Homiclophobia (fear of fog)-symptoms, causes, and treatment
Homiclophobia, or nebulaphobia, is the persistent and intense fear of fog . It is a specific type of phobia that can be related to media transmission about dangerous situations, where fog is presented in a recurrent way. It can also be caused by previous and unpleasant experiences related to this natural phenomenon.
Next we will see what homiclophobia is, what some of its main characteristics are as well as its possible causes and treatment.
Homiclophobia: persistent fear of fog
Homiclophobia, also known as nebulaphobia, is a persistent and intense fear of fog. As it is a fear caused by exposure to a stimulus from nature, homiclophobia can be considered a specific type of phobia of the natural environment .
As with other type-specific phobias, homiclophobia is characterized by a specific fear that is easily distinguishable from others. In this sense, unlike a social phobia, the specific phobia does not usually extend to many stimuli beyond the main trigger, in this case the fog.
However, B (2005) tells us that the development of a specific phobia to a certain stimulus, increases the chances of developing another phobia to a very similar stimulus. Likewise, increases the probability of having fears of various stimuli , although they are not necessarily phobic.
Finally, homiclophobia can be part of a broader clinical picture, for example, a social phobia or a generalized anxiety disorder. That is, it can manifest itself as one of the elements that surround a wide spectrum of experiences of stress at different stimuli, an issue that is important to take into account for its definition.
Before explaining some of its possible causes, we begin by briefly describing the natural phenomenon of fog.
What is fog?
Roughly speaking, the fog is the result of the snows that form at a low height, near ground level. Similarly, fog can be generated as a result of steam emanating from the ground , by an accumulation of water at a temperature higher than that of the surrounding air.
Thus, fog in itself is not a potentially harmful or risky element for any organism. However, depending on the circumstances experienced, fog may represent a stimulus that triggers alarm or even excessive fear.
As with all phobias, this fear is experienced in a persistent and irrational way , meaning that it is not explained by the cultural codes of the environment in which one lives.
The exaggerated experience of fear translates into a momentary picture of anxiety, with its corresponding physiological response: dizziness, hyperventilation, cardiac agitation, excessive sweating, among others. In a case of more acute anxiety experience, homiclophobia can also cause a panic attack.
As with other types of specific phobias, homiclophobia is a phenomenon with multiple causes. In the specific case of persistent fear of fog, one of the triggers can be prolonged exposure to media or films where risk situations often occur in darkness, and even in fog. This can generate some imagery that ultimately favours the association between fog and imminent danger.
On the other hand, phobias can be caused or intensified by real (not imagined) exposure, either prior or present, to dangerous situations where the stimulus is involved.
For example, fog is a natural phenomenon that occurs in many places of frequent transit. On many of the roads that connect the big cities , fog is one of the most present elements.
Depending on the time of year, the height and the specific area where it occurs, the fog density can be higher or lower, and can significantly affect the driver’s vision. For the same reason, and despite being harmless on its own, fog is one of the natural phenomena most related to traffic accidents. Previous experience of this type may be related to the development of this phobia.
The general treatment of phobias can resort to different strategies. One of them is to encourage the creation of new associations on the perceived harmful stimulus. Another is to progressively approach it, by means of short approaches that increase over time . It is also possible to reinforce the emotional schemes of coping with situations that generate stress.
In the specific case of homiclophobia, it is important to delimit whether it comes from a real or imaginary experience of imminent danger related to fog. In the case of an experience that has actually occurred, another strategy is to avoid exposure to the fog alone, either by car or on foot, and to seek some alternatives to such exposure.
On the contrary, if it is an imaginary danger, it is important to explore other elements that relate to foggy situations and find out if it is a more complex or extensive fear.
- Fear of Stuff (2016). Fear of Fog. Flex Mag. recovered September 4, 2018. Available at http://www.fearofstuff.com/nature/fear-of-fog/
- Homichlophobia (2007). Common-Phobias.com. Retrieved 04 August 2018. Available at http://common-phobias.com/Homichlo/phobia.htm
- Bados, A. (2005). Specific phobias. Faculty of Psychology, University of Barcelona. Recovered 04 September 2018. Available at http://diposit.ub.edu/dspace/bitstream/2445/360/1/113.pdf.