Dolls are often viewed as one of the earliest influences in nurturing when it comes to our children. These tiny forms of plastic and fabric are imaginary playmates for our children and often invited to tea parties and movie nights. When someone develops a fear of dolls they suffer from what is known as Pediophobia.
Dolls come in all shapes and sizes and can represent realistic portraits of babies to more comic alternatives. These dolls have been a toy commonly requested among children from their earliest years. Schools will even use dolls in classes where parenting issues are discussed.
What Causes Pediophobia?
Sometimes Pediophobia can be introduced by way of our own imagination. We can pretend that the doll is real when it suits us to do so, and then be frightened by the prospect in the middle of the night. The fear can be introduced as part of a story told by an older mischievous brother, sister or friend.
This fear can also be introduced by way of a movie that features a doll that comes to life. This can be as seemingly innocent as Pinocchio or as sinister as Chucky. The phobic individual will spend time dwelling on the possibility of a doll coming to life and then fear the outcome of the possibility.
Someone who loves to read might also discover the fear in the words of classic stories involving dolls such as the Raggedy Anne series, The Doll People or The Magic Nesting Doll to name a few.
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Symptoms of Pediophobia
In a child this fear might be expressed by a lack of interest in dolls or hiding them away in a closet that may then become a new source of fear. In adults it may show up in not allowing children to play with dolls or even allow dolls to be brought into the home.
Other symptoms may include…
- Air hunger
- A feeling that you may be losing your mind
- Elevated heart rate
- Embarrassment at your own reactions
Even when an individual agrees that the response is not rational they can struggle with how to deal with their fear when it overflows their emotional banks.
How to Overcome Pediophobia
This fear can seem childish even to the one who struggles with it. They may not wish to acknowledge the fear, which can make it more difficult for them to seek the help they may need to begin recovery.
One of the best ways to overcome the fear is to simply admit your struggle to a trusted friend or family member and then seek the help of a therapist to assist you in coming to terms with the fear and how it can be managed.
The truth is the fear you feel may never be totally eliminated, but you can come to learn where the fear originated and how to deal with the phobia when it shows up from time to time.
The fear of dolls is also referred to as:
- Doll fear
- Fear of dolls and puppets