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How do I Overcome a Fear of Cold?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 December 2016
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The fear of cold, also known as frigophobia or cryophobia, causes anxiety in sufferers who encounter cold climates, objects, or even the idea of cold. Much like some other phobias, the fear of cold often stems from a previous life experience that was either uncomfortable, dangerous, or otherwise associated with negative emotions. In order to conquer a fear of cold, one should first determine what the underlying cause for the fear is, and then begin to understand how that underlying cause is creating anxiety or stress.

Common causes of a fear of cold include risk of injury due to dangers associated with the cold, such as ice on roadways or walkways, hypothermia, or frost bite. Other fears may stem from a childhood trauma involving the cold, ice, snow, or any other danger associated with cold weather. Driving in winter conditions are stressful and dangerous for everyone, so this could also lead to a fear of cold. Since cold weather often means approaching holidays, some people experience melancholy or depression if they cannot be close to loved ones. Seasonal Affective Disorder, in which the current season can cause depression or sadness, may also lead to a fear of cold. The bottom line is that the fear of cold often stems from another source, and it is important to identify that source in order to get over the fear.

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This phobia can cause a sense of fear, dread, anxiety, or just general stress. When this occurs, simple breathing exercises may alleviate some of the discomfort. Regular breathing and meditation can help calm the sufferer to a functional point, but these exercises probably will not solve the problem entirely except in the mildest cases. To start tackling the problem, one should consider short excursions into cold environments. During the winter, one might try taking a walk to the mailbox, then progress to walking to the end of the block, then further. Incremental steps will help condition the sufferer to the cold weather.

Because a fear of cold can lead to isolation, a sufferer may experience depression or despair. If this occurs, the case of cryophobia has advanced to a level that should be treated by a professional. You should then see a doctor to ask if antidepressants are an appropriate treatment, or if anti-anxiety medication might be appropriate. Psychological treatment may also be an option to work through the issues that are causing the cryophobia in the first place. Only a professional can diagnose treatment in these cases.

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mobilian33
Post 3

I live in the mountains, and anyone up here who doesn't have a healthy fear of the cold is living in the wrong place. You have to take precautions up here, so that you can survive the cold weather and dangerous driving conditions during the winter.

There are a large number of people who own houses up here, but they didn't grow up in the mountains. These people always head to warmer areas as soon as the first snow is predicted. Cold and anything else is less scary when you are prepared for it.

Laotionne
Post 2

I don't know that I am necessarily have a fear of the cold, but the dreary cold days do bring me down and make me gloomy. I've been this way since I was a kid. I have no idea where this feeling came from in the beginning.

I think if I had to live in a place where it stayed dark and cold for most of the day during the winters then I would have a tough time coping. Even now, I don't like fall because I know that the cold and dark days of winter are right around the corner.

Feryll
Post 1

Growing up in a warm climate and having lived in relatively warm places most of my life, I don't think of cold weather as being particularly dangerous. Here where I live, the temperatures drop below freezing sometimes during the winter, but most people don't worry about cold weather.

However, I can understand why people who live in places where the temperatures drop way below freezing and stay there for weeks would be respectful of, if not afraid of the cold. If it's 32 degrees below zero and your car breaks down and leaves you stranded in an isolated area then the situation becomes a matter of life and death in a hurry. Where I live, this would be an inconvenience at most.

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