Pediophobia: Symptoms, Causes and Treatments

The Pediophobia is a type of specific phobia is characterized by excessive and irrational fear of the dolls form.

The people who suffer from this disorder do not only fear the dolls that in their design contain some element related to terror, but they fear all the dolls in a general way.

Specifically, it seems that in this phobia dolls are more feared elements than other types of dolls. However, any doll regardless of its qualities can generate high feelings of fear in the pediophobia.


Currently, it is argued that pediophobia is a rare disorder. In fact, it is not among the most prevalent types of phobias in society.

However, this type of specific phobia is a disorder that is well described and delimited, and has effective interventions to treat it.

In order to review the information available about pediophobia, this article reviews the characteristics, symptoms, causes and main treatments of this psychopathology.


Pediophobia is an anxiety disorder that is included in the diagnostic group of specific phobias. It is a type of specific phobia less common than other phobic disorders such as spider phobia or blood phobia.

However, certain people may develop a phobic fear of dolls, which is characterized by having the same properties as other types of specific phobias.

People with pediophobia fear in a totally irrational way the dolls and, especially, the dolls. When a subject with this alteration is exposed to its phobic elements (the wrists) immediately experiences an intense and unpleasant anxiety response.

Likewise, people with pediophobia always avoid contact with these objects to avoid also the fear, anxiety and discomfort that they cause.

In general, the pediophobia can be a minor alteration for the person, since it can find certain facilities not to expose their phobic elements and avoid contact with dolls.

However, it is highly convenient to intervene pediophobia. Currently there are effective treatments that allow to reverse the phobic fear and, therefore, overcome this type of specific phobia.

Fear of dolls

To speak of pediophobia, it is necessary that the fear that the person presents made the dolls present certain characteristics.

In fact, not all types of doll fears can be included in the diagnosis of pediophobia. In order to relate the fear of these elements with pediophobia it is necessary that the subject present a phobic fear that is characterized by being:

1- Excessive

The dolls do not pose any risk to people, so most fears of these objects can be interpreted as excessive. However, in the delimitation of the fear of dolls, certain appreciations can be made.

In the first place, there are certain dolls related to movies or horror events that can present in their own aspect frightening elements that can generate more or less high responses of fear.

In the case of pediophobia, this would not be an important element. The subject with this alteration fears all dolls equally and experiences elevated feelings of anxiety when exposed to dolls regardless of their appearance or expression.

2- Irrational

The fear of pediophobia is also characterized as irrational. The subject with this alteration is aware that his fear of the wrists is unfounded and incongruous.

However, the person can not do anything to manage their fear of the dolls because it is processed through irrational thoughts.

3- Uncontrollable

The person with pediophobia is unable to control and manage their feelings of fear. Fear appears totally uncontrollable whenever it is exposed to its feared object.

4- Permanent

The phobic fear of pediophobia is not subject to temporary factors. This is not experienced only in certain stages of life, so if it is not treated properly, a person with pediophobia will fear the dolls all their lives.


The symptomatology of pediophobia is mainly anxious. The person experiences intense manifestations of anxiety when exposed to the wrists.

The most typical symptoms of pediophobia are physical ones. The subject with this alteration experiences a series of modifications in the functioning of his organism as a consequence of the fear developed. The most typical physical manifestations are.

  1. Increase in the cardiac rate
  2. Increase in the respiratory rate.
  3. Increase in muscle tension
  4. Increased sweating
  5. Headaches and / or stomach
  6. Dizziness, nausea or vomiting.
  7. Feeling of unreality
  8. Dry mouth.
  9. Body tremors

On the other hand, pediophobia highlights the cognitive symptoms that are characterized by the development of a series of negative and irrational thoughts about dolls and personal abilities to cope.

Finally, to be able to talk about pediophobia it is necessary that the fear of the dolls affects the behavior of the person. Avoidance is a highly prevalent symptom that is characterized by avoiding contact with the feared element at all times.


The etiology of pediophobia is characterized by not presenting a single cause but several factors that can be fed back into the development of psychopathology.

Among them, direct conditioning, vicar conditioning and informative conditioning seem to be especially relevant. However, genetic factors, personality traits and cognitive styles may also play an important role.


In the treatment of pediophobia, psychotherapy has been much more effective than pharmacotherapy, so psychology sessions are usually advised.

Also ReaD: Chordophobia: Characteristics, Consequences and Associated Social Factors

Specifically, cognitive behavioral treatment has very high efficacy rates and is considered today as the best therapeutic tool to overcome phobic fears.

These treatments base their intervention on exposure. Through a gradual and controlled planning, the therapist will expose the subject to their feared elements with the aim of getting used to them and overcome the fear of the dolls.