Ombrophobia is an intense fear of rain, from intense weather to a drizzle. An ombrophobe might worry about acid rain, germs in rain, floods or other dangers. Ombrophobia is a type of anxiety disorder that can cause symptoms and emotions that affect daily life. But certain types of therapy and medications can help.
Ombrophobia is an extreme fear of rain. The condition is a specific phobia (fear), which is a type of anxiety disorder. A person who is afraid of rain (an ombrophobe) may be afraid of major, destructive rain or just a light drizzle.
People with ombrophobia may believe that rain can be harmful in some way. For example, they may worry about acid rain or germs in rainfall. They may have generalized fears that rain will cause darkness, floods, landslides, power failures or other dangers.
Ombrophobes may go to great lengths to avoid rain, such as:
Any specific phobia, including ombrophobia, can cause significant stress and even physical symptoms. An ombrophobe may understand that the fear of rain is not reasonable but may not be able to control it.
Health professionals aren’t sure how common ombrophobia is. But one study found that about 10% of Americans have a fear of severe weather.
Phobias affect people of all ages. They can start in childhood or adulthood. Such fears are common: About 1 in 10 American adults and 1 in 5 teenagers will deal with a specific phobia disorder at some point in their lives.
Fear of rain may be related to other specific phobias, including:
Healthcare providers aren’t sure what causes ombrophobia and other specific phobias. But mental health professionals believe it results from a combination of:
A person who is afraid of rain may experience symptoms of anxiety or panic when they think about or encounter rain:
Ombrophobia also might lead to certain behaviors, such as:
There are no tests to diagnose a rain phobia. A healthcare provider can diagnose the condition based on discussions with you about:
A healthcare provider can diagnose ombrophobia if you have an intense fear of rain that:
Some people with mild ombrophobia may not need treatment. But if fear of rain leads to physical symptoms or interferes with your life, talk to a healthcare provider.
Possible treatments include:
Mental health professionals don’t fully understand what causes a fear of rain, so they don’t have a proven way to prevent it.
But specific fears and anxiety issues often occur in groups. If you have another phobia or anxiety disorder, such as panic disorder or obsessive-compulsive disorder, talk to a healthcare provider. Managing one anxiety disorder may help you prevent others.
Many children and adolescents grow out of ombrophobia. But the fear may last into adulthood or even get worse. Although there’s no cure for ombrophobia, treatments are very effective at lessening the effects. Exposure therapy, which can be combined with other treatments, helps most people who practice it regularly.
Many people can manage ombrophobia and other similar phobias. Consider strategies that help manage the symptoms of anxiety, such as:
A note from Cleveland Clinic
Ombrophobia is an extreme fear of rain. It’s a type of anxiety disorder, and it can cause symptoms and problems in daily life. If you are afraid of the rain and feel like you can’t control the fear, talk to a healthcare provider about treatment options.
Last reviewed by a Cleveland Clinic medical professional on 03/15/2022.
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