Ok to clear things up, I'm not afraid of buttons just extremely grossed out by them. In Verywell Mind's article, "Understanding the Fear of Buttons," the author wrote, "Many people claim to feel disgusted by buttons rather than actively afraid of them." I've been repulsed by buttons for a long time. Just writing this article, I can feel my blood pressure rising. Everyone I've ever told about it has either not believed me or told me how irrational my "fear" is. I have literally been chased with buttons.
I figured it might be time to discuss this phobia. I'm not totally sure when it started. I think it might have been from my elementary school bully.
She used to chew the buttons on her shirt *BARF*, but I also have childhood memories from before this of not wanting to wear certain clothes my mom had bought me because they had buttons on them.
I went to private school wearing uniforms my whole life. I was forced to wear polos all 13 years of my primary schooling years. How did I do that? I just tried not to think about the buttons on my shirts and never adjusted them. I also tried cheating the system through the years by wearing school sweatshirts instead of the polo shirts.
My strong dislike of buttons has heightened over time. A few months ago I was doing a floor set at work and I had to hang some panties and they had gross button-like decoration on the band, and I was almost in tears and gagging every time I'd accidentally touch one. I felt like such a dumb drama queen so I powered through it.
After finally talking about it to some people I looked it up and it actually had a name. I wasn't the only person that struggled with this. The article I opened had a cover photo of a bunch of buttons and I was like why would they do that? Anyway, it told me that my problem has a name "Koumpounophobia" and though it's a terrible, hard to say name (and I don't think of it as a phobia), it showed me that others struggle with it, and I'm not crazy or stupid because of my disdain for buttons.
The article explains that Steve Jobs apparently had Koumpounophobia, which led him to make a phone without buttons (kind of a stretch).
Now that I am not forced to, I never wear buttons — jean buttons don't count. I think the dress with the buttons down the front trend is cute, but I could never wear it.
There are ways to cure the phobia as, over time, an untreated fear of buttons could become life-limiting, preventing the sufferer from interacting with a wide range of common household items. This is because the phobia can spread to disdaining other similar items like coins which I am also beginning to dislike. The phobia is curable through cognitive-behavioral therapy, but that sounds utterly terrible...
Maybe one day I'll be able to brave the cure, but for now, I will continue to cope with my koumpounophobia (like seriously, why is it called that?).