The variety of fears that invade us has no end and that is something that we have seen many times in our dictionary of phobias . Frequent fears such as the fear of flying, almost generalized fears such as arachnophobia and also the most curious fears such as cheese phobia, for example. On this occasion, we address the problem of pedophobia or fear of dolls , a disorder more complicated than it may seem at first.
What is pedophobia
Pediophobia is the fear of dolls that can also extend to robots or mannequins , for example. It is a less common disorder than coulrophobia or fear of clowns but it shares some similarities, since in both cases the feared stimulus is something that in principle has the function of amusement and not of frightening.
It is true that some dolls can provoke a certain rejection . While some people love to collect antique porcelain dolls, for example, other people gaze with rejection and some dread at those faces frozen in time with a most macabre expression.
And what about the influence of cinema and television to convert that rejection or fear of certain diabolical dolls. Generally, the basis of pediophobia is that that doll comes to life and can harm you, something impossible, but no less terrifying in the mind of a person who suffers from a phobia. The dolls do not come to life, but fear does not stand out precisely because it is a mechanism that uses reason .
It is advisable not to lose sight of the risk posed by pedophobia, although it may seem at times a matter to be joked about. No phobic disorder, strange as it may seem, can be underestimated in the risk it poses to the mental health of the person who suffers from it. The fear of dolls is not a joke, it is a disorder as dangerous and as disabling as other phobias that we take more seriously such as agoraphobia or claustrophobia can be .
Symptoms of pedophobia or fear of dolls
People with pediophobia can experience all the symptoms of anxiety before the feared stimulus. You don’t have to find yourself with a doll in your hands, a situation that you will try to avoid by all means and that you can easily achieve. But perhaps it is not so easy to avoid finding a doll lying around the living room when you visit a house where there are children, much less will you be able to avoid seeing dolls on television or when you are spending leisure time on social networks.
It is not so easy to avoid dolls on a day-to-day basis, but that anguish goes unnoticed by people who do not suffer from pedophobia. It is the presence, the vision, or the very idea of a doll that triggers a series of well-known symptoms for people who suffer from anxiety. Sweating , dry mouth , dizziness , palpitations , tingling in the extremities , shortness of breath , nausea and the situation can be complicated until reaching a panic attack .
These physical symptoms of pedophobia usually pass to others of a psychic nature, such as anguish , terror , disorientation , irrational and catastrophic thoughts and loss of concentration. If the disorder lasts over time, the consequences can seriously damage mental health, with great problems of self-esteem and a high risk of depression .
Because when you have already suffered some episodes of anxiety due to pedophobia, what you try is to avoid a new crisis. Avoidance behavior is that common protagonist in phobic disorders that makes every movement you make terrifying just in case the next time the possibility of encountering the feared stimulus appears. And so little by little it paralyzes you until in the most serious cases there is total social isolation .
Causes of fear of dolls
At this point it is worth asking what is the origin of this fear of dolls. And if in some cases of phobias we can find a genetic factor or even a trace of adaptive fear, here we can discard it and keep the three most common factors .
+Conditioning by traumatic experience is the most frequent origin of pedophobia. If in your childhood you suffered a great emotional impact that you relate to a doll may be reason enough to develop the phobia . And we’re not talking about you being attacked by a doll, of course, but what if they gave you bad news when you were playing with your dolls? The association will remain there in the form of a phobia until you receive proper treatment.
+The environmental factor is also important in the case of pedophobia. Many times what in principle is a simple rejection that cannot be considered a disorder turns into a phobia fueled by external influences. In this case, the horror cinema with its diabolical dolls turns your greatest terror into reality, that the doll comes to life and that it also does it to hurt you.
+We cannot ignore the previous anxiety disorder when it comes to phobias . Perhaps you had never realized your fear of dolls, but if you have been suffering for a while an anxiety disorder may appear. And the most worrying thing is that phobias can appear without having any relationship with each other if you do not seek help in time. We talk about help to overcome anxiety and protect you against future phobic disorders.
What is the best treatment for pedophobia
As you can see, pedophobia is more disabling than it might seem at first. Fear of dolls is not usually put on the priority list of problems to be solved, but remember that a phobia is a disorder , but it can also be a symptom of a major anxiety problem.
You can try to overcome your fears on your own, but it is not advisable in the case of phobias, since we are facing a real problem that can limit your life to the extreme. That is why we always recommend going to a psychologist even in the case of those phobias that in principle do not alter your day to day or do not impact your life too much.
The therapy most used in the treatment of phobias is Cognitive Behavioral Therapy , the same one that is generally used for cases of anxiety. In this therapy you learn to modify the irrational thinking that leads you to fear and later to transform the avoidance behavior that all phobias cause. Will you ever have to avoid the dolls? Of course.
In treatments to overcome phobias , Exposure Therapy is also often used . It is an exposure to the dreaded stimulus gradual and progressive and, of course, under the supervision of the professional. You won’t be going to a doll museum on the first day, but it can become a long-term goal.
More tools in the treatment of phobias are relaxation resources. Breathing exercises , relaxation techniques and practices such as Mindfulness are always recommended because they represent a long-term investment that can protect you against relapses or the appearance of new phobias as well as reducing the anxiety present in all phobic disorders.