Phobias,  Psychology,  Public Reads

Clowns and Needles are so S****!

Clowns and Needles are so S**** !

Are you afraid of clowns and needles? If you do, we can be friends!

When I was a child, I watched a Hong Kong drama series called “Forensic Heroes” (法证先锋). For some episodes, there were always clown killers murdering or torturing the victims. I loved the cases in the drama but the scenes were too haunting to me – they were deep-rooted in my mind, causing me to link clowns with dangerous people or criminals. 

As for needles, I wouldn’t say I like injections and I hate it when the nurse takes the hypodermic needle and approaches me. I would be nervous and my heart would beat fast every time I get injections. What was I thinking? You may ask. Hmm… I constantly thought of whether the needle would break off or the nurse would inject me with an empty syringe and cause me to die. 

          However, I don’t think my fear of clowns and needles is as severe as a phobia because they don’t trigger me easily and affect my life profoundly. A phobia is an intense fear and anxiety about certain things, people, situations, or places that we wish to avoid. Usually, it’s our psychological response that is tied to something traumatic in the past. Moreover, phobias can impact one’s behavior and daily functions depending on one’s severity. 

          In the clinical psychology field, there’s a way to differentiate normal fear and phobia. An adult with phobia usually fulfills some criteria, for instance:

1) Noticeable fear or anxiety about a specific object or situation. For example, flying activities, heights, animals, receiving an injection, seeing blood. In children, they may express their fear or anxiety by crying, freezing, tantrums, or clinging.

2) Persistent fear, anxiety, or avoidance, which lasts for 6 months or more.

3) The fear, anxiety, or avoidance causes severe distress or malfunctions in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning.

4) The phobic object or situation almost always provokes immediate fear or anxiety, and it is actively avoided or endured.

           Just a side note, in the psychology field, the scientific term of clown phobia is called “Coulrophobia”, while the term for needle phobia is “Trypanophobia”. Normally, phobias can be treated with systematic desensitization, exposure therapy, or Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT). Thank you for reading this. But, please, please, please… don’t scare me with clowns and needles (and cockroaches!). Okay?

Thank you for reading this !

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