It may seem hard to imagine that anyone could fear snow. At it’s most basic element it is simply water. That being said there are those who suffer deeply from this snow fear known as Chionophobia. When it is suggested by radio or television that the weather outside may require individuals to stay home and safe the chionophobe doesn’t need to be told twice. They may refuse to look outside and the thought of actually braving conditions by walking out of doors is something they cannot conceive doing.
What Causes Chionophobia
There may actually be several root causes for this fear and most of them go back to an incident in childhood, although not all of them do.
It could be something seemingly insignificant to many who do not have this fear. Instances of being hit by a snowball, getting stuck in deep snow or even a sledding accident can trigger the fear. It could also be the extension of a fear of being trapped or dying in cold conditions.
Some who have a fear of snow develop that fear after a car accident on a snowy road. This experience can convince many that snow and ice are not safe and should be avoided at all costs. This can be especially true if someone died or was critically injured in the accident.
What are the Symptoms of Chionophobia
Because snow is seasonal many who suffer from this fear do not seek treatment, rather they will rely on avoidance as their best means of coping with their fear.
Those who have a fear of snow may exhibit some of the following signs.
- Personal avoidance of the outdoors
- An involuntary shudder at the sight of snow
- May be relaxed indoors, but will become visibly upset at the prospect of going outside
- Elevated or irregular heartbeat
- Sense of dread or panic
- Feeling as though they may be losing their mind
- An urge to hide or flee
In most cases the individual experiencing the fear understands the irrationality of the fear, but they are ill equipped to manage the fear and to make a necessary confrontation of the fear.
How to Overcome Your Fear of Snow
Overcoming your fear means to acknowledge you have a fear and express a willingness to do something about it. Many who express fear either deny they fear or absolutely resist anything that would place them in a position of dealing with that fear.
Perhaps the best way to begin overcoming your fear is to recognize that snow and ice are natural wintertime occurrences. Some may even get to the place where they can appreciate the beauty of snow without fully accepting the role of actually going out into the snow.
Some individuals will pursue professional therapy as a means of dealing with their fear of snow. This will often mean an actual confrontation with snow and a desensitization toward the flaky moisture.
Doctors may prescribe certain medications to help individuals deal with their fears. One of the dominant traits of these anxiety medications is providing balance within the brain to temporarily alleviate the symptoms of anxiety.
How have you dealt with the struggle of snow fear? How you found a support group that can help? Which therapies worked best for you? Do you still struggle from time to time?