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Lightning NOAA.jpg

Astraphobia also known as Brontophobia, Keraunophobia, or Tonitrophobia is fear of thunder and lightning.


symptoms are similar to other phobias and include panic attack, difficulty in breathing, rapid heartbeat, sweaty palms, and nausea. Sometimes these feelings can be overwhelming.

It can be totally debillitating. An astraphobic on a BBC message board wrote this about their phobia:

"I hate summer because I have a thunderstorm phobia. I am constantly on edge from May to September and can only start to relax once the cooler weather comes along in autumn. I get worse after each storm and am usually a nervous wreck at the end of summer. I am now obsessed with thunderstorms and am already dreading next summer." [1]

Many people try to cope with their fear by hiding. Children typically hide in windowless places, such as the cupboard under the stairs, or under the bed. (Anywhere where they can't see or hear the storm).


The phobia is extremely common. It is especially common in young children, but adults and teenagers can also have this fear as well.



Treatment for Astraphobia is similar for that of all other phobias. Exposure to the stimulus is the most effective treatment but deliberate slow breathing can help as in some cases can hypnotherapy.

See also: List of phobias, Ligyrophobia

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