Pediophobia is the clinical name for fear of dolls, dummies, mannequins or children
While it is certainly not the most common phobia that we treat here in our hypnotherapy clinics in the UK, it is something that we do see several times a year. Many clients have been relieved to learn that not only is there a name for this disorder, but that it most certainly can be successfully and quite easily treated.
The real number of people suffering from this particular anxiety disorder is actually unknown because most have no name for it and so imagine that they are the only ones with this fear. Few people would really feel fully at ease visiting a doctor and saying: ‘Well, Doctor, the truth is that I’m afraid of dolls…’
This, of course, not only serves to further alienate the person experiencing the phobia, but it also prevents them from getting the help that they need and that is available. Left untreated, pediophobia can affect and impact on a person’s life in quite major and devastating ways.
Sometimes, this fear can assume such overwhelming proportions that it seriously interferes with the individual’s ability to function in a normal way. An individual afraid of manneqins, for example, can very easily find a way to avoid those shops selling clothing. Or the person fearful of children or dolls may find themselves refusing to visit family and friends who simply do not understand the reasons for their behavior.
The symptoms of pediophobia are, generally speaking, similar to those found in other phobic conditions.
In the presence of children, mannequins or dolls, the phobic individual usually finds their heart pounding and their breathing becoming labored and shallow, and this is so often accompanied by feelings of nausea and a dry, parched feeling in the mouth. Some people may find difficulty in thinking or speaking properly, and the anxiety can swiftly snowball into a full blown panic attack, with all of its fearful feelings.
All too often the individual experiencing this phobia is all too keenly aware that it is irrational, but he or she feels powerless to do anything about it. Will power and attempts to ‘grin and bear it’ do precious little to lessen its frightening grip.
This is simply because fear, in common with all feelings, is being manufactured in the subconscious, and so it is to the subconscious that we must look in order to find an effective soloution.
But what causes a person to develop such a fear or phobia?
Almost always it is because of some unpleasant experience that the individual has passed through when younger, often in childhood.
At some time in the person’s past, they have been surprised or shocked while in the presence of mannequins, dolls or children, or have had a frightening experience which the younger self interpreted as being dangerous. (In some cases, this may even have been in a dream, nightmare or movie.)
This traumatic experience caused the pediophobic person to become afraid and anxious and they have linked this fear with mannequins, dolls or children in a manner similar to a ‘conditioned response’. Often this event has been forgotten by the conscious mind, but it is still being held onto by the subconscious which is attempting to prevent the person from putting themselves into danger again by creating fear as a means of protection.
But there is a way out.
Unfortunately, many therapists attempt to remove this phobia by simply working on the symptoms – the fear itself. This, however, can all too often prove only a temporary fix, even complicating matters.
A phobia has an origin, and carries with it much unprocessed subconscious emotion. By simply removing the symptom that is fear, the individual open to the unprocessed emotion surfacing in some other way.
In a process akin to displacement, the anxious emotions can later manifest themselves in all sorts of different unpleasant ways that are ostensibly unconnected with the original phobia. This is called ‘symptom substitution’.
In order for pediophobia to be fully and completely treated and healed, it is essential that the powerful subconscious emotion linked to the phobia also be correctly processed and comprehensively treated, together with the anxiety and fear itself.
In the hands of an experienced, fully qualified transformational hypnotherapist, the person can be safely taken back to the initial sensitizing experience itself (and to key reinforcing experiences, too) and there the damage can be undone. The ‘script’ or ‘program’ can be ‘re-written’.
Once the subconscious has accepted the truth – that mannequins, dolls or children do not in reality pose a threat or a danger — then the person is released from the grips of this pernicious and restrictive phobia.
If you or someone you care about suffer from the inhibiting phobia that is pediophobia, fear of mannequins, fear of dolls or fear of children, do not despair, help is available.
With correctly applied, modern transformational hypnotherapy techniques, you really can regain control and end pediophobia for good.
You’ll be glad you did!