18 April 2011


Fear of rain.

Like other weather-related phobias, ombrophobia often starts in childhood, as a result of a traumatic experience. The fix - like the fix for most phobias - is pretty nasty.

Perhaps the most efficient means of extinguishing a storm phobia is the procedure called "flooding," in which the phobic is exposed directly to the maelstrom and not allowed to escape. When no injury occurs, the fear subsides within an hour or two. Flooding can be harsh, and few would stand for it in this rude form. However, a more humane and common variant is also effective. With graduated exposure, the stimulus is presented in increments of increasing intensity, allowing the person to habituate to one level before the next, more intense element is introduced. Many phobics can be treated in a single, extended session using this modified incremental exposure procedure. (From Diagnosis & Treatment of Phobias)

It sounds good in theory. If you're the one undergoing the treatment, though, it is not so nice. In any "desensitization" demonstrations I've seen, people look like they're dissociating, not like they're actually getting any less scared.

The horror writer in  me always asks, "What if that person is right to be scared?"


mooderino said...

The cure sounds worse than the disease. Luckily I have no strong fears, apart from rational ones, like vampire spiders!

Moody Writing

Annie Neugebauer said...


Dafeenah said...

Kinda like being thrown in the deep end to learn how to swim. I agree with you. I don't see how this is really all that beneficial. It would seem if the people are that fearful they would go into a form of shock and just be on auto pilot instead of really getting over their fear, but I am not a professional. I just live vicariously through those who play them on TV.

Luanne G. Smith said...

I learned a new word today!

I had a dog with this once. Hid under the bed every time it stormed. I wouldn't have had the heart to force him to face up to it. Felt bad for him, though, since I love a good storm. The louder the better.

jkraus8464 said...

Great information. I love this piece. I also like the more humane treatment of this phobia, which is what I have learned is good for many phobias. Gradual increments of exposure would be good. I also have a dog with fear of thunderstorms. She was kind of cured now since she is older and can't hear as well. Also helped her with her fear of vacuum cleaners.

Laurie Peel, CRA-RP said...

Hopefully they only use this therapeutic approach for irrational fears.....otherwise mooderino's in big trouble!

J. Summerset said...

I'm terrified of lightning...I can't imagine being forced to endure it to get over it. In fact I'm pretty sure I would just panic and smash into a wall until I fell over clutching my chest because my heart exploded.

Laura Josephsen said...

That sounds like it would be SO HARD to endure. *shudders*

P.S. I'm passing on a blog award to you. You can find it on my blog if you're interested.

Marsha Sigman said...

I love storms. Grew up in Tornado Alley so it's like in the blood or something.

Now heights...that's a whole different story.

I wonder if people that are afraid of rain take showers?

JL Dodge said...

makes me wonder how they handle a shower, and if that would help any...well I guess it is a bit different !