Automatonophobia, also called Automatonophobia, is a compulsive disorder in which individuals are afraid of anthropomorphized objects. Common examples of such objects are wax dolls, statues, mannequins, and plush toys. Automatonophobia is, however, a very specific type of phobia that involves being terrified of an item that typically causes serious and excessive fear and anxiety and may affect negatively your quality of living.
Diagnoses of Automatonophobia
Automatonophobia is a disorder that we can not diagnose accurately. Most often, doctors would classify it under the label of “pet phobia”, or just as “fear of pet”. This is the most common treatment for this condition.
Symptoms of Automatonophobia and Age
Like many other phobias, Automatonophobia can begin at a very young age. It is not uncommon to find that children who suffer from it exhibit symptoms even before reaching the age of five or six. At this age, they may exhibit signs of anxiety and panic attacks on a regular basis and may even develop a very intense fear for the object or situation that is causing their anxiety. For children, this form of anxiety disorder can be especially debilitating as it can result in avoidance of social settings. Eventually, many children who suffer from this phobia will grow up, grow out of their automatonophobia, and resume their lives normally.
Those suffering from automatonophobia may also choose to use toys or puppets as a means of treating their fear. Many people who suffer from this phobia have been known to develop a strong attachment to their dolls or to the idea of human-like figures. The fear comes from the unknown feelings that a doll may cause. For instance, if a child doll slips on some slush, the child may begin to panic and wet his or her feet. This scenario applies to any figurine or other item that can come into contact with the patient.
For those who exhibit more severe forms of automatonophobia, we sometime administer exposure therapy to treat their anxiety symptoms. Exposure therapy involves slowly exposing patients to small amounts of the object or situation that is causing their fear so that eventually they become used to the idea of its presence. This exposure therapy method has proven to be extremely effective in treating different forms of anxiety disorders including automatonophobia. The main drawback to this type of therapy is the length of time that it takes. As such, we only use it as a last resort for severe cases.
Other Treatment Options of Automatonophobia
Another treatment option for those suffering from a less severe form of the disorder is visualization. This treatment option involves looking at pictures, drawings, or models of objects or places that can help relieve their symptoms. Since some patients are comfortable looking at actual figures of things. They may opt instead for looking at figurines, photographs, or computer-generated images that help them to imagine the object or situation in a more realistic manner. While this type of treatment may involve repeating the image until the patient becomes comfortable. It has is quite effective in helping some patients treat their fears. This method has proven especially effective when dealing with very real and frightening figures such as automatons.
Distract Yourself to avoid the Phobia
There are also alternative methods for treating the phobia of automatonophobia. These options include trying to distract oneself by looking at something else such as a book or magazine, counting out loud, or listening to music. All of these options have proven to be effective in helping some patients to relieve their symptoms.
In recent years, models of mannequins have become a popular treatment for patients who suffer from automatonophobia. There are a variety of mannequin styles that are available in various stores and online. These include life-size models and various shapes that mimic different parts of a human body. We can use these models to treat the specific phobia of automatonophobia.
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