Ombrophobia( Rain Phobia )is the fear of rain- a fairly common anxiety disorder seen in kids and adults alike. The term Ombrophobia originates from Greek ‘Ombros’ meaning “storm of rain” and Phobos meaning “fear or aversion”. The term Ombrophobia has even been used to describe certain species of plants called Ombrophobes and ombrophiles which have their root systems developed in a way that enables them to take up water directly from the atmospheric precipitation.
Typically, younger children are known to suffer more from Ombrophobia than adults. Some might fear very heavy rain that accompanies storm-like conditions (heavy winds, thunder, and lightning), still, others might be afraid of even a little light rain or drizzle.
Thus; the fear of rain might be accompanied by several different phobias like the fear of lightning and thunder (Astraphobia), fear of fog (Homichlophobia) or the fear of flooding (Antlophobia) and fear of drowning (Aquaphobia).
Causes of Ombrophobia
Rain is essential for the growth of crops, replenishing our freshwater sources and in general, sustaining life on earth. In moderate quantities, rain is good and sometimes even evokes feelings of romance. Many love songs have been inspired by this natural element.
However, with the arrival of rain, storm-like conditions also occur. It typically gets dark as thundering clouds gather overhead, blocking the sunlight. Rain is often accompanied by lightning, thunder, and flooding. Heavy rains are known to cause harm to life and property through landslides, building collapses, major power failures, etc. All these negative experiences can cause one to fear rain, particularly after having directly experienced them firsthand. In the Amazon region, it rains nearly 80 inches on average. This leads to thick forest growth that is home to reptiles and other dangerous predators. Many people living in such areas could be afraid of rain owing to these factors.
The expression, “it is raining cats and dogs” has often been used to describe very heavy rains. In reality, many cases of actual frogs and toads, (even fish) raining down on people have occurred in some areas. The early nineteenth century has seen “Frog and toad” storms in areas like Sheffield, England and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Such “amphibian rains” occur when weather conditions and heavy winds lift the frogs to dump them in other areas. Movies, TV shows showing this scientific phenomenon can aggravate the fear in anxious minded people.
Rains often lead to viral diseases or the spread of bacteria. Nosophobia individuals (people who fear diseases or germs) could be afraid of rains because of this reason.
Extreme cases of acid rain have led to severe burns, causing the victims to have intense and lifelong fear of rain. Thus, there are different causes of Ombrophobia and they vary from individual to individual.