Phobias Types Pediophobia: The Fear of Dolls By Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer and editor with a deep interest in phobias and other mental health topics. Learn about our editorial process Updated on April 18, 2021 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Daniel B. Block, MD Medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD LinkedIn Twitter Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania. Learn about our Medical Review Board Fact checked Verywell Mind content is rigorously reviewed by a team of qualified and experienced fact checkers. Fact checkers review articles for factual accuracy, relevance, and timeliness. We rely on the most current and reputable sources, which are cited in the text and listed at the bottom of each article. Content is fact checked after it has been edited and before publication. Learn more. by Cara Lustik Fact checked by Cara Lustik LinkedIn Cara Lustik is a fact-checker and copywriter. Learn about our editorial process Print Westend61 / Getty Images Pediophobia, or the fear of dolls, is believed to be a type of automatonophobia, or fear of humanoid figures. Some people are afraid of all dolls and stuffed toys, while others fear only a specific type. Dolls that talk or move and old-fashioned china dolls are especially common targets of fear. Pediophobia and Children Many parents want their children, especially little girls, to love dolls. They may become distressed if their child screams or cries when a doll is presented. It is important to keep in mind, though, that small children are just learning to separate fantasy from reality. A doll, which appears to be human but is not, can be terrifying to a child who does not yet understand the concept. Therefore, like most phobias, pediophobia is not diagnosed in children unless it has persisted for more than six months. Of course, if your child’s fear is severe or inconsolable, it is important to ask for the advice of the child’s doctor. Pediophobia in Pop Culture The fear of dolls has been heavily exploited in pop culture settings, ranging from movies to Halloween events. In most of these occurrences, the premise is that a seemingly harmless doll has become a sentient being bent on destruction. Whether this happens through magical spells or random chance, the net result is the same: a child’s plaything has become deadly. These films tap a primal fear that may be one of the roots of pediophobia; the fear of the silent killer. In a world filled with threats, ranging from bioterrorism to tainted spinach, it is common to worry that something we cannot recognize as dangerous could lead to our destruction. This is one of the basic fears present in doomsday phobias and exploited in Hollywood films, such as Without Warning. List of Phobias, From the Strange to the Common Diagnosis Since pediophobia may be linked to a range of other fears, it is important that only a trained professional attempt to make a diagnosis. Your therapist will ask direct questions that are designed to help you clarify exactly what you fear. You can, however, prepare for your visit by making a list of your specific triggers. Are you afraid of all dolls or only certain types? Have you always been afraid or can you pinpoint when the fear began? Do you have other fears that may or may not be related? Gathering as much information as you can ahead of your visit can assist your therapist in making an accurate diagnosis. Treatment Pediophobia is easily treatable. Depending on the exact nature of your fear, a range of talk therapy styles may be appropriate. Cognitive-behavioral therapy is the most common for those with a specific phobia, as it is both time-limited and effective. It is not the only choice, though. Another type of therapy that may be helpful is exposure therapy because it helps you get used to the presence of dolls by repeated exposure to them, which can help reduce or get rid of your fear altogether. 1 Source Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Cedars- Sinai. Phobias in children. By Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer and editor with a deep interest in phobias and other mental health topics. 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