Fear Of Human Figures: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

We all have things that scare or disturb us. In the case of people with Automatonophobia, the fear of human figures such as dolls, mannequins, robots, and so on. The word Automatonophobia comes from the Greek autos or automata which means self-action and phobias which means aversion or deep fear. Fear of human-like figures is rarely likely to impact one’s day-to-day life. However, for people who suffer from it, there can be a lot of anxiety , nervousness, and hesitation surrounding these figures. Let’s take a look at the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for Automatonophobia.

Causes of fear of human figures

  • Anxiety is a normal part of life.
  • It prepares us for dangerous situations and also helps us to act quickly. It is estimated that more than 19 million Americans suffer from common anxiety disorders and phobias.
  • Like all other specific phobias, the fear of human-like figures arises out of nowhere, typically in childhood.
  • It can be traced to an event in the past that causes shock or trauma in the life of the person who suffers it.

As a child, the phobia may have watched movies or read books about automata. Many science fiction thrillers like I, Robot depict robots with artificial intelligence that are capable of making decisions and displaying negative behavior.

 A visit to the wax museum with human figures could be a “spooky” experience for someone with a sensitive mind. Siblings or friends with the phobia could have played a prank on you as a result of which you could develop a phobia of human figures for life.

  • In general, a combination of genetic tendencies, brain chemistry, and other biological, psychological, and environmental factors can cause phobias.
  • A learned or acquired response can also be responsible for Automatonophobia. An anxious older sibling or parent could indirectly transmit this specific phobia to a child.
  • Some people just have a strong reaction to panic or fear. This can embarrass them and can lead them to develop even more anxiety towards human-like figures.
  • The stress and depression, if untreated, can, over a long period of time, lead to the phobia.

You can also read: Fear Of Being Laughed At: Causes, Consequences, Strengths

Symptoms of fear of human figures

The impact of this phobia on the life of the person who suffers it depends on how easy it is to avoid the object of fear, in this case human figures. Many individuals will do their best to avoid places where such figures may be present. This includes shopping malls with mannequins, museums and movies linked to automatons, etc. Sometimes this can disrupt the daily routine and even reduce self-esteem and work efficiency. This could strain relationships. Here are some symptoms of Automatonophobia:

  • Feeling out of touch with reality
  • Dizziness, feeling of suffocation, vertigo, etc.
  • Hot or cold flushes
  • Sweaty palms
  • Accelerated heart
  • Thoughts of death or dying
  • Tremors, shaking
  • Nausea, vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty breathing when feeling suffocated

Autatonophobia can cause different symptoms in different people .

  • The mere thought of meeting one could trigger an intense panic attack.
  • For the sufferer, this fear of human figures can be alarming, even embarrassing.
  • It can make you feel out of control and stressed.
  • Most phobics try to avoid situations in which they might encounter human-like figures.
  • Avoiding them may not always be possible and can have a significant impact on relationships and daily life.

Treatment for fear of human figures

Self help

  • Start by talking about your fear with someone who cares.
  • Having someone listen to you can be a huge relief.
  • You can also talk to your family doctor, who can guide you to a therapist.
  • Learn to manage your anxiety by reading everything there is about fear.
  • This will help manage panic attacks.
  • Try deep breathing and other relaxation techniques like meditation.

Support groups

  • There are online and offline support groups to help you overcome anxiety.
  • Sharing your experience with someone in a similar situation can be of great help.
  • The fact that you are not alone is also very calming.

Cognitive behavioral therapy

  • CBT or cognitive-behavioral therapy aims to identify the connections between thoughts, feelings, and responses of each to them.
  • This helps to break the patterns for managing anxiety attacks.
  • CBT consists of several different techniques, including desensitization, which includes exposing yourself to the object of your fear – in this case automata or human-like figures – until you no longer experience distress or anxiety.


  • Hypnotherapists implement techniques that help phobics to relax so that they can determine the root cause of fear.
  • Find an experienced therapist to help you relieve symptoms of Automatonophobia.


Antidepressants, tranquilizers, and beta-blockers calm anxiety and relax the mind.

However, you should only use them as a last resort.

Many of these drugs have adverse side effects like drowsiness, etc.

We hope this guide helps you explain what Automatonophobia is all about, its causes, symptoms, and ways to help yourself or a family member who suffers from it.

Georgia Tarrant
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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.