Obsessive compulsive disorder - OCD treatment and therapy from NOCD

Fear of rain

3 min read
Madina Alam, LCHMC

By Madina Alam, LCHMC

Oct 31, 2022

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What is OCD fear of rain?

Fear of rain could potentially be a sign of OCD, falling under the subtypes of Harm OCD, Just Right OCD, or Contamination OCD, depending on the nature of the fear. 

For example, if a person fears that rain could lead to harm to themselves or their loved one, this would likely be Harm OCD. Someone with this fear may avoid driving in rain at all costs, perform repetitive rituals whenever the forecast calls for rain, or bring an umbrella with them whenever they leave the house due to fear of acid rain. It is important to note that regardless of the subtype, all subtypes of OCD are treated in a very similar manner, so it is not necessary for you to determine if you have one subtype or another. 

Fear of rain may involve fears about the consequences of rain or storms. This may include a fear that rain could result in a storm that causes harm or damages property. Someone may also fear rain because of a fear of germs or acid that they worry may be in rain. Someone may also interpret rain as a “bad” sign or omen, worrying about the significance and impact of rain on other events. You might be able to determine if you are experiencing OCD with a fear of rain if you regularly avoid places or behaviors—checking the weather, going outside, going in the basement, driving—when it is raining or may rain. You may also find yourself ruminating or researching about rain regularly, including when it might happen or what could be a result of it. 

People with a fear of rain in OCD may find that their symptoms occur in situations involving:

  • Rain/thunderstorms
  • Cloudy skies 
  • Being stuck outside for extended periods of time
  • Inclement weather
  • Not having the “proper” clothing or items to protect against rain: e.g., umbrella, raincoat, non-slip shoes
  • Contaminants or acid
  • Lightning or thunder
  • Wet items
  • Wet soil/mud

How can I tell if it’s OCD fear of rain?

If you’re experiencing OCD, you’ll probably be engaging in compulsions to find relief from your fear and anxiety. Avoidance is especially common in these themes of OCD, as well as repetitive researching and rumination. These behaviors allow someone with OCD to feel better and safer in the moment, but they do nothing to keep obsessions and anxiety from returning in the future. Individuals with a fear of rain may notice short term relief, but an overall increase in anxiety around rain over time, as their compulsions did not serve to neutralize any real threat or danger. Individuals with fear of rain in OCD will find their symptoms excessive and time consuming, ultimately interfering with some area of their day-to-day functioning.

How to overcome fear of rain

Fear of rain in OCD can be treated by using exposure and response prevention (ERP) therapy. An OCD specialist with training in ERP will begin by guiding you in making a hierarchy, or a list of exposure exercises from least to most anxiety-provoking. The therapist will help you complete these exposures gradually: you will purposefully, intentionally trigger your anxiety or fear, then resist the urge to engage in compulsions like researching or avoidance. 

These may begin by reading worst-case scenarios about rain or briefly wearing a wet piece of clothing, then progress to leaving the house on a cloudy day without an umbrella, or not checking the forecast before an outing. By resisting these compulsions continually over time, you’ll learn that you can live with confidence without your life being controlled by fear. 

If you’re struggling with OCD, you can schedule a free 15-minute call today with the NOCD care team to learn how a licensed therapist can help. At NOCD, all therapists specialize in OCD and receive ERP-specific training. ERP is most effective when the therapist conducting the treatment has experience with OCD and training in ERP.

We look forward to working with you.