The Excessive Fear of Cold
We all want to cuddle up in the cold winter. Sit by the fire when the cold creeps in through our sweaters. It is normal to long for warmth when the weather is cold. What’s not normal is to clench our teeth and be overly terrified when the weather report says there will be snow.
If you feel intense fear when the weather reporter says it’s going to be a cold day, you may have cheimaphobia. This phobia might sound surreal to some people, but it is very real. Real people suffer from cheimaphobia. Like all other phobias, it entails irrationality.
You avoid cold cities. You retreat to warmer places, such as California, because of this fear. This fear deprives you of staying in any city you want to. You adjust your dreams and social life to what your phobia dictates. It is a phobia that can alter dreams, aspirations, and put a dent in social life.
Cheimaphobia can also spring up from seeing images of cold. Watching Game of Thrones can be very frightening for people suffering from cheimaphobia! You’ll be gripped by fear seeing not only the white walkers, but also the bulk of snow at the wall. Becoming a member of the Night’s Watch is almost close to impossible.
Indeed, cold weather is dangerous and can cause severe health issues. Frostbite is a real danger when it comes to cold weather. Hypothermia is also a health risk from prolonged exposure to cold environments.
Extended exposure to cold weather entails many other risks. But many simple protective measures can also be done to prevent these risks. Still, people suffering from cheimaphobia might feel distraught and overestimate the risk.
All You Need to Know about Cheimaphobia
What is Cheimaphobia?
Cheimaphobia is the abnormal and persistent fear of the cold. The fear includes cold objects and temperatures. When you suffer from this kind of fear, you feel undue anxiety. As a sufferer, you’re well aware that the fear is irrational. Still, extreme fear traps you in whenever you sense cold or see cold things. So, you prefer warm cities and dress in a way that protects yourself from any form of cold.
The phobia can have a major impact on a sufferer’s daily life. For instance, as you restrict yourself to warm places, you miss out on experiences that might take place in a cold place.
The treatment includes psychological interventions. Lim most phobias the mind is usually responsible and is what helps sustain the fear.
Causes of Cheimaphobia
Genetics could be potential cheimaphobia causes. You have increased risk of developing this phobia if you have a parent, family member, or close relative suffering from this same phobia. In such cases of phobia (i.e., if caused by genetics), the treatment could be different from a phobia triggered by experience or environmental factors. There aren’t specific statistics on the number of people with this phobia because of genetics. But research has established genetic factors to contribute to this phobia’s development.
Past experiences can also lead to the development of cheimaphobia. Traumatic ones, particularly, might help to trigger the phobia. Merely remembering such events can overwhelm a phobia sufferer with fear and helplessness. Several unique experiences involving a cold object or environment can develop into a phobia. For example, a person who has been in a snowboarding accident could develop a fear of all cold things. Another scenario could be a landslide that left someone trapped under a pile of snow.
The experience is indeed scary and could scar a person for life. The treatment is to be very therapeutic and done by a professional. The treatment should entail the treatment for PTSD. Most people develop phobias after a traumatic experience. The fear of getting on planes could arise from surviving a crash or knowing someone who has survived a crash. Being in that situation again causes you to relive the trauma again.
Witnessing another person experience the dangers of cold weather could also cause cheimaphobia. Particularly if that person is someone close, and seeing the experience firsthand instilled fear and anxiety in the individual with phobia. The fear that you almost lost someone dear to you because of the cold could have caused you to be afraid.
Symptoms of cheimaphobia are similar to that of most phobias and those exhibited by people with anxiety disorders. The symptoms become active when there’s a feeling of cold, information about an imminent cold, or an outlook of cold. The mere idea of cold things could also cause fear.
Physical Symptoms of Cheimaphobia
Some of the symptoms experienced include:
● Stomach Ache
Stomach upsets are common when you’re afraid. If you’re a phobia sufferer and you got exposed to cold, you might develop an ache in your stomach.
● Tense Muscles
Tension in the muscles is a common symptom when it comes to anxieties. This is a common reaction when in fear. The muscles become tense when people are anxious and fearful about something. In people with cheimaphobia, the muscles become stiff and they are not completely in your control anymore when the condition is triggered.
When it comes to phobia sufferers, increased perspiration is usual. Sweating is something most people do when they’re panicking. Sweating during a cold is uncommon, but in people with this phobia, breaking into sweat is possible when the condition is triggered.
● Shortness of Breath
Some people find it hard to breathe when they are feeling extreme fear.
Psychological Symptoms of Cheimaphobia
It is possible to develop a headache when there is intense fear. Phobia sufferers, even if they were completely well before, could suddenly develop a massive headache on top of feeling severe anxiety after getting exposed to a cold environment.
Concentration is impossible when the phobia sets in. The sufferer would find it hard to concentrate on a particular thing. The emotion takes over, and the thoughts revolve around the dangers of being in a cold environment. Nothing else can occupy the mind at that point.
The mind is what helps to maintain most phobias, including cheimaphobia. One approach for treating this condition is to find a way for the mind to understand how the phobia works.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
Cognitive behavior therapy is a way to handle cheimaphobia. This approach will help you believe that fear is a result of environmental influences. There are no facts that make fear rational. You’ll begin to understand that you’re not in any physical danger. The therapist will strive to help address your thoughts toward cool things and environments. Using a structured approach, the therapist will encourage you to share your thoughts about the object of your fear, and then teach you ways in which you can deal with the condition productively. Cognitive behavior therapy is usually combined with exposure therapy for the best results.
Exposure therapy is another method. This method involves gradually exposing you to cold environments. The aim is to help you get used to them until you can control how you react to them. The therapist may start by having you visualize a cold place or coldness in general. Then later on, exposed you to cold things.
Fear can be conquered. With determination and appropriate support, the time will come when you won’t have to retreat at the slightest feeling of cold and realize that the cold can be fun too!