What Is Coulrophobia?


How to Deal with Coulrophobia

How strange does it sound that some people are afraid of clowns? Yes, same clowns that entertain many others. The fear of clowns is called coulrophobia. People who fear clowns find it difficult to stay calm wherever clowns are. Let`s look at ways to deal with the fear of clowns, among other discussions around this.

Symptoms of Coulrophobia

One of the major symptoms of coulrophobia is a deep-seated panic and intense emotions when sufferers see clowns. They particularly find clowns terrifying. This fear comes with physical and mental symptoms such as:

  • nausea
  • shaking
  • dry mouth
  • panic
  • anxiety
  • feelings of dread
  • difficulty breathing
  • sweating or sweaty palms
  • increased heartbeat
  • intense emotions such as crying, screaming
  • becoming angry at the sight of a clown

What Causes the Fear of Clowns?

The fear of clowns is usually due to a deeply traumatic and frightening event. Sometimes, the cause is unknown. Let`s look at the common causes of coulrophobia.

Scary Movies

Scary clowns in media could cause people to be intensely afraid. When people view too many scary movies with clowns, they are at risk of suffering this condition.

Traumatic Experiences

When people have an experience that involves a clown and they are unable to escape, they may suffer trauma and be at risk of coulrophobia. Their brain and body could be wired from that point to avoid situations that involve clowns. The phobia may also be tied to other traumatic events in the sufferer`s life. It`s best to discuss these experiences with a therapist.

Learned Phobia

This is not a common one, however, it occurs. Some people learn their fear of clown from a friend or family member.

How to Diagnose and Treat Coulrophobia

medical testIt is best to diagnose phobias by talking with a mental health professional or therapist. They know the best ways to go about the diagnosis and will then prescribe treatment options. A combination of medication, psychotherapy, and home remedies are effective at treating coulrophobia. We`ll discuss a few of them in detail.


In psychotherapy sessions, patients will meet with their therapist to talk through phobias, anxieties, and other mental health issues. For coulrophobia and similar mental health conditions, patients may experience two types of psychotherapy: exposure therapy and cognitive-behavioral therapy.

Exposure Therapy

Exposure therapy is exactly what the name is. Patients get exposed to their fears in a non-threatening environment. The therapist may show them a picture of a clown and discuss the emotions that come up at such moments, as well as find ways to manage the intensity.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

CBT helps patients change their thinking and patterns around certain behaviors. The therapist may also help them change their negative thoughts about clowns.


Medication is usually used with talk therapy. The common types of medications are:


This is particularly used to treat high blood pressure, as it causes the heartbeat to pump a little slower. Whenever one suffers a fear response or panic, beta-blockers help them feel more relaxed.


This is a prescription drug that helps sufferers feel more relaxed. Because they are a little more intense and can lead to dependence, they are usually used as a last resort for treating phobia or anxiety.

Home Remedies for Treating Coulrophobia


Mindfulness is a meditation technique that helps sufferers focus in the present moment, as against any traumatic past experiences. Sometimes, phobias occur as a result of experiencing trauma. Mindfulness can help you reduce your fears and deal with the trauma.

Relaxation Techniques

meditationThere are various relaxation techniques such as yoga, and guided meditation that you can practice.

Tips on Seeking Help for Coulrophobia

Find a Support Group

You may speak with your therapist or check with the Anxiety and Depression Association of America to find a phobia group in your neighborhood.

Contact a Psychiatrist

Your therapist might recommend a psychiatrist. You may also reach out to the American Psychiatric Association to link you up with one.

Talk with a Trusted Friend or Family Member

As much as possible, you should reduce shame and stigma by talking to a friend or family member. Talk to them about your phobia and how you feel. If you are suicidal, please speak with your therapist, psychiatrist, or call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

Some Facts About Phobia and Mental Health

  • One in five Americans has experienced a type of mental illness.
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death in the world and with over 800,000 deaths associated to it annually.
  • Employers who hire people with mental health issues report good attendance, punctuality as well as motivation, and excellent performance.
  • People with mental health problems are just as productive as other employees.
  • 50% of adults in the United States who have had a problem with substance abuse also suffer from mental illness.
  • Studies show that one in 10 young people has experienced major depression.
  • Only 44% of adults with diagnosable mental illnesses receive treatment.
  • Getting adequate sleep, eating balanced meals, and exercising are vital positive lifestyle choices that can prevent mental health issues.
  • A phobia is a persistent fear of an activity, or a situation, or a thing.
  • The three main types of phobias are social phobia, which is the fear of meeting new people, public speaking, or other social situations; agoraphobia, which is the fear of being outside.
  • Although phobias aren`t usually reported, there are over 6 million people suffering from phobias in the United States.
  • The average age that phobias begin is about 10 years.
  • Women are twice as likely as men to develop a phobia.
  • The most common kinds of phobias include social phobia, agoraphobia, aerophobia, zoophobia, arachnophobia, dentophobia, claustrophobia, coulrophobia, acrophobia, mysophobia, aichmophobia, homophobia and ophidiophobia.
  • Agoraphobia usually co-occurs with panic disorder.
  • A phobia may worsen to the point where the sufferer’s life is seriously impacted, and may affect physical health, friends, and family.
  • Mental illnesses can affect people of any age, race, religion, or social class.
  • Depression is one of the leading causes of disability all over the world.
  • Communicating with friends and family will help you prevent mental health illness, particularly during stressful periods.
  • People who have lived through a major disaster are twice at risk of mental health issues than those who haven`t.
  • Seeking immediate medical attention to trauma can prevent mental health disorders, especially in children and adolescents.
  • People who belong to the LGBTQ community are twice as likely as straight people to suffer mental illnesses.
  • Seek treatment immediately you observe symptoms of poor mental health.
  • Phobias are sometimes caused by parenting style and culture, and can also be triggered by life events.
  • People who suffer from phobias often suffer panic attacks.
  • Mental healthcare practitioners use desensitization, cognitive behavioral therapy, and medications to treat phobias.

What Should you Know About Clowns?

  • In the early 1970s, a doctor, Patch Adams, started clowning patients to help them recover faster, as well as brighten the gloomy hospital mood.
  • The first written records about clowns date as far back as the Fifth Dynasty of Egypt in 2400 B.C.
  • There were also clowns in ancient Greece who were bald-headed figures that made parodies of humorless characters.

Now that you Know…

Besides knowing how to deal with phobias, you now know how to deal with coulrophobia precisely. If you notice that you or a loved one has coulrophobia, please see mental healthcare professional, or advice them to do so,