Being in extremely cold weather is not something that most people enjoy but there are a good amount of people out there that completely fear the extreme cold. A fear of extreme cold is classified as cryophobia and it is defined as an unreasonable trepidation of the intense cold, frost or ice.
It is impossible to know how many people suffer from cryophobia since there are many places in the world where you could avoid extremely cold weather. The only way to understand the fear is to get a better grasp of the symptoms that the person would experience, how to diagnosis the fear and the treatments used to cure the phobia.
It is very hard to pinpoint how an individual comes to fear very cold weather but some psychiatrist believe that not being able to control how cold the weather will get is why some people fear it. Some of the symptoms include a sense of panic, terror, rapid heart beat, shortness of breathing, shaking, anxiety and avoiding the extreme cold at all costs. It is easy to give the wrong diagnosis of the fear since it shares a lot of symptoms with other phobias.
One must understand that just finding extremely cold weather unpleasant is not considered cryophobia. A cryophobic can not bear to be in cold weather and will go to great lengths to keep away from it even if it is done in an illogical way.
In order to correctly diagnosis a fear, the person in question must encounter what they are afraid of. A simple test, such as asking the person to enter a larger freezer or being introduced to a cold climate, could determine if the person actually suffers from cryophobia.
There are many treatments for phobias but so far only two of them have been proven effective. The use of introducing the fear in small increments to the patient has helped but it can take a long time to conclude the treatment. Since the patient is allowed to work at their comfort level the treatment can take months or years to complete. The most successful treatment for a phobia is Hypnotherapy. This treatment requires the patient to be unconscious while the hypnotherapist performs exercises that utilizes the subconscious of the patient to conquer their fear.