Fluffy Soft White Snow, Harmless? Not if you Have Chionophobia
Do you look for excuses not to get out of the house in the winters? Does the white carpet of snow that seems majestic to everyone else tend to terrify you? Do you find yourself racing to the safe confines of home the minute the snow starts to fall?
You have no way of explaining why your eyes are glued to the weather report during the winters hoping for snowfall. Can you explain why when holidays such as Christmas require you to walk out into the snow, you get terrified or why the feeling of a “white Christmas” doesn’t fill you with joy like it does your family and friends?
Living with such a fear is probably very difficult and not something easily understood by someone who hasn’t gone through it. However, there is no need for you to lose hope. There may not be any particular way of treating a phobia. But, there are many treatment methods you can try.
What Causes the Phobia of Snow?
Chionophobia usually originates from a past, negative childhood experience. It can be because you were hit with an extremely hard snowball or were the victim of an accident caused due to slippery roads and snow. Snow comes with harsh weather conditions, and it could result in being snowed in, loss of power, frozen pipes, fallen trees, which could all prove to be dangerous.
Any of the above-mentioned incidents could be where your fear of cold is rooted.
An irrational fear of water could develop into a fear of ice, which is nothing more than frozen water.
Sure, these fears have all proven to be irrational, but hearing that doesn’t help your case, does it?
The term Chionophobia originates from the Greek word ‘chion’, which refers to snow, and phobia which means fear. Chionophobia is the irrational fear of snow, and it is usually linked with the fear of death or physical harm. Phobias manifest differently in different kinds of people based on their individual experiences. However, there are two prominent fears at the roots of Chionophobia. The first is the fear of being blockaded by snow or stuck or captivated in the snow. The second is the fear of being stranded all alone in the snow.
You may realize that your fear is irrational and unfounded. However, you may still have a hard time accepting those facts, let alone controlling them. At times you may tend to refuse to step out of the door if there is a blanket of snow covering the otherwise clear roads and driveways.
Your friends may tend to avoid the fear, terming it as stupid or thinking that you are simply trying to seek attention. However, to someone having Chionophobia, the fear is very real.
Symptoms of Chionophobia
Like all other phobias, Chionophobia tends to cause various symptoms.
The most common symptom of Chionophobia is when someone who has Chionophobia starts paying undue attention to the weather reports. You begin to get stubborn and refuse to step out of the house when the weather is snowy. The fear of snow and stormy weather may sometimes fill you with a sense of dread and doom, which may lead to extreme trembling and, in some cases, even panic attacks.
Chionophobia can also lead to depression.
The physical symptoms of Chionophobia include crying, screaming, shaking, and in some cases even vomiting. Some other symptoms also include heart palpitations and stomach disorders. The rapid increase in heartbeat, trembling, nausea, difficulty in breathing are some of the other commonly observed physical symptoms of Chionophobia.
You may also sweat excessively and feel like you are choking when the fear is triggered.
Like all other phobias, Chionophobia is an irrational fear. But if you find that Chionophobia is interrupting you from living your life normally, then it may be time to consider professional help. While phobias do not have any particular treatment, there are multiple treatment methods that you try.
Self Help – What Can You Do for Yourself?
Before considering seeking out professional help, try solving your problem by yourself. After all, self-help is the best help. Since the mind tends to believe what it hears constantly, you can try reassuring yourself that it is going to be okay.
Relaxation techniques such as breathing exercises and meditation can go a long way in calming the mind when the phobia is triggered. Counting numbers and reassuring yourself with positive thoughts and statements have also proven to be helpful in the long run.
An alternative method in treating Chionophobia would be to expose yourself to your object of fear. With your phobia at its peak, it may sound impossible for you to do, but where there is a will there is a way. Maybe start small by simply watching the snowfall from the window as you grow more confident, step out into the snow for a short walk. As you continue to expose yourself to the snow, which may be very difficult at the time, you will find your fears depleting slowly as you progress.
Gradually exposing yourself to wintertime activities also help reduce your anxiety regarding snow.
Professional Help for The Fear of Snow
Depending on the extent of your symptoms, it is best to seek professional help. In some cases, extreme fear might affect the daily functioning of your life. It may come in the way of work and your career etc. Hence, it is important to know not to ignore the panic attacks and instead seek out treatment to get to the root of the fear.
Hypnotherapy has proven to be an effective remedy for treating various social phobias, including the fear of snow, that is Chionophobia. It relaxes you deeply, allowing the therapist to understand the root cause of the phobia. Which, in turn, will open you up for suggestions on ways to overcome it. The therapy is known for its ability to reduce the severity and recurrence of panic attacks, which you may be suffering from as well.
Coping with Chionophobia
All of the above-mentioned treatment methods can in no way guarantee that your phobia will completely vanish. However, they will allow you to control your phobia, as opposed to you being controlled by it. What that means is, that you will no longer feel the same levels of anxiety when in contact with snow, and will finally be able to cope with the fear.
Overcoming Chionophobia can go a long way in leading a relatively normal life. You can now go skiing with all your friends and truly enjoy the wonderful and fun-loving spirit that comes with having a “white Christmas”. And more so, be able to run out in the snow with your family and participate in those ever so pesky snowball fights, which may then turn into snowball wars!