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The amygdala, Greek for "almond," is a pair of structures deep within the medial temporal lobes in our brains (shown in green, below).We know that the amygdala is involved in fear because of animal lesion studies.
Researchers surveyed over 250 children, aged four to 16, and found clowns to be "universally disliked" by all ages.In fact, if you're like my mother and hate Halloween, look ahead to Thanksgiving—and be thankful for your intact amygdala that allows you to be fearful in the first place! Follow Jordan on Facebook, Twitter, or check out her website. From the narrowness of such a diagnosis to be just afraid of CLOWNS, I would think this "phobia" of clowns is much more deep rooted liked to another, or maybe even several other anxiety disorders. The long list of phobias has become a bit absurd given they are all anxiety disorders. Aside from their uncanny appearance and the mistrust of someone with a disguised face, there may be another reason why people fear clowns. Most of them actually believe they are phobic when they are not.Perhaps it is useful to name the phobia so psychologists can research and identify niche treatments? What you are witnessing is Pseudo Clown Phobia whipped up by Media Shrinks & Junk Science. The two most common aspects of clown makeup are white face paint and a broad grin, giving clowns two characteristics similar to the pallor of a corpse and the risus sardonicus grin associated with tetanus or strychnine poisoning. It made me feel scared to see them or be in the same room! They will fight to the end to perpetuate this false concept about themselves.In 1961, Claude Levi Strauss wrote about the "freedoms" that masking oneself allows. This is a case of coming up with junk science to justify people's Neurosis. I think you nailed it with the comment that we feel uncomfortable that we are expected to laugh.A mask gives a clown the chance to adopt a new identity: "the facial disguise," he writes, "temporarily eliminate[s] from social intercourse that part of the body which..individual's personal feelings and attitudes are revealed or can be deliberately communicated to others." to laugh. So is this "coulrophobia" on DSM-V, because the article said it was on DSM-IV, but thats not relevant anymore as far as I know, because DSM-V has come out. If you have REAL Clown PHOBIA UR EMBARRASSED BY IT. ALL PSYCHOLOGISTS should be standing up & say enough. Clowns impose themselves but I also wonder if we inherently fear grown adults who elect to dress in costumes and parade around children?