Phobias Types Anemophobia: The Fear of Air By Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer and editor with a deep interest in phobias and other mental health topics. Learn about our editorial process Updated on September 25, 2020 Medically reviewed Verywell Mind articles are reviewed by board-certified physicians and mental healthcare professionals. Medical Reviewers confirm the content is thorough and accurate, reflecting the latest evidence-based research. Content is reviewed before publication and upon substantial updates. Learn more. by Daniel B. Block, MD Medically reviewed by Daniel B. Block, MD LinkedIn Twitter Daniel B. Block, MD, is an award-winning, board-certified psychiatrist who operates a private practice in Pennsylvania. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print john finney photography / Getty Images Anemophobia, sometimes called ancraophobia, is a sort of catch-all term that encompasses a wide variety of air-related phobias. Some people are afraid of drafts, others of gusty winds. Some fear swallowing air (called aerophagia). The phobia may be mild or severe and is often life-limiting. The Link Between Anemophobia and Weather Phobias Anemophobia is often, though not always, related to other weather-based phobias. Lilapsophobia is the fear of severe storms, while astraphobia is the fear of more run of the mill weather events such as thunder and lightning. Many people with anemophobia based on another weather phobia may not be afraid of the wind itself but of the possibility that it signifies an upcoming storm. The fear of tornadoes is common among people who suffer from both anemophobia and another weather-related phobia. Loss of Identity Some people with anemophobia may worry that a strong wind will blow away items of financial or sentimental value. Others are possibly concerned that a particularly gusty wind will tear apart their home. This type of anemophobia is often rooted in the fear of losing personal identity and may be more common in those who have survived a tornado, a hurricane, or some other severe weather disaster. Loss of Control Like the fear of losing personal identity, the fear of losing control may be at the heart of air-related phobias. Like all weather phenomena, wind is beyond our control. Those who fear losing control of their lives and surroundings may be at an increased risk for air-related phobias. Medical Phobias Strong winds can cause loose items to blow around, tear off tree branches, and even cause structural damage. Those with a fear of being injured may worry that they will be in the path of destruction. Some people, especially children, may also be afraid that they will be picked up or knocked down by a particularly strong gust. Medical phobias could also be at the heart of the fear of drafts. Although we now know that illnesses are caused by bacteria or viruses, conventional wisdom has long held that drafty rooms can make people sick. The fear may be heightened in those who suffer from cryophobia, or the fear of cold. Similarly, those who are afraid of swallowing air may worry that excessive stomach gas is a sign of disease. Anemophobia in Children Like many phobias, anemophobia, particularly the fear of severe storms, is relatively common in young children. Kids are not always able to make sense of the world around them, and infrequent events may be startling or intensely frightening. Consequently, phobias are typically not diagnosed in children unless they persist for at least six months. If your child has a mild fear of wind, try focusing on playtime activities that utilize the wind in positive ways. Fly kites and experiment with real or toy sailboats. Go outside and talk about how much fun it is to let the wind blow through your hair. Of course, if your child's fear is especially severe or long-lasting, seek the guidance of a trained mental health professional. In older kids and adults, the fear of wind is much less common. Consider seeking professional assistance with any fear that causes you to limit your daily activities. 8 Sources Verywell Mind uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy. Pawlak J, Gazda J, Rybakowski J. Wind phobia (ancraophobia)--as an example of simple phobia. The case report. Psychiatr Pol. 2009;43(5):581-92. Anxiety and Depression Association of America. Severe Storms: How to Reduce Your Anxiety. Hauser A. The Weather Channel. Achluophobia to Thermophobia: 19 Wild Weather Phobias. October 31, 2018. Kara C. Medium. How to Treat Extreme Weather Phobia. December 11, 2015. Coleman JSM, Newby KD, Multon KD, Taylor CL. American Meteorological Society. Weathering the Storm. August 2014. Mambrey V, Wermuth I, Böse-o'reilly S. Extreme weather events and their impact on the mental health of children and adolescents. Bundesgesundheitsblatt Gesundheitsforschung Gesundheitsschutz. 2019;62(5):599-604. doi:10.1007/s00103-019-02937-7 Boston Children's Hospital. Phobias Symptoms & Causes. James AC, James G, Cowdrey FA, Soler A, Choke A. Cognitive behavioural therapy for anxiety disorders in children and adolescents. Cochrane Database Syst Rev. 2015;(2):CD004690. doi:10.1002/14651858.CD004690.pub4 Additional Reading Association AP. Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5®). Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Pub; 2013. Bredenoord AJ. Excessive belching and aerophagia: two different disorders. Dis Esophagus. 2010;23(4):347-52. doi:10.1111/j.1442-2050.2009.01038.x Wang S. USA Today. Scared of storms? Researchers say you're not alone. Updated October 14, 2014. By Lisa Fritscher Lisa Fritscher is a freelance writer and editor with a deep interest in phobias and other mental health topics. See Our Editorial Process Meet Our Review Board Share Feedback Was this page helpful? Thanks for your feedback! What is your feedback? Other Helpful Report an Error Submit Speak to a Therapist for Phobias Advertiser Disclosure × The offers that appear in this table are from partnerships from which Verywell Mind receives compensation.