Phobias Types Phobias Related to the Winter Season 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 November 26, 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 Akeem Marsh, MD Medically reviewed by Akeem Marsh, MD LinkedIn Twitter Akeem Marsh, MD, is a board-certified child, adolescent, and adult psychiatrist who has dedicated his career to working with medically underserved communities. Learn about our Medical Review Board Print Lynn Koenig/Moment/Getty Images Winter means different things to different people. Many revel in the cold air, winter sports, and the holiday season. Some feel a sense of renewal as they huddle inside during the long, dark nights. For a surprisingly large number of us, however, winter is a season filled with dread, sadness and a fervent wish for spring to arrive. Winter-related phobias run the gamut from the fear of snow to the fear of being trapped. The Winter Issue Featuring Wayne Brady Fear of Cold The fear of cold, or cryophobia, is often worst during the winter months. Some people are afraid of cold air temperatures, while others fear touching cold objects. Cryophobia may stem from many different root causes but is most often linked to a subjective perception of "cold" and negative associations with the sensation of cold. However, each person experiences temperatures differently, so the threshold for "cold" is different for everyone. Fear of Snow The fear of snow, or chionophobia, is often linked to other phobias. Those with fears of cold, severe weather, or water may be afraid of snowstorms even when they are at home. People with fears of driving, being trapped, or becoming contaminated are typically afraid only when they must go out in the snow. This fear ranges from mild to severe and may be extremely life-limiting for those who live in colder climates. Fear of Air The relatively complicated anemophobia, or fear of air, may occur during all seasons. However, many people find that it is worst during winter, when the blowing wind is cold and miserable. Some people are afraid of gusty winds, other of drafty rooms. The fear may have many different causes, from the fear of losing control to the fear of illness. Fear of Winter Driving Winter driving causes nervousness and trepidation in many people, but for some, prudent caution escalates into full-blown terror. This fear is generally worst in those who have a more generalized driving phobia or another winter-related fear, but it may also manifest on its own. Those who are unfamiliar with winter driving conditions, such as people who suddenly move from a warm climate to a cold climate, may be at particular risk for developing this phobia. Fear of Being Trapped Although it is often confused with claustrophobia, the fear of being trapped is properly known as cleithrophobia. While people with claustrophobia are afraid of small spaces, those with cleithrophobia are specifically afraid of being locked or stuck in a small space. The phobia may be triggered year-round but is often worst during the winter due to the small but real risk of becoming stuck in a snow bank or falling through thin ice. Cabin Fever Cabin fever is a collection of symptoms that may occur when people are stuck in one place for a long period of time. Famously portrayed in the 1977 Stephen King novel and 1980 film, The Shining, cabin fever is generally rooted in an intense fear of isolation. Violence, such as that shown in The Shining, is relatively rare and usually due to a pre-existing condition, but irritability, restlessness, depression and lack of motivation are common. Auroraphobia The fear of the Northern Lights, or auroraphobia, is an unusual but very real phobia. The fear is generally based on a larger phobia of astronomical phenomena. Astronomy and astrology have been heavily linked throughout history, and some astronomical fears are based on religious or doomsday phobias. In other cases, these fears are rooted in a generalized fear of the unknown. Managing Winter Phobias Like all phobias, winter phobias vary dramatically in their severity and the impact that they have on individual sufferers' lives. For some people, education and exposure to the object of fear are sufficient to calm their concerns. More severe phobias, however, generally require professional guidance. Winter is a fact of life, but with hard work and assistance, it need not be a season to dread. 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. American Psychiatric Association. (1994). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th Ed.). Washington, DC: Author. 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.