The treatment of phobias, including those related to the weather, typically involves a process of gradual exposure. This can involve exposure to pleasant winds or light rain, starting with light and gradually increasing to heavier conditions. The goal is to instill a sense of security in a variety of situations. Unlike general anxiety disorders, phobias are usually specific and often related to something that causes fear. These fears can manifest in a range of physiological sensations such as dizziness, rapid breathing, dry mouth, palpitations, and sweating. For example, acrophobia is the fear of wind and nepopophobia is the fear of clouds due to their destructive presence overhead and potential link to severe weather.
Phobias related to the weather are often developed due to past negative experiences with the weather or inherited genetically from family members who also share the same phobia. These fears can significantly impact daily life and cause people to avoid activities they might otherwise enjoy. For instance, social phobia affects 2.9% of children compared to only 0.3% of adolescents while astrophobia is more common in children due to its association with loud noises such as thunderstorms that may cause them distress or fear driving at night during stormy conditions.
One example of this is Anna from “The Woman Next Door to the Girl in the Window” who suffers from agoraphobia and refuses to go outside during rainfall out of fear it could trigger her condition again. Another example is Catherine Clements who avoided going outside when it was snowing for eight years after her car lost control on an icy main road in 2008 causing her embarrassment about her condition despite knowing she needed help.
Treatment for these phobias typically involves cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) which aims