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Cryophobia

  • By Team TDO

Cold or hot can be a very subjective term as every person’s tolerance for either heat or cold can vary. When some of us react in an extreme manner to all things cold, then it could be a case of cryophobia - the fear of catching cold or the fear of cold weather.

Derived from the Greek “kryos” + phobos gives us cryophobia, which is a mental aberration where the mind develops a nagging and persistent fear of all things cold - be it cold weather, ice-cream, or maybe even a cold shoulder!

Jokes apart, a person suffering from this condition could really experience ‘hot weather’ in his relationships as he will completely avoid any contact with anything cold. If the weather is a bit nippy then that’s a veritable disaster for Mr. ‘Avoid De Cold’ as he will do everything in his power to stay indoors, for instance - turn on the central heating and wrap himself up until the mercury rises to an agreeable level.

Though it is decidedly different from your run-of-the mill phobias, cryophobia could be of various types. There are some who are only afraid of cold in the ‘weather’ sense and are otherwise cool about touching cold objects or even having an ice-cream. While there are some who would probably break out into, if you will excuse the term, ‘cold sweat,’ even while watching floating icebergs on a Nat-Geo documentary. So, the sensation of cold is quite subjective, and hence the various strains of cryophobia.

Generally, this fear would manifest quite logically for those who have occasioned to be trapped under ice accidently or maybe those who have suffered frost bite from exposure to cold weather during a skiing holiday. Under such circumstances, avoidance, though irrational, could be perfectly logical.

If you monitor weather reports constantly and experience discomfort even in moderate climates, then you should get yourself checked for cryophobia, as chances are that soon you will be restricting yourself indoors and cutting yourself off from the rest of the world.

Some people might just overcome fear or anxiety by wearing an extra layer of the woolens or turning up the central heating. For deep seated fears, it may require long-term counseling or medication.

Some people might just have this morbid fear of developing pneumonia from a common cold and hence may take elaborate measures to avoid going out during cold days. This too can be quite normal since most of us don’t want to call a day off from work due to a nasty cold.

But despite adequate protection if you are still afraid of venturing out to work or are avoiding social contact just because of an irrational fear of catching cold when the weather outside is made for the beach and you are in the middle of summer! Then the catchphrase is – You have cryophobia!


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