As the Valley continues into spring and the heart of severe weather season, there is a group of people that experience the weather events around them differently than others do. Individuals who experience astraphobia, or the fear of thunder and lightning, may have a harder time when storms hit.
According to the Cleveland Clinic, astraphobia mainly affects children, but some adults may struggle with it as well. It is one of the most common specific phobias, though it is not known exactly what may cause it.
Symptoms related to astraphobia can be compared to symptoms of those experiencing anxiety. This may include but is not limited to chest pain, dizziness, shortness of breath, and sweating.
Treatment ideas can range from exposure therapy to stress management techniques.
Some steps that parents can take to help their children experiencing astraphobia are talking to their kids about how storms are a natural part of life, that thunder alone cannot hurt them. If the child has specific sensory needs, then parents can provide them with a comforting place to go during a storm.
While many grow out from their fear of thunder and lighting, there are still those who experience symptoms for a long time. If this is the case for any individual, they should consult with a medical professional for additional assistance.
As always when severe weather does come closer to the Valley, Storm Team 27 will bring you the latest details. You can always see the latest Youngstown Weather Forecast and track storms right down to your street with your Youngstown Weather Radar.