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Belly Button

Omphalophobia (from the Greek word omphalo, meaning "navel", and phobos, "fear") is the fear of belly buttons. Some people looking at belly buttons look unpleasant to them. Sufferers would not touch their belly buttons, or even the whole belly at all. Omphalophobia is commonly caused by traumatic childhood experiences involving belly buttons, like getting too obsessed about it, possibly resulting in poking at it and risk getting hurt. Children with limited knowledge may think that belly buttons are part of umbilical cord that doctors didn't remove but they should've, or even thinking that contents of a gut would spill out if someone tries to "untie" it or pulling the navel.

When someone accidentally touches his/her belly button, or even by watching someone else touch their own belly, symptoms can result, like trembling, shaking, fleeing, nausea and vomiting, rapid heartbeat and breathing.

Omphalophobia is often treated using hypnotherapy, psychotherapy and cognitive-behavior therapy (CBT), as well as anti-anxiety medications. The phobia can also be treated using self-help methods with assistance of friends and family without the aid of therapists, like meditation, positive visualization, and gradual desensitization, which involves the sufferer to expose the object they fear gently, started by looking at a photo of belly button, touching it or letting a family member touch it. Deep breathing when performing these steps can overcome the fear effectively.

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