The fear of clowns is pretty common and fairly well documented. It actually has an official name – Coulrophobia … clown phobia.
When you think about it though it’s quite a strange phobia as clowns are supposed to make people happy! They are most associated with the circus, amusing antics and generally having fun. Kids are expected to like clowns – and many do but almost as often they will stimulate feelings of hatred and fear – merely the sight of a clown can send such children into panic.
It follows on that when a child develops a fear of clowns it’s highly likely to grow into an adult with coulrophobia. The reverse is not necessarily true either such phobias can start at any age so it’s possible that a coulrophobic adult had no fear of clowns as a child.
All About Coulrophobia
Coulrophobia is the scientific name referring to the fear of clowns. According to Healthline, an American website that provides health information and advice, 7.8% of Americans experience this fear. This statistic shows that if you are suffering from this phobia, you are not alone. Scientists further assert that the 1990’s film, IT, directed by Steven Spielberg, fueled the rise of coulrophobia. In fact, researchers attribute the many cases of this phobia today to that particular film. They affirm that it was since the production of the film that the number of people suffering from the fear of clowns increased.
What other people experience with joy, people suffering from coulrophobia find it hard to cope with. For example, a person with the fear of clowns finds it difficult to remain calm in events like festivals where people dress as clowns. The dreadful feeling that people experience whenever they see a clown is what makes them uneasy. It’s important to point out that the irrational fear of clowns affects both children and adults. Knowing the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for coulrophobia is helpful in managing the condition. Learn more about coulrophobia below.
Causes Of The Fear Of Clowns
There are various causes associated with coulrophobia. Traumatic experiences happen to be one of them. Just like it is for many phobias, the fear of clowns finds its way into someone’s life as a result of a past traumatic experience involving clowns. It could be that a person had an experience with a clown that inflicted intense and lasting fear. From that moment, the brain records that clowns are terrifying and once you meet them you should flee from them. This explains why people who face traumatic experiences might stay with the haunting feeling for a long time, if something is not done about it. Children, in particular, can experience traumatic events that fuel the development of coulrophobia early in their life. According to FEAROF, Psychologists point out that children below the age of 4 are highly reactive to unfamiliar faces. If they are exposed to clowns at this age, chances are high that they may develop this phobia.
Pop culture and media also contribute to people developing this fear. There are so many scary films in the entertainment industry today. This is an industry that continues to grow with every passing day. Thus, when people glue themselves to such forms of entertainment, it’s likely that this fear will develop. There is an association between terrifying clowns in different forms and platforms of media and people being frightened by them. Healthline highlights that watching too many of these films and videos can have a big impact on someone in regards to coulrophobia. Especially for young people who have a lot of time to spend watching scary films, those who are not emotionally strong can find themselves developing the unreasonable fear of clowns. However, there are people who can view a frightening clown in a film just once and the brain records it as something to be afraid of.
Learned phobia is also another cause of coulrophobia, though this one is less common. Through repeated learning and experiencing a particular thing or phenomenon, it automatically becomes part of you. Getting rid of what one has learned in such a way can be difficult. This is where the concept of learned phobia comes in. Learned phobia simply means that a person learns the fear of clowns from someone very close or from a trusted figure. Given that people learn more about the world from the older people they look up to, when they see them being afraid of clowns, they also tend to develop the same fear. For example, if a child sees his mother being terrified by clowns, he may grow up knowing that clowns should be feared.
Symptoms Of Coulrophobia
There are physical and mental symptoms associated with coulrophobia. The following are some of them:
- Shaking- It can be slight or severe depending on the degree of fear.
- Anxiety- Feelings of uneasiness upon seeing a clown.
- Feelings of dread-Whenever a person sees a clown he or she gets overly frightened.
- Difficulty breathing and increased heartbeat- This commonly happens when a person is afraid.
- Nausea- In most cases a person might feel sickly.
- Sweating-This is a response to one being terrified by a clown.
- Intense emotions-Affected people might start to scream or cry upon seeing a clown.
- Panic-Affected persons manifest great fear.
Treatment For Fear Of Clowns
If you’re looking to help your child overcome a fear of clowns you’re best off seeking specialist help. There are various ways in which a therapist can help you the help your child through this if it’s a reall issue.
If you’re looking to cure your own clown phobia then the same therapy treatments are available to you. These are typically Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), the more commonly recognised Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) or Hypnotherapy.
When it comes to hypnotherapy there’s a treatment program you may wish to check out first. It’s a self-hypnosis program called simply Overcome Fear Of Clowns. It arrives in the form of an instant audio download that you can follow in complete privacy and a time and in a place convenient for you. You can take it at your own pace and listen again and again. At less than $15 (or equivalent in your local currency) it represents fantastic value for money … especially when you take into account a full money back guarantee. We suggest that you check this out – it really does work!