Test to see if you have automatonaphobia leaves viewers with a new fear unlocked
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If you've ever wondered if you have automatonophobia, then here's a test to help you figure it out.
Automao-what? I hear you say. Not heard of automatonophobia before? Well, there's very good reason and you're definitely going to wish you hadn't.
I apologise in advance for the lack of sleep - and probably nightmares - you're going to get tonight.
Automatonophobia 'is the fear of automatons, wax figures, humanoid robots, audio-animatronics, or other figures designed to represent humans,' according to VeryWell Mind.
And once you look it up or look into it, there's no going back.
Imagine all the spooky stories you used to tell each other at sleepovers when you were a kid coming to life or the doll house in the Doctor Who: Night Terrors episode or if you're a true Disney fan, The Great Mouse Detective scene in the toy workshop.
Rather than keeping the terrifying images to themselves, a TikToker - @khanya_setae - decided to share photos of mannequins and dolls to form an automatonaphobia test.
And it's fair to say people are absolutely s**tting themselves.
People have flooded to the post petrified of the dolls and mannequins and if they didn't have automatonaphobia before, they certainly do now.
One TikTok user wrote: "Now I know I have it."
"I didn't even watch the whole video," another commented.
A third said: "I CANT LOOK MORE ITS CREPPY."
And a final resolved: "New fear unlocked."
But how do you fully know if you've got automatonophobia and does everyone experience it in the same way?
According to VeryWell Mind, there's a spectrum, with some people scared of some types of human-like objects more than others, for example dolls more than robots.
The symptoms? "You may [...] experience shaking, crying, heart palpitations, and other physical effects when confronted by the object of your fear. You may be unable to enter a display that houses automatons. If you encounter one unexpectedly, you may run away, freeze in place, or even hide," it explains.
If your fear of dolls of humanoid robots disrupts your day-to-day life or you end up deliberately avoiding coming into contact with such objects, you may have diagnosable automatonophobia.
The phobia can develop from trauma with such humanoid objects or you can adopt it from someone close to you who has the same fear or even inherit it.
But fear not, because you don't have to be stuck with the fear forever, with breathing techniques, visualisation and medication available to help manage it.
Therapy such as cognitive-behavioural therapy is known to help too, as well as hypnotherapy and something called systematic desensitisation - basically facing your fear slowly so you become less affected by it over time.