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Cryophobia or cold phobia: winter is coming

winter is coming

There are people who love winter and enjoy the snow, but there are other people who find the cold a lot of discomfort and rejection. And others directly suffer cryophobia or an irrational and excessive fear of the cold . It is a disorder closely related to those phobias of meteorological phenomena that can greatly limit the life of the person who suffers from it. In our dictionary of phobias we talk about cryophobia.

What is cryophobia

Cryophobia is the fear of cold, the feeling of cold that is generally felt in winter, low temperatures or even the ice of a cold drink. As you can see, it is a disorder that finds very varied stimuli but all of them with the same limiting consequences.

People who suffer from cryophobia are afraid during winter . It is, most of the time, a fear of getting sick due to the temperature , but also a fear of feeling in the hands that cold sensation of an ice cream or a drink with ice. As with all phobias, fear does not correspond to the level of real danger that the situation presents.

Symptoms of cryophobia

Just thinking that winter is coming you can already see that anticipatory anxiety . Seeing large snowfalls on TV news, even in other places or a beautiful Christmas postcard with snowy landscapes is enough to trigger all the symptoms of anxiety in a person with cryophobia.

Agitation, nervousness, a feeling of suffocation or even a panic attack are the most telling symptoms of this cold phobia when the stimulus that is so feared cannot be avoided. Seeing the snow fall through the window and knowing that you have to leave the house to go to work can be a real torture. But there is more, because the symptoms of cryophobia can also develop in other more everyday situations that do not occur in winter, such as having a coffee with ice, eating an ice cream or bathing in the sea with the surprise that the water is colder. than expected.

Causes of cryophobia

Cryophobia should not be confused with cold allergy , because the feared situations are the same. Many times it is the allergy itself that triggers the phobia , but that irrational fear of cold has other causes, such as suffering from a previous anxiety disorder that multiplies and intensifies the feeling of danger in everything around you.

Like many other phobias , cryophobia can find its origin in a traumatic experience . If someone in your family, for example, suffered from frostbite in the fingers on a high mountain trip and you experienced it with a great emotional load, it is reason enough to develop this fear of the cold.

Cryophobia treatment

Cryophobia can be overcome with psychological help and sometimes additional drug treatment may be required. The solution is not to move to a place with a warmer climate to avoid living in cold situations, but to face fear and overcome it. With help, yes.

Generally, phobias are overcome more effectively with cognitive behavioral therapy , which works both irrational thinking and avoidance behavior. The feeling of danger in the cold is exaggerated and you have to start there. Then, together with relaxation techniques to reduce anxiety, the different behaviors that are adopted in the dreaded situations can be modified.

Written by Giorgia Stromeo

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