Pagophobia is a term used to describe an individual who has an unnatural fear of ice or frost. It is normal to possess some fear of certain objects of experiences. Fear is a natural protection mechanism designed to engage caution when dealing with objects that can harm in some way. A phobic response is an unnatural fear response that is disproportionate to typical fear.
Pagophobia takes a healthy respect for ice and frost and relegates it to the role of something that has the power to intentionally injure or kill. This may seem silly to one who does not share the fear, but for the pagophobe it is essentially an ever expanding universe of fear that often seems completely uncontrollable even when the phobic personality truly wants to eliminate the fear.
What Causes Pagophobia?
Some experts insist that there are phobias without any originating source, and this may be correct in some instances, but in the majority of cases the fear was either introduced or the result of a traumatic experience. Even when the pagophobe can’t recall an originating fear the use of therapy can help them uncover the source of the fear and deal with it.
That fear may be the result of an injury suffered while slipping on ice. It could be the result of a car accident on a wintry road. It could even be the result of watching someone else who was injured in icy conditions.
Some individuals come to embrace this fear when they move from a warmer climate devoid of ice to a colder climate where wintry conditions can be typical and overwhelming.
Individuals who have this phobia may experience very mild symptoms if they can avoid leaving their home. These mild symptoms may simply be dry mouth, a slightly elevated heart rate and a modest amount of anxiety, but if those individuals have to go outside new symptoms may show up and previous symptoms may expand.
- Air hunger
- Irregular heartbeat
- Panic attack
It can be so hard for those who do not have this fear to understand the absolute dread that is experienced in any phobic response including pagophobia.
How to Overcome Pagophobia
You should know that a self diagnosis may not be a correct diagnosis. It is possible to feel a sense of fear in relation to ice and not be a pagophobe. If you can take that fear and face it then you may not be exhibiting a phobic response. The phobia essentially renders you incapable of expressing courage in the face of fear.
Therapists will generally begin with talking you through your fear and why it may not be impossible to overcome. The therapy will advance to methods designed to teach you to use new parts of your brain to think of your fear in terms of logic instead of emotion. If brain retraining works it becomes much easier for you to take the steps needed to overcome your fear.
It is important to work through all fear-based issues because they rarely ever stop with a singular fear. They keep expanding in what appears to be a life takeover.