What do you fear if you suffer from coulrophobia?
And the answer: clowns.
A phobia is when an individual experiences deep-seated panic and intense emotions. Research has indicated that negative and scary portrayals of clowns in popular media has directly contributed to an increase in phobia of clowns.
For those with clown phobias, a trip to the carnival is not much of a walk in the park. Seeing clowns or clownish characters prompts extreme reactions from those with coulrophobia, thus individuals with this phobia will go to great lengths in order to avoid their phobic trigger. Although coulrophobia is a relatively newly-recognized phobia, as the use of the term dates back only to the early 1990s, recent films such as It and Joker have led to a spike in clown-related fears.
Unlike anxiety disorders, phobias are fears that are attached to specific objects and settings. Most individuals with a phobia are able to recognize that their reaction is irrational, but can not control the instant fear and emotional response. Recent research into phobias has revealed that, a phobia is most often connected to genetic and environmental factors, yet it can also be sourced in a variety of other circumstances. Thus, as it is often difficult to successfully investigate the cause of a phobia, individuals suffering from phobias often deal with them by simply reducing their exposure to triggers in their lives. While phobias can certainly be inhibiting for some, it rarely poses a problem for those with more niche phobias unlikely to surface in everyday life.
Learn more about phobias here.