Frigophobia – an exaggerated or irrational fear of cold
Frigophobia is a phobia pertaining to the fear of becoming too cold. Sufferers of this problem bundle up in heavy clothes and blankets, regardless of the ambient air temperature.
This disorder has been linked to other psychological disorders such as hypochondriasis and obsessive-compulsive disorder.
Frigophobia is defined as a persistent, abnormal, and unwarranted fear of coldness despite conscious understanding by the phobic individual and reassurance by others that there is no danger. It is also known as cheimaphobia or cheimatophobia.
Those who suffer from frigophobia are not born with it. Rather, the fear was developed somehow from past unpleasant experiences back in childhood, at school, at work, or even from a social event. Some people might not even remember how it started.
Frigophobia are usually (but not always) caused by an intense negative experience from the past. The human mind can create fear without basis. Those with are at risk of developing frigophobia are characterized by one or more of the following:
1. Has a general tendency towards fear and anxiety
2. Characterized as “high strung”
3. Suffering from adrenal insufficiency
Frigophobia symptoms can be mental, emotional or physical. The symptoms include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Obsessive thoughts
• Difficulty thinking about anything other than the fear
• Repetitive mental images of coldness
• Feelings of unreality or of being detached from oneself
• Fear of losing mental control
• Fear of fainting
• Anticipatory anxiety: Persistent worrying about upcoming events that involve coldness
• Terror: A persistent and overwhelming fear of coldness
• Desire to flee: An intense instinct to leave the situation
• Shortness of breath or smothering sensation
• Palpitations, pounding heart, or accelerated heart rate
• Chest pain or discomfort
• Trembling or shaking
• Feeling of choking
• Nausea or stomach distress
• Feeling unsteady, dizzy, lightheaded, or faint
• Numbness or tingling sensations
• Hot or cold flashes
Because the list of symptoms varies between each person, it is advised that individuals should consult a doctor who can provide adequate diagnosis of any signs or symptoms and whether they are indeed Frigophobia symptoms.
It comes down to redirecting the unconscious mind. The patient must understand that there is nothing wrong with them, and take control of positive and negative emotional associations. The patient should seek professional medical advice about any treatment or change in treatment plans.
Treatments for frigophobia include:
• Behavior therapy
• Anti-anxiety medication
• Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
• Exposure therapy: Involving patients to face the fear more and more, that they should be more familiar to coldness- this process technically known as “desensitization”. This process is often unnecessarily unpleasant and is only sometimes successful. This therapy reinforces the negative association, thus sometimes making the problem worse.
• Relaxation techniques – controlled breathing, visualization
• Medication: Medications to treat anxiety may be utilized for treatment of symptoms, but there are no studies that support the efficacy of medication in the treatment of specific phobias. Furthermore, no drug was ever developed specifically to treat frigophobia, and no drug on market can cure the root cause of the problem. It might help in short term due to suppressing the symptoms.