Phobias fall into four categories: fear of specific objects, i.e. snakes or dogs; situations, i.e. in a dark room or a car; fear of illnesses, i.e. Aids or cancer; multiples of various fears.
On this occasion, I will tell you of multiples and give you a case history.
Michael (as I shall call him) presented to me with an almost continual phobia of adverse weather conditions. It had developed to such an extent that he was terrified whether it was rain, snow, hail, wind or storms.
He eventually was fearful of going out of the house just in case a few clouds would turn into a storm. I had to trace back the origin of his fears using hypnosis. The root cause I discovered was Astrapophobia and fear of lightning.
As a boy of eight, he was walking with his father in the countryside during a thunderstorm, when in an adjoining field he saw lightning strike a tall lone tree, which was decimated in a few moments. His father said, “Thank goodness we were not under that tree or we would have been killed.” From that moment on for the next 20 or so years, he would not venture out in a storm. This escalated to fear of the potential dangers with thunder, heavy rain, and even stormy clouds. In short, anything other than a clear blue sky.
He was fired from his job because of absenteeism as he could not go out of the house on inclement days and, eventually, his social life suffered as well.
A friend told him to try Hypnotherapy and after tracing the root cause and removing the Astrapophobia, I then had to progressively remove the fear of rain, thunder and cloudy days.
Gradually, Michael improved and as his anxiety levels dropped, I built up his confidence and rational attitude that just because a day is cloudy or rainy it is safe to go outside.
He is now working and happily married and has a sensible approach to his children’s education about storms. He does not discuss his original fears and phobias but calmly instructs them never to stand under trees in a storm.
Sensible rational precautions as I’m sure you will agree without traumatising young minds.