A student with a phobia of buttons is having counselling after years of wearing clothing with only zips.
Hannah Matthews, 21, panics when faced with the fastenings and runs away if they are near her.
Her condition, koumpounophobia, first struck when she was five and refused to put on her school blouse.
Hannah said: “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.” But since her first counselling session, Hannah, of Maidenhead, England, has set up coping mechanisms.
She said: “It used to affect my chances in job interviews but now, if someone is wearing buttons, I try to control my reaction.”
But Hannah is still unable to touch them or allow them too near to her.
Late Apple boss Steve Jobs also had the phobia and wore button-free sweaters.