Frigophobia is translated as cold terror. It comes from the word for cold in Latin, frigus, and the phrase for fear in Greek, phobia. It refers to freezing temperatures, but also cold things, like cold food.
Phobias are a kind of anxiety disorder. They are the unreasonable, constant, and overpowering fear of a place, circumstances, behaviour, person, animal, or object.
The fear is out of proportion to reality because the trigger poses little or no actual danger. In some instances, this mismatch between reality and their response is understood by individuals with phobias. However, individuals with frigophobia do not.
Frigophobia is an apparent phobia, which means it has a specific emphasis. Another name for basic phobias is ’Specific Phobias’. They are the most prevalent type of phobia. In the United States, up to 9 per cent of the population is likely to have a basic phobia.
Nonetheless, frigophobia is virtually nonexistent in this country. While still uncommon in other nations, like the Chinese communities in Asia, it seems to be a culturally-based phobia.
Frigophobia brings in an irrational fear of the cold. Anxiety is related to the notion of yin and yang in Chinese societies. Ultimately, individuals who experience frigophobia risk a loss of vitality and even life if cold components become imbalanced. As such, they resist cold stuff, such as wind and cold food.
They strive to keep the cold in check by wearing excessive quantities of clothes and look for the heat of the day. Since these thoughts are based on cultural ideas, their phobia is typically not understood by individuals with frigophobia.
What signs of frigophobia are there?
Basic phobias cause both physical and psychological symptoms. True changes in the body are the result of physical or somatic symptoms. The body responds to stress by releasing hormones, such as adrenaline, when you feel danger or fear.
The fuel behind the fight-or-flight response is adrenaline. Popular symptoms of physical frigophobia include:
- Abdominal annoyance or discomfort
- Pressure in the chest, palpitations, or rapid heart rate
- Breathing problems or shortness of breath
- Dizziness or a fainting sensation
- Transpiration or clamminess
- Shaking, agitation, vulnerability, or numbness
Frigophobia can be made worse by the physical reaction of the body to fear and anxiety. Adrenaline stimulates the constriction of blood vessels. This can trigger limb coolness, and thereby reinforcing the fear.
Popular symptoms of psychologic frigophobia include:
- Being cold, having cold limbs, or losing vitality due to cold, anxiety, concern, or feeling of imminent doom
- Extreme panic or fear of a cold
- Lack of leverage over the fear of the cold
- Strong desire to escape the cold as well as cold stuff and to keep cold in check by looking for ways to remain warm
When the fear becomes too strong, people with frigophobia most frequently seek help because they feel imminent death.
What are the reasons for frigophobia?
Mental health is an interplay of environmental and genetic variables. Certain individuals may be more susceptible to phobias and other anxiety disorders because of their anatomy.
Some individuals may also relate their fears to particular experiences from the past. Researchers have found with frigophobia that most sufferers exhibit habits learned or acquired.
Either they met someone with frigophobia, or they heard from others, usually elders, about it. This acquired fear of cold appears to be more common in rural villages compared to urban centres.
What therapies are there for frigophobia?
People with Frigophobia also attempt to control their fears via rituals and other cultural traditions. They do not seek Western medical attention until they think they are going to die.
The most common treatments for frigophobia in Western medicine are forms of talk therapy, which include:
- Cognitive behaviour therapy (CBT): This approach helps people realize that their anxiety is rooted in cultural values(not scientific evidence). The aim is for them to realize that things of a cold nature do not place them in physical danger. The therapist also makes them see that it is not necessarily a sign of approaching death to experience coolness in the body. Therapists use CBT in tandem with exposure therapy for optimal outcomes.
- Exposure therapy or treatment for desensitization: This technique uses cumulative and repetitive exposures to address the fear of cold. It can start with just visualizing or imagining coldness. The therapist allows individuals to regulate their response to exposure by using anxiety-reducing strategies. The aim is for individuals to understand the relation between mind and body and use it to control their anxiety.
Doctors can use medications for the management of anxiety during frigophobia on a short-term basis. People are always at a breaking point when they pursue Western medical treatment.
Medicines can help them calm down enough to be successful in talk therapy. The most common treatment for frigophobia is talk therapy in the long run.