The fear of the navel exists: this is omphalophobia


The curious problem of having an irrational fear of the belly button

The fact that a phobia is not frequent or that you have not heard of it does not mean that it does not exist and that it does not involve a certain danger. This is the case of omphalophobia or fear of the navel , a disorder that is very limiting and problematic, and that must be treated as soon as possible. We tell you everything you need to know about omphalophobia in our dictionary of phobias .

What is omphalophobia

Omphalophobia is the fear of the belly button. An irrational and excessive fear, as occurs with all phobias, in which the navel is considered as something dangerous . What danger can a belly button pose? The truth is that none, but logic does not come into play when we talk about phobic disorders.

Phobias of some parts of the body are not unknown to us. We have already seen how some people suffer chirophobia or fear of the hands or the most frequent podophobia or fear of the feet , where fear is mixed with a certain repulsion towards that specific part of the human body. And the same goes for omphalophobia.

Symptoms of omphalophobia

This phobia of the navels presents the same symptoms as anxiety . When you have your own belly button or someone else’s, you start to notice a feeling that something is wrong. It is when anxiety is triggered in the face of the supposed danger and then dizziness , palpitations, tingling, tachycardia and shortness of breath appear until they can turn into a panic attack.

All this for a stimulus as seemingly harmless as a belly button. But in addition to the physical symptoms, omphalophobia also has a series of psychic symptoms , the usual ones in this type of phobias. Among them are distorted thoughts, anguish and a low self-esteem when being aware that fear of the navel is irrational.

Causes and consequences of omphalophobia

You can intuit the consequences of this phobia if you can imagine what life is like for a person suffering from omphalophobia. From the difficulties when it comes to daily hygiene that are solved by not looking at one’s own navel, to the impossibility of going to a space like the beach where people display their navels without complexes and without knowing that there is a person fearful of this specific part of the body.

But what can cause a phobia as curious as that of the navels? It is difficult for us to establish the cause of omphalophobia in a traumatic experience as it happens with most phobias. Therefore, its development is most likely linked to an anxiety disorder that promotes distorted thoughts.

Treatment of omphalophobia

The avoidance behavior that phobias cause is precisely what imposes the limitations on the lives of the people who suffer them. And although it seems that it can be relatively easy to avoid belly buttons without serious consequences, it is not. Even if that is the case, a phobia by itself is a sign that something is wrong and help should be sought as soon as possible .

Psychotherapy is necessary to overcome omphalophobia and the most effective is cognitive behavioral therapy , a treatment that reaches the origin of irrational thoughts that considers the navel as a danger and that also works avoidance behavior. With fear removed, the need to escape is also removed .


Written by Giorgia Stromeo

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