Fear Of Snow(Chionophobia ): Causes Symptoms, Treatment

Fear of snow – Chionophobia is the extreme aversion or fear of snow. The word comes from the Greek chiton, which means snow, and Phobos which means fear, hatred, or dread. People with Chionophobia often understand that their anxiety is unfounded and rare. However, they are unable to control it. Living with the phobia can be very difficult, especially in winter or in places where snow is the way of life.

Many phobics refuse to go outside because of their phobia. Friends and family members may ignore the aversion, thinking that the person is simply trying to get attention. However, for the patient, cationophobia is a genuine and severe phobia that can interfere with their daily life.


Causes of Chionophobia

  • Cationophobia usually originates due to a traumatic childhood event related to snow.
  • Being struck with a snowball or having an accident caused by slippery roads, etc., can cause a permanent fear of snow. Along with the snow come harsh weather conditions.
  • Temperatures tend to drop below freezing. Being “snowy” with blackouts, frozen pipes, downed trees, etc., they are not pleasant experiences.
  • Frost can form on car windows, leading to hazardous driving conditions.
  • Shoveling snow from the yard can be exhausting, especially for seniors who live alone.
  • Slipping on ice can lead to fractures that are sometimes fatal.

You can also read: Fear Of Ducks: Causes, Diagnosis, Self-help

Snow also brings freezing rain or freezing sleet.

  • Hard grime may form in such freezing conditions.
  • Ice storms are known to claim many lives each winter.
  • The planes also refuse to take off due to icing on the wings and slippery icy runways.
  • News related to these incidents could stimulate anxious people to fear snow.
  • For some people, snow brings many festive activities, including skiing, making snowmen, playing snowball fights, etc.
  • However, a person who fears the injury could develop cationophobia due to the dangers involved in these activities.
  • Snow often accumulates for days until the spring heat thaws it.
  • The yellow and black snow that accumulates on the sides of the roads can sometimes be dangerous.
  • Children often eat that snow, resulting in illness or injury.
  • Accumulated snow contains sharp objects, salts, chemicals, and body fluids.
  • People with extreme germ phobia tend to fear pathogens in a snowdrift.
  • Avalanches are widespread in snowy and mountainous areas.
  • A person who fears being caught alive could also suffer from Chionophobia.

People with an irrational fear of water can also develop an extreme fear of snow, a form of water. Other factors like hypothermia, frostbite, and snow-related health problems can also lead to a phobia.

Lastly, the media, science shows on television, or movies like Day After Tomorrow, which represent the possibility of another Ice Age, can also cause an extreme fear of snow.

Symptoms of cationophobia

Cationophobia can cause extreme symptoms such as:

  • Crying, screaming, feeling of running away or hiding, tremors, heart palpitations, depression, stomach upset, vomiting, nausea, etc.
  • People with this phobia who are forced to go out into the snow may feel detached from reality or unable to express themselves clearly.

Treat fear of snow

  • Depending on the extent of the symptoms presented by cationophobia, it is best to seek professional help.
  • In some cases, extreme fear can affect daily life, work, career, etc., so it is vital not to ignore panic attacks but to seek treatment to get to the bottom of the fear.
  • Hypnotherapy is a proven remedy to treat many phobias, social and specific, including fear phobia snow.
  • Deeply relax the phobia to help the therapist analyze the exact cause of the phobia and open them to suggestions.
  • Therapy has been shown to reduce the intensity and frequency of panic attacks experienced by people with extreme phobias.
  • Gradually exposing yourself to winter activities can also help reduce snow anxiety.
  • Family and friends can help phobics understand that not all snowstorms are dangerous as long as the necessary precautions are taken.
  • Self-taught about different types of snow or weather conditions can also ease these fears.


Georgia Tarrant
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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.