Hannah Matthews Suffers From Koumpounophobia Or 'Button Phobia' (VIDEO)

Just the thought of buttoning a cardigan can make a college student in Great Britain break out in a sweat.

Hannah Matthews, 21, has a condition called "koumpounophobia," which is basically a fear of buttons and causes her to panic and even run away when the fastenings are near her.

“I know it’s irrational and I obviously know a button can’t hurt me but there’s just something about the shape and the texture that freaks me out,” she told The Mirror.

The problem first popped when Matthews was 5 and had to put on a sweater for school.

''My mum says I would freak out when it was time to get ready for school," she told "I would scream, cry and as I got older, I started to have panic attacks when faced with the prospect of touching them and getting ready.''

Matthews has tried to keep from becoming unhinged by wearing only clothes with zippers and by working with a therapist, which has helped a little bit, she said.

''It really used to affect my chances in job interviews, but I know more about self-control techniques now, so if someone is wearing buttons I try really hard to control my reaction," she told ''It still makes me feel uncomfortable but I can now distract myself if it's just on someone's shirt.

"However, if it starts coming towards me or the word is mentioned in conversation I still panic.''

Matthews' phobia is unusual, but she's not alone. In 2007, Steve Jobs revealed to the Wall Street Journal that he had a button phobia, and that's why Apple designers downplayed them in their products.

The National Institute of Mental Health claims 10 percent of Americans suffer from one phobia or another, with the most common being fears of spiders, followed by snakes, heights and crowded places, according to

However, you can see some more unusual fears in the gallery below:



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