Brenda Wiederhold Featured in Smithsonian Magazine
From a psychologist’s perspective, a fear of clowns often starts in childhood; there’s even an entry in the psychologists’ bible, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders or DSM, for a fear of clowns, although it’s under the umbrella category of a pediatric phobia of costumed characters (sports mascots, Mickey Mouse). “It starts normally in children about the age of two, when they get anxiety about being around strangers, too. At that age, children’s minds are still developing, there’s a little bit of a blend and they’re not always able to separate fantasy from reality,” explains Dr. Brenda Wiederhold, a veteran psychologist who runs a phobia and anxiety treatment center in San Diego that uses virtual reality to treat clients.
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