Astraphobia literally translates to fear of thunder, lightning and fear of thunderstoms. Fear by itself can range from mild discomfort to extreme panic. When the fear developed is disproportionate to the danger that is presented, it is called a phobia. Thus, Astraphobiais an extreme, irrational and exaggerated fear of thunderstorms, thunder and lightning.
It is also goes by several other names too: astrapophobia, tonitrophobia, brontophobia, keraunophobia.
A fear of thunderstorms is common in small children. Normally the fear will subside when the child reaches adolescence. However, in some children this fear persists into adulthood and develops into a phobia. It’s then that it starts interfering with daily lives.
There are many reasons that may have caused this phobia to develop. In many cases it is the occurrence of a traumatic incident in the past in the presence of a thunderstorm. This could be an extreme event such as a serious automobile accident which took place during a thunderstorm. It may be that the victim saw a person being struck by lightning. However, it’s more likely to be inherited from the behaviour of a peer during a thunder storm or picked up from media news reports, documentaries of scary movies which always seem in involve a thunderstorm!
Astraphobia – Fear of Thunderstorms: Introduction
Forget Astraphobia … no one need fear thunderstorms again thanks to a number of incredible treatment programs that really do work and there’s one we particularly recommend:
Thunderstorms are a completely natural weather phenomena that are unavoidable. Like it or not they’re going to happen from time to time. Often they are not accurately forecase and hence can come as a surprise. Sometimes they can feel quite scarey to us all. They can certainly trigger strong emotions – not just in humans but in animals too.
Quite often the reactions of individuals are at opposite extremes. Some love to watch them and find them incredibly dramatic and exciting. To others though they are absolutely terrifying and cause symptoms akin to extreme anxiety as detailed below.
Children often display symptoms of Astraphobia however usually these will just be a general fear. With love, encouragement and support most will grow out of this fear but for some the fear develops into adulthood and becomes this irrational, extreme fear of thunderstorms.
Fear Of Thunderstorms – Symptoms
The symptoms of Astraphobia are not very different from those that occur in other phobias. The physical symptoms are (amongst others):
- Increased heart rate,
- Breathing difficulties,
- Profuse sweating,
Psychological symptoms include:
- Extreme anxiety and dread,
- Panic attacks,
- Confusion in the mind,
- Utter helplessness,
- A feeling of terror.
People with Astraphobia take a lot of safety precautions including staying indoors for fear of a storm that may break out. At the slightest hint of a thunderstorm, they switch off the electricity, close all the curtains in the house and try to find a cozy and safe corner where they can hide. They sometimes get into bed and bury themselves under the blankets.
Sufferers of the phobia become agitated during a thunderstorm and overreact to touch. They suffer emotional distress and do not prefer anyone making an attempt to communicate with them.
Astraphobia – Treatment Options
Astraphobia is responsive to treatment and there are many options that are used to lessen this phobia. Some of the treatment methods that are available include cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), counseling, medication, hypnotherapy, etc., among others. Some of these methods are combined for a better effect. CBT is usually combined with anti-anxiety medication (which brings the physical symptoms under control) to help the therapist work along with the patient.
Relaxation techniques are used together with graded exposure to the feared situation (here thunderstorms and lightning) to lessen the symptoms of the phobia. The situation is usually created through virtual means (audio and video resources). This therapy helps the patient to develop the basic skills required to cope with and adapt themselves to the situation. Relaxation techniques like meditation and breathing and yoga help the sufferer to have more control of the self and combat the physical distress that may occur as part of the phobia. Counseling with a professional therapist on a regular basis is also seen to help.
Fear of Thunderstorms – Self-Help Treatment
There’s also an excellent self-help treatment program which we recommend. It’s called Overcome Fear Of Thunder Storms. It takes the form of a self-hypnosis audio download which is easy to listen to and follow. Work thorough it at you own pace and in your own time. Repeat the program as many times as you like.
It’s proven in its effectiveness and highly rated. What we particularly like about it is the price! At less than $15 it represents incredible value for money. Not only that – if it doesn’t work within 90 days you get your money back in full! So there’s nothing to lose except your fear of thunderstorms. Don’t takle our word for it though. Click the links below to find out more: