Fear Of Clocks

The fear of clocks is known as Chronomentrophobia. When someone has an aversion to clocks, it may signify a deeper fear – the fear of mortality.

Reasons For This Phobia

The fear of clocks represents the fear of time passing. Anxiety about schedules, punctuality, and other practical concerns can be a part of Chronomentrophobia. However, its root causes may go much deeper than everyday concerns. Usually, a strong and persistent fear of clocks will signal a fear of impending death.

Is This Tied In To The Fear Of Mortality?

Clocks measure time, and they never stop illustrating the constant passage of time. Our lives are finite, but we do not usually know when the end is nigh. For someone who becomes upset or agitated around clocks, the sweeping second hand can be a constant reminder that time is eternal, but human lives are not.

People with this phobia will avoid having clocks in their home environment, and they may choose to check the time in other ways. For example, many people use their cell phones to keep track of the time. Others use their computer. Avoiding the classically shaped, circular clock with its second hand may be difficult, though, and this aversion can have an impact on daily life.

People will phobias tend to suffer from illness and emotional upset when they are faced with triggers. Since clocks are everywhere in our world, it can be stressful for the person suffering from Chronomentrophobia. From London’s Big Ben, with its huge clock face, to the millions of clocks in offices, train and bus stations, and shops…there is no way to avoid triggers.


The symptoms of this phobia may include feelings of malaise when someone is around clocks. They may feel panicky and need to leave a place where clocks are present. The ticking of clocks can be a source of great irritation to those with Chronomentrophobia. They may have sensitive hearing that exacerbates this problem. Sometimes, headaches, nausea, and lightheadedness will afflict the victim of the fear of clocks.

Without clocks, time may seem less important, and less real. People with this phobia may feel that they are “ruled by the clock”. This feeling will be a reaction against busy schedules, overextending oneself, and feelings of being trapped by a tight schedule. Sometimes, someone’s career can make this phobia worse. People who punch time clocks or deal with harsh deadlines will be more prone to hating and fearing clocks. For them, it is always a race against time, and the stresses of work will weigh on them. They will associate clocks with all the other things they dislike about their fast-paced careers.

Can Clock Watching Provoke The Fear Of Clocks?

Conversely, “clock-watchers” can develop this phobia. Boredom at school or a workplace can be a huge trigger. The seemingly slow passage of time will make this person edgy and apathetic about their life direction.

The critically-acclaimed rock band, Coldplay, led by front man Chris Martin, wrote a popular song called “Clocks”. In the lyrics, Martin ponders the passage of time, which seems claustrophobic:

Confusion never stops
Closing walls and ticking clocks

For many with this phobia, dealing with the fear of clocks will require some element of looking within, and getting at the root of fears. Therapy or panic treatment can go a long way towards easing physical symptoms and allowing for a better life.

The fear of clocks is also referred to as:

  • clock fear
  • clocks phobia
  • afraid of clocks
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