A phobia is an irrational, intense, persistent fear of certain situations, objects, or activities.
Unconscious learning takes place to keep us safe. In primitive conditions when coming into contact with something dangerous, the mind/body would create the optimum state for survival - a panic attack. This type of learning is not of the intellectual or rational type. This type of learning takes place at an emotional level so that the response can bypass the ‘thinking brain' and can be attributed to the causes of phobias.
To become phobic, all you need is a high anxiety state paired with an object. The causes of phobias are basically giving over to your imagination. Non-specific phobias can come about either through a 'spreading-out' of panic attacks, or through a person's levels of general anxiety becoming so high that panic is easily triggered whenever stress levels are raised even slightly.
Clown phobia is an intense fear of something that poses no actual danger and while adults with clown phobia realise that these fears are irrational, they often find that facing, or even thinking about facing, the feared situation brings on a panic attack or severe anxiety. To add insult to an already distressing condition, most clown phobia therapies take months or years to cure and often require the patient to be exposed repeatedly to their fear. Known by a number of names - Coulrophobia and Fear of Clowns being the most common - the problem can often significantly impact the quality of the suffers’ life. Symptoms of clown phobia typically include shortness of breath, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating, nausea, dry mouth, and overall feelings of dread. Like all fears and phobias, clown phobia is created by the unconscious mind as a protective mechanism. At some point in the past, there was likely an event linking clowns and emotional trauma. Whilst the original event may have been a real-life scare of some kind, the condition can also be triggered by a number of things including movies, or TV.
Attaching emotions to situations is one of the primary ways that humans learn, but sometimes the wiring goes a little wrong. Most sufferers are surprised to learn that they are far from alone in the surprisingly common, although often unspoken, clown phobia.