Girl’s button terror

A Hampshire student has spoken out about her rare phobia – a paralysing fear of buttons.

Gillian Linkins, 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, reports The Sun.

The sight of buttons sends her 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.

“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.”

Gillian, of Waterlooville, tried in vain to hide her phobia from school pals in case she was picked on and has tried hypnotherapy, without success. Her phobia, koumpounophobia, affects one in 75,000 people.

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

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