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The American Psychiatric Association (APA) doesn’t recognize coulrophobia as a phobic disorder in its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). There are no set criteria for diagnosing it.

A healthcare provider may recommend an evaluation with a mental health professional like a psychologist. This provider may diagnose coulrophobia after evaluating symptoms, including the impact of the phobia on daily life.

You or your child may have a specific phobic disorder like coulrophobia if the fear:

  • Occurs when you see a clown or its image.
  • Causes you to avoid certain situations like parties or the movies.
  • Brings on intense distress that doesn’t match the actual danger.
  • Lasts six months or longer.
  • Affects your quality of life.

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