Pluviophobia is a psychological condition in which a person faces intense and excessive fear of anything remotely related to rain like lightning, storms, or thunder. As this fear-causing stimulus is a standard or frequent phenomenon, Pluviophobia can be pretty debilitating.
It is an awful experience to get exposed to something one is afraid of or has a phobia of. As a result, people usually tend to avoid facing their fear and getting exposed to something that triggers anxiety. Sometimes, the feared stimulus is not so common to encounter and is easily avoided by a person with a phobia.
However, often, the feared stimulus is prevalent in daily life and is quite commonly encountered by the person having the phobia, as in the case of Pluviophobia. As in pluviophobia, the feared stimulus is everything related to rain; it is common to get exposed to such stimulation. This makes it difficult for the person to avoid facing it.
Pluviophobia is also known by the name Ombrophobia. This condition is often manifested during the youth phase of an individual and can affect them throughout his lifetime. Therefore, it is pretty common to see this condition prevalent amongst children and teenagers.
The symptoms presented by a person suffering from pluviophobia vary from one person to the other, depending on how severe the fear is. These symptoms may also differ significantly between children and adults as this condition affects both groups.
In the case of phobias, the person’s nervous system with dread responds in the same manner as when the person sees a severe life-threatening scenario. These nervous responses elicited by the brain of the person having phobia causes increased levels of stress and anxiety, which can lead to panic attacks.
Common symptoms exhibited by patients suffering from pluviophobia include the following:
- Hyperventilation: A condition in which the rate of breathing increases above normal.
- Tachycardia: It is a condition in which there is an increased heart rate.
- Gastrointestinal problems: It includes issues related to the stomach and intestines.
There can be other symptoms as well, which can include: feeling of pressure in the chest and head, headaches, dizziness, and trouble while breathing.
Symptoms that children present:
- Uncontrollable shaky movements
- Keeping a constant eye on the sky to check if it will rain
- Continuous crying and screaming behaviors
- Avoiding going outdoors, especially in the rainy season
Symptoms of Pluviophobia as presented by adults:
- Increased heart rate or elevation in a heartbeat
- Increased anxiety can eventually lead to panic attacks
- Constantly checking the weather forecast to see if it is going to rain
- Thoughts of dying due to rain
- Shaking and trembling in fear
- Unable to express himself
- Having numbness
Causes of Pluviophobia
Pluviophobia is an idiopathic medical condition that could affect anyone. For someone suffering from such a psychological condition, there is no specific predisposing condition. One of the causes of pluviophobia can be explained as being laid in a negative experience in the past, which is related to rain or storms. It can also be triggered by some stimuli such as lightning, flooding, or any other intense weather conditions.
Individuals with pluviophobia feel pretty vulnerable in such conditions caused by natural phenomena. Usually, in people having pluviophobia, rain is linked to a lack of control and experience of extreme fear. These panic attacks or anxiety can also be triggered when an individual anticipates the fear-inducing stimuli.
Treatment options for Pluviophobia
For the treatment of patients suffering from pluviophobia, psychotherapy is the best option. He should, first and foremost, consult a specialist who is capable enough to evaluate the severity of his phobia. Specialists working for the treatment of people suffering from phobias can identify the triggers of the condition.
The specialists can evaluate the signs and symptoms as well as the reactions evoked by fear-stimulating triggers. Then, a proper treatment plan can be built for a better prognosis through adequate individual evaluation.
The most common method for the treatment of pluviophobia used by psychotherapists is exposing the patient to the fear-stimulating trigger, which is rain in the case of pluviophobia. This method is called the exposure and response method or prevention therapy. In this process, the individual is exposed to the trigger of the phobia in a fictitious way.
Earlier the diagnosis, better is the prognosis of the person suffering from pluviophobia.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is overcoming pluviophobia possible?
Yes, overcoming a psychological condition like pluviophobia is possible if diagnosed early. Psychotherapy is the best option for the treatment of this scary psychological condition. The psychotherapist also implements Cognitive-behavioral therapy on the person with pluviophobia.
Is there any other name of pluviophobia?
Yes, there is an alternate name for pluviophobia that is homophobia. Ombrophobia or pluviophobia is a condition in which the person suffers from an extreme fear of rain. Some might even get debilitated with minimal rain if they have ombrophobia.
The literal meaning of the word homophobia is: “Ombro” means rain, and “Phobia” means fear.
Are leukophobia and ombrophobia the same?
No, leukophobia and ombrophobia are completely different psychological conditions. In leukophobia, the patient suffers from a fear of white color. This fear of color is associated with any past traumatic incident in the presence of snow or if the person has gone through an accident.
While in Ombrophobia, the patient has an extreme fear of rain or phenomena associated with it. These two conditions are psychological and can be cured by psychotherapy effectively but are entirely distinct from each other.
Is rain depressing?
Yes, for patients suffering from pluviophobia, rain is quite depressing. Rain instead creates the feeling of anxiety and can eventually lead to panic attacks. If they have pluviophobia or any other form of phobia, one should not run away from the fear. They should rather face their fear-creating stimulus and try to get habitual to the same.