There is always a feeling that comes with smelling the rain and watching the raindrops stick on the glass window. It gives a calming effect such that you can stare at the window all day long as long as it doesn’t catch you outside because that will be a whole different story altogether.
Rain is a phenomenon that cannot be avoided. There will always be seasons of a downpour. For some people, these seasons are their best while for those, the utter thought of the rain gives them goosebumps. More than just being afraid of being rained on, these people are dreadful of the rain itself to a point that they develop a phobia for rain.
Definition of Ombrophobia
Ombrophobia is derived from the Greek words ‘Ombros’ and ‘Phobos’. ‘Ombros’ means the ‘storm of rain’ while ‘Phobos’ means fear. Hence, Ombrophobia is the extreme and irrational fear of rain witnessed in both children and adults. In most cases, the fear of rain is usually accompanied by the fear of lightning and thunder, fear of drowning and the fear of flooding. However, some Ombrophobes can also be afraid of little rain or drizzle and not the heavy rains per se.
What is Pluviophobia?
Pluviophobia originates from the Greek words ‘Pluvio’ and ‘Phobos’ which mean rain and fear respectively. Therefore, Pluviophobia is the fear of rain. In most cases, Ombrophobia and Pluviophobia are used interchangeably because they all refer to the fear of rain.
Nevertheless, Ombrophobia can be used to refer to specifically the fear of heavy rains or storms associated with heavy rains while Pluviophobia can be used to refer to fear of drizzles and little downpour. However, both terms refer to the same kind of phobia.
What is Pluviophile?
There are three kinds of people in relation to rain. The first group of people consists of people who are completely afraid of rain who are the Ombrophobes. The second group of people is those who don’t mind the rain. For them, rain is like any other season and has no meaning or significance.
The last group of people consists of the exact opposites of Ombrophobes. These are people who not only tolerate the rain but are completely in love with the rain. They are people who find joy and peace of mind during rainy days. The rain is a friend of these kinds of people. The term used to refer to a person who is a lover of rain is Pluviophile.
One in every ten Americans suffers from a fear of extreme weather. Among these fears is the fear of heavy rains. Ombrophobia is more common in children and about 40% of children have Ombrophobia which fades away as they grow older. However, there is still 10% of adults who suffer from Ombrophobia even when they are adults.
It is more likely for a woman to develop Ombrophobia than a man which explains why the number of women suffering from Ombrophobia is higher in women than in men. Ombrophobia is also more common in individuals who are suffering from a concurrent mental disorder like schizophrenia or any other psychological disorder.
The rates of recovery among people who have the fear of rain is quite high since Ombrophobia is among the less difficult phobias to overcome with a few sessions of the different forms of treatment
Symptoms of Sophophobia
Ombrophobia produces symptoms that vary from person to person depending on the severity of the fear. Since the fear of rain affects both children and adults, the symptoms may be different for both groups of people.
The symptoms of Ombrophobia in children include:
- Screaming and continuous crying
- Uncontrollable shaking
- Constantly looking at the sky to monitor the rain
- Refusing to go outdoors during rainy seasons
In adults, Ombrophobia causes the following symptoms:
- Elevated heartbeat
- Heightened anxiety which can spill over to a panic attack
- Obsession with monitoring the weather forecasts for any prediction of rain
- Trembling and shaking
- Thoughts about death
- Incoherence or inability to express oneself
Life can be very difficult for a person who lives in an area that rains frequently because they will have to deal with these symptoms on a daily basis.
How to overcome Ombrophobia?
For a child, it is good to give them space to outgrow this phobia because most of them do as they grow older. Parents should encourage their children to talk about these fears to help them get over their anxiety. It also helps to speak to the school nurse or teacher since sometimes it can rain while the child is in school and they start having a panic attack.
An adult who wants to overcome Ombrophobia must first seek treatment. You can decide to self-treat or go to a therapist for treatment. There are different forms of treatment which include exposure therapy, counseling, hypnotherapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapies.
Exposure therapy is all about gradually exposing yourself to mild rain so that you can develop new ways to overcome the anxiety response. The other forms of treatment will help you overcome any underlying trauma from the past which may have triggered Ombrophobia in the first place. These traumatic events could include losing family to a flood, drowning during floods or getting involved in any form of an accident during a rainy season.
Secondly, it is good to have a support system in form of friends and family who will not make fun of you while it’s raining or try to leave you out in the rain just to see your reaction. You should be surrounded by supportive people.
Last but not least, it is imperative for you to remain committed to the process. You cannot overcome Ombrophobia overnight but if you are patient and willing to put the effort then you will be back to enjoying the rain in no time.
As we grow up, it is very easy to become afraid of the rain and soon grow out of it with maturity. Nevertheless, there are adults suffering from the fear as rain which is a real phobia as the others. Fortunately, with treatment and support, it is relatively easy to overcome Ombrophobia.