Tummy button phobia can be treated > Several callers pointed out

that we missed one important ‘button’ in yesterday’s Posting about koumpounphobia. And that is the fear of tummy buttons, or omphalophobia if you want another grandiose word.

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This phobia involves being afraid of having your belly button touched or tugged either by yourself or others. It is also the fear of seeing others touch their own bellybutton. Most suffers are able to look upon an untouched belly button, but become uncomfortable, nauseated and anxious when one is being touched, especially their own. Others may become nauseous from just a picture of a navel.

As for most phobias, therapy – especially hypnotherapy – can be very effective.

Maybe the best way to describe the misery caused by this fear is to quote from a sufferer … “I really freak out thinking about belly buttons being touch. Sometimes I even think I will vomit if I think too much about it. I cannot stand someone touching their belly button and worse of all if someone would touch mine – not that there is any reason why they should! I feel a freak and would never tell anyone for fear of being laughed at. Even my parents don’t understand it.” 

Omphalophobia is a serious phobia, but it IS treatable. Often the cause is that that there was some sort of traumatic event in the sufferer’s life. Also the body’s skin is thinnest there, so it feels like a super-intimate place for someone to be allowed to touch.

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The most important points to remember is that there is nothing to be ashamed of, you are not alone in having this phobia and it can be treated easily.

This entry was posted in Body And Senses Phobias, Phobias, Phobias Decoded, Stomach Disorders and tagged belly button phobia, fear of tummy button, omphalophobia, omphalophobiac, tummy button phobia. Bookmark the permalink.Post navigation

26 thoughts on “Do you fear your own belly button?”


Daisy J says:
November 2012 at

My friend has a serious case of Omphalophobia and I want to understand it more. I am told that no one has done a study of patients who have it – is that right?From what I have seen on-line most people with is are most afraid that their belly buttons will be pulled out, along with their guts (is what you think pillowgirl?).My friend says he is convinced that all of his insides would fall out if anyone touched his belly button. He says he *knows* that isn’t the case, but the fear is too strong.He is most afraid of sharp or pinching things going anywhere near his belly button – even the sight of someone poking their belly button with a finger makes him gag and panic. I’ve tried to work with him on it, and now he can sort of clean his belly button in the shower if he doesn’t look at it.He doesn’t know what caused his fear particularly, but he remembers when it started. Apparently when they removed his umbilical cord when he was a baby they did a crappy job and deep inside of his belly button there is a tiny, dry, black piece of it still connected.I don’t know if everyone who is omphalophobic had some traumatising experience like this?