London, Apr 21 : A 22-year-old Britain girl is battling with one of the world's most bizarre phobias - fear of buttons.
Gillian Linkins can't even stand in the same room as friends and family, who wear them. The sight of buttons sends her into panic attacks.
She realised her phobia at the age of seven, when she refused to put on her school blouse.
"I've had the fear as long as I remember. My mum says I freaked out when it was time to get dressed," The Sun quoted her as saying.
Moreover, her boyfriend Nate Dorrington, 23, also wears clothes with zips.
"I have always been fearful of buttons, especially when they are grouped together."
"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.
"My cousin was wearing a button necklace one day and in the end she had to take it off,"
"I could not stand being in the same room as her," she added.
Linkins, of Waterlooville, Hants, struggled hard to hide her phobia from school friends and has even tried hypnotherapy to cure herself, but nothing could benefit.
"Some people don't believe me and I try to joke about it. I've tried things like self-help tapes and hypnotism but nothing has worked.
"Watching the children's TV show Button Moon is like being made to watch a horror movie. People just think I'm weird," she added.
The phobia named Koumpounophobia, affects one in 75,000 people.
"The phobia often affects children and the problem can persist into adulthood," said a spokesman for The National Phobics Society
"We suggest cognitive behavioural therapy as a way to self-manage the phobia," spokesman added.