Monday, April 21, 2008

Gillian is terrified of buttons

Gillian Linkins suffers one of the world’s most bizarre phobias – a fear of BUTTONS.

Gillian, 22, can’t even stand to be in the same room as friends and family who wear them.

She first realised her fear aged seven, when she refused to put on her school blouse.

The sight of buttons sends Gillian into panic attacks and boyfriend Nate Dorrington, 23, can only wear clothes with zips.

She said: “I’ve had the fear as long as I remember. My mum says I freaked out when it was time to get dressed.

“I have always been fearful of buttons, especially when they are grouped together.

“For me touching a button would be like touching a cockroach. It feels dirty, nasty and wrong. When I was younger my brother used to tease me by opening my mum’s button tin. I hid in my bedroom until he put them away.

“My cousin was wearing a button necklace one day and in the end she had to take it off.

I could not stand being in the same room as her.”

Gillian, of Waterlooville, Hants, tried in vain to hide her phobia from school pals in case she was picked on and has even tried hypnotherapy to cure herself, without success.

She added: “Some people don’t believe me and I try to joke about it. I’ve tried things like self-help tapes and hypnotism but nothing has worked.

“Watching the children’s TV show Button Moon is like being made to watch a horror movie. People just think I’m weird.”

But Gillian’s not alone. Her phobia – officially named Koumpounophobia – affects one in 75,000 people. A spokesman for The National Phobics Society said: “The phobia often affects children and the problem can persist into adulthood.

“We suggest cognitive behavioural therapy as a way to self-manage the phobia.” - thesun


Ann said...

I knew a man, once, who was transferred by his employers to a department where he found himself in the presence of a woman toward whom he felt an uncontrollable, irrational fear. Oddly enough, as it turned out, she was also deeply afraid of him, although he claimed he did nothing to offend her or make feel such fear. When I met the woman, I realized immediately he suffered from caligynephobia. And, after, I talked to the woman, I discovered, why she feared him. However, I couldn’t make myself tell the man the reasons of her fear, however irrational it was, because she suffered from cacophobia.

Xeno said...

I had to use wiki, but great story. :-)