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    Textophobia – The Fear of Certain Fabrics

    Textophobia: A Rare Phobia

    Does even the thought of certain fabrics fill you with disgust or anxiety? Do you avoid going to places where you know you’ll be exposed to specific fabrics? Are you paranoid about the fabric of your clothes?

    If you’ve been nodding along to all of these questions, you may have a phobia of certain fabrics.

    So, what is the fear of certain textures called? In the world of psychology, it’s called textophobia.

    Fabrics may seem like a silly thing to be scared of, but textophobia is a very real phobia that can affect your everyday life. But don’t worry. There are ways in which you can address your fear and eventually even overcome it.

    Read on to learn all about textophobia, what causes it, and the different treatments used to help address it.


    What Is Textophobia?

    Of all the phobias, textophobia is certainly one of the rarest and most uncommon. But that doesn’t make it any less problematic.

    Textophobia is an irrational fear triggered by certain types of fabrics. An individual with this phobia may feel intense fear, panic, or anxiety when they touch, see, or even think about specific fabrics. Typically, textophobia is triggered by fabrics with distinct textures such as silk, wool, or other textured fabrics.

    This fear can be so severe that it interferes with daily life and activities. One with textophobia will not only avoid touching or wearing certain fabrics, but will also avoid areas where such fabrics may appear. For example, an individual with this phobia may avoid going to restaurants furnished with fabrics that trigger their fear.


    What Causes Textophobia?

    Dealing with textophobia can be difficult, and that’s why learning about its causes is important in order to address the fear.

    Like with any other phobia, textophobia causes vary. Phobias often occur because of a combination of elements that create an irrational fear.

    Often, people develop textophobia after a scary experience early in their childhood involving fabrics. They may have had a bad reaction to a certain fabric or there might have been an incident involving a particular texture. Such traumatic experiences can create an irrational fear, resulting in a phobia.

    Family history of anxiety disorders or mental illnesses increases the risk of developing a phobia, including textophobia. This fear may also have been learned at a young age from a parent or caregiver.

    Symptoms of Textophobia

    The symptoms of this phobia will differ in different people, but certain symptoms are more common and visible than others.

    Here are some signs and symptoms of what textophobia may look like in people:

    Mental/Emotional Symptoms

    • Inability to enter spaces with certain fabrics
    • Avoiding contact with clothing made of the fabric or those who wear it
    • Trouble sleeping or concentrating
    • Anxiety when thinking of specific fabrics
    • A feeling of being violated
    • Feeling a loss of control

    Physical Symptoms

    • Sweating
    • Shaking
    • Accelerated heart rate
    • Panic attack
    • Nausea
    • Muscle tension
    • Excessive sweating
    • Shakiness


    Textophobia Treatment

    There is no one cure for textophobia, but there are many strategies that are known to be effective when dealing with this phobia.

    Self-Help Strategies

    If you think your textophobia is mild, there are various self-help strategies you can try to manage your fear and take back control of your life.

    Mindfulness, meditation, and deep breathing exercises are highly effective at helping you relax and reduce anxiety. You can also try progressive muscle relaxation, which involves tensing and relaxing different muscle groups in your body. It will reduce tension and anxiety related to the phobia.

    Regular exercise or yoga can also go a long way in helping you deal with your fear. You might even consider using positive self-talk like “I am stronger than my fear” to encourage and remind yourself that you are in control.

    Remember that it’s okay to take things slowly and be patient with yourself as you work through your fear. With time and practice, you can overcome your fear of certain textures and feel more confident in your ability to cope with challenging situations.

    Professional Treatments

    While you can always try different self-help methods, seeking professional help is sometimes necessary for treating textophobia. When you seek professional treatment, you will be talking to a doctor or a licensed therapist who is clinically trained to help people with different types of fears and phobias.

    For textophobia, a therapist might suggest the following treatments:

    1. Exposure Therapy

    This involves gradually exposing the patient to their fear trigger—in this case, certain fabrics—in a controlled and safe environment. Over time, the therapy progresses from looking at pictures of the fabric to touching and eventually wearing the fabric. This only occurs once the individual feels safe being around the fabric without having extreme reaction.

    2. Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction

    This treatment method helps individuals learn to better tolerate the feeling of feared fabrics and reduce their fear and anxiety through mindfulness techniques.

    3. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

    CBT is one of the most common therapies used for treating phobias. It aims to address negative thoughts and beliefs surrounding the feared fabrics by challenging the logic in these misconceptions and reframing them.

    4. Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT)

    DBT focuses on teaching individuals mindfulness skills, distress tolerance, emotion regulation, and interpersonal effectiveness to help manage their anxiety and discomfort around certain fabrics.


    How to Live with Textophobia

    Unfortunately, it’s difficult to avoid specific fabrics in our daily lives. However, even though you can’t control if and when you will face the object of your fear, you can use the skills you learn in therapy to cope with such situations.

    It’s also a good idea to talk to close friends and family so that you have a support system as you work through your phobia. Over time, with patience and some effort, you’ll be able to live with or even overcome your textophobia completely.


    There are plenty of ways to manage the fear and feel more comfortable around fabrics. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. With time, practice, and the right support, you can overcome your fear of certain fabrics and feel more comfortable in your own skin.

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