, the metal on metal noise would be the coin. Wink


Hmmm, that would just mean I would be tormented by wondering is that the coin making that noise or is it not? Smile



HoboPelican wrote:
And if you kids don't stop making "old" comments, I'm gonna get out of my rocker and drag you by your ears out back of the shed! Laughing


You'll have to catch us first granddad! Laughing
crimson_aria
I must say I find it really odd. I never knew such phobia exists. I don't think I have a phobia with a degree like yours but I know how it feels to fear something. so I somehow understand how you feel. do you think you can overcome it one day? I hope so. I pray your phobia would go away. good luck
furtasacra
That's just awful. I tried to imagine what such a phobia would be like, and wish I hadn't. I got a mental image of being in the grocery store with people wearing big cockroaches in a row on their shirt and gave myself the shudders.
ebkari
my weird phobias...

bandaids. I HATE bandaids. I hate the way they look..their texture..their skin color..their

ew. can't even type that. i just got chills and i feel extremely gross.

my other weird phobia? ladybugs. I've managed to get to the point to where I can think about them and not freak out, but i can't touch them or be in the same room if they're flying. The other day i even took one off the wall with a piece of paper........
and then flung it at high speeds out the front door.

what a nasty bug.
Sadow
Disregarding all other replies you had (sorry guys), but to be afraid of buttons makes me wonder: "where do you get that?"
If you dig deep into the past, can you remember any bad experiences you had with buttons? like maybe being in the hospital where the nurse presses a button to make your bed in the position she wants? or did you ever got stuck in an elevator (I did...) where you pressed the emergency break button and you were trapped? Try to remember...
(and sorry for using the B..... word)
Ghost900
I read all the posts and I find this phobia one that I have never heard of yet I do believe it is real but it must be annoying too have when you yourself find it something that you can't explain and you don't know why you have it.

I understand fear of heights because if you fail you could die or get hurt but something like this you don't know why.

Here is a list of some of the weird phobia's out there but it doesn't seem too have the phobia you have. http://www.phobialist.com/

I know a friend who has fear of Clowns and so I know that people do have weird phobia's but I am glad I don't have one but I hope you can overcome yours sometime.

The worst phobia is Fearophobia = Fear of Fear Sad
Captain Fertile
Thanks for all the replys guys.

All I can say is that I simply have no Idea WHY I have this phobia, no trauma in my past connectected with them and I know they wont kill me but they still have that strange effect on me.

Now while it is a phobia the feelings you get is not a fear per say, its not like standing on a tall building looking over the edge kind of fear. It is an intense (to thee power of three hundred) dislike of the things. They make you feel physically sick, can make you sweat and have panic attacks!

All very weird I know.
tijn01
I'm afraid of ducks and swans....
rheanna
Cool

Here you go Capt. Fertile...hmm from your original post it seems to match everything that these people say just different wording. lol You have to scroll to the end. Wink


http://www.unusualphobias.com/buttons.html
Hobbit


Just part of your healing process.
furtasacra
tijn01 wrote:
I'm afraid of ducks and swans....


I don't get the duck thing but swans... swans are evil. Swans are just big, fancy geese, and geese are ferocious creatures. At least they don't have b-----s.
greenwoodmonkey
I hate wooden ice-lolly sticks
even watching someone else with one in their mouth makes me feel ill..
And wet cotton wool.. i hate the sounds it makes.... seriously
Haich
I have only just come across this post and made an account just to reply. Captain Fertile.. I too have a phobia of the devils plastic, have no idea where it came from, but it's there.

Everything you described about the way you feel and how you described even the little things about it! I can relate to all of it. I'm glad i'm not the only one.

I'm 19 and have had the fear since I can remember. I have only vomited once through the fear. (When my sister threw a handfull at me. URGH Sad

But.... Thank you for describing the feelings you get, I always find it difficult to because people don't always believe you.

Very Happy
panicmanic
not to worry there are tons and tons of people all over the world with phobias, small and large for some of the strangest objects: http://www.onlinedating.org/strange-phobias/
gandalfthegrey
I have a friend with a zipper phobia if it makes you feel any better.
ProwerBot
I'm afraid of peoples hands, but that's not nearly as strange as clothing buttons. The only explanation I can think of is you had a bad experience as a small child? (With a button? Well, you never know...)
riderwear45
No, I've never met anyone with this phobia (ie, not that I have met have claimed to have a phobia, or showed a negative reaction in dimplefets nearby), but if I ever do at least I now know what to say and where to direct them. (There is also the added factor that my life is now about half of yours)

Maybe they should create a foundation here in the States who have a foundation dedicated to the cause of making public spaces without perfume for those sensitive to fragrances. Maybe you could do to make your foundation dimplefet eliminate or reduce their use in public places (every time I wear a shirt dimplefets in it, I wear a tie anyway, I'm not a criminal ends)
magnustoday
have you tried desensitizing yourself?
Hello_World
I find this very strange. Why not just force yourself to touch them etc. They cannot hurt you. Most fears I have are based around the fear of pain, I am (actually quite) afraid of large dogs, but what scares me is the potential for them to attack me and harm me. I am not afraid of small dogs, and that is because I am not afraid that they would really be able to harm me.

But b----s cannot harm you. Why not go to a Spotlight and go to the button section and just force yourself to touch them? It will do you no physical harm.

I don't know. I must say I find spitting particularly disgusting. I suppose I find it more disgusting than the average person. I never ever spit myself but perhaps I have less saliva than others? I would also end a date short if I discovered that the date was a spitter. I know that doesn't mean the date isn't necessarily a bad person, but it would turn me off. So maybe I do kind of understand. Although at the back on my mind I think it is germy, so again there is a harm factor in there.

Oh haha I also hate the icy-pole sticks someone else wrote that. I just don't like the texture and when I see them in other peoples mouths I imagine the texture in mine. LOL. But that has no real consequence on my life.

And wet bread. I can't stand wet bread. Sometimes I see bread and wonder if it has been wet and can't eat it. I don't know who I think has been running around wetting bread... Haha the more I think about it the more stupid things I seem to do. Even if I chew the bread too much then I can't eat it because by then my saliva has wet it. And it is only white bread. Consequently I now eat almost always mulitgrain or wholemeal bread and no longer eat pizza. Bizarre. But is.

EDIT: I looked up 'fear of wet bread' and apparently it is a phobia... painaquaphobia. But I am not as bad as these people, I just don't want to eat it.
tingkagol
I think the fear of buttons mostly has to do with its nature - which is to close openings on a clothed person. For them, buttons are basically alien things on clothes with no other purpose but to 'close'. Perhaps in the back of their minds they think there's some other alternative to close openings on clothes, and that the existence of buttons just doesn't make sense?

Perhaps also why they fear plastic over metal is the difference in weight? Plastics are lighter and therefore can easily be misplaced? And one might wonder if a misplaced button is under the bed he sleeps in? lol

Or is it because of its opaqueness? Or are solidly color plastic ones any different?

I think they should make a poll with all these questions to better assess the problem.

(I know the OP was way back then, but just in case)
FastDebrid
I have to admit that your phobia is weird but I can't really laugh at it 'cause I have a considerable phobia with frogs and with edges of high buildings.




I even pity you because I can't imagine how you live with it. I mean how do you live with that when you can see it anywhere you look. I hope you get over your phobia soon enough.
LegendVPN
Don't really suffer form phobia, I think so. I just don't like men who are shirtless. XP
Navigator
bwahaha...no seriously dude, you ain't that weird, when I was a serious geek I had the most frightening girl phobia.
LegendVPN
Navigator wrote:
bwahaha...no seriously dude, you ain't that weird, when I was a serious geek I had the most frightening girl phobia.


Why do you suffer from girl phobia?
lilysc1
Strange Phobia. How do you survive without using/seeing buttons o_O
Must be really hard to avoid buttons.
Navigator
LegendVPN wrote:
Navigator wrote:
bwahaha...no seriously dude, you ain't that weird, when I was a serious geek I had the most frightening girl phobia.


Why do you suffer from girl phobia?


Oh, its a common geek symptom. It got away with age and beer.
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