Rain is the substance that replenishes the moisture in the earth. It is the precursor to rainbows, and a gentle rain can help some people go to sleep. For those who fear rain they are said to suffer from Ombrophobia.
It is natural to see people running to their vehicles or homes in order to get out of the rain, and it is likely that there are those who worry about hair or makeup when it comes to rain, but in the end this is simply a concern about appearance and cannot be classified as an actual fear of rain.
The term for this fear comes from species of plants who do not do well when they receive too much moisture. cactus would be a type of ombrophobous plant.
What Causes Ombrophobia?
It would be simple to say that watching The Wizard of Oz contributes to this fear as viewers see a witch melt from the effects of water, but the truth is there are other more logical ways this fear is introduced and perpetuated.
For instance it is entirely likely that at least one generation paid attention to warnings of acid rain. While the meanings may have been misunderstood there was the feeling that the rain falling from the sky may pose a substantial health risk. The immediate response was to avoid rainfall and the long term approach to dealing with the issue was a phobic response.
Like most fears, an individual can learn the fear on their own, but in most cases it is introduced to them by someone else.
Symptoms of Ombrophobia
The ombrophobe will likely pay particular attention to weather reports and will not venture outside if there is even a small potential for rain. They may feel safe in the comfort of their home, but can be subjected to panic attacks if they are caught in even a light shower.
Other symptoms include…
- Heightened anxiety
- Air hunger
- Flight response
- Elevated or irregular heartbeats
- Emotional shut down
The profound sense of panic in any fear response can instill a powerful sense of dread that the phobic personality loathes, but feels ill equipped to change. They may even say things like, “Not again,” or “Not now” when the sense of panic begins to overwhelm them. Stopping the response can seem impossible to the one who lives with the anxiety created by their fears.
How to Overcome Ombrophobia
A therapist will likely be able to provide information that can help you understand why the fear you have may be much less dire than you originally thought. They may be able to provide visual opportunity to see others who may actually be enjoying the rain with no ill effects. They can track down the root cause of the fear and address this issue.
Some therapists will work to draw you to the place where you can accept rain falling first on an outstretched hand and then perhaps on an upturned face as you seek to gain control over the phobic response that may have altered the way you engage life.