The treatment for phobias, including those related to the weather, is typically through a process of gradual exposure. This involves starting with pleasant stimuli and gradually increasing the intensity until the individual feels secure in a variety of situations. Phobias are defined as an unrealistic fear of an object or situation that is usually specific to an individual. These fears can manifest as a range of physiological sensations, such as dizziness, rapid breathing, dry mouth, palpitations, and sweating.
Some phobias go away on their own without treatment, especially among children and adolescents. For example, about 2.9% of children experience social phobia compared to only 0.3% of adolescents. Unlike other fears that can be avoided directly dealing with them, when it comes to the weather we have less control over our environment. Those who experience these fears describe the potential consequences of these fears such as destruction caused by wind or damage caused by clouds leading to severe weather conditions.
Fear related to the weather is often created and develops due to past experiences where the weather was perceived as a negative and destructive factor in daily life. Genetics also play a role in some cases with certain degree similarities between relatives who share the same phobia found in studies. Professor Tom Olendyk states that astrophobia (fear of loud noises) is one of the more common phobias in children because it relates to fear of loud noises which may cause anxiety or stress during stormy days or thunderstorms.
Anna from “The Woman Next Door to the Girl in the Window” developed a fear after her daughter’s death where she refused to leave her house when it was supposed to rain out of fear that she would pass out at the wheel while driving long distances. Catherine Clements did not leave her house during snowfall for eight years and did not drive at all on cold days due to her fear being triggered by an accident on an icy main road in 2008 where she lost control over her car causing damage and harming others . Both women’s fears were so extreme that they avoided going outside when it was supposedly raining causing them distress and anxiety throughout their lives.