How can I alleviate my fear of thunderstorms tonight?
March 15, 2012 9:45 AM Subscribe
There is a line of thunderstorms heading our way, and my anxiety (nay, fear) is rising sharply. What should I do?
Yes. I'm a little ashamed to admit this. I'm a 22 year old woman, fairly confident but with an anxious personality, who is extremely afraid of thunderstorms. I wasn't exposed to severe thunderstorms until moving to North America a few years ago (I grew up in a desert where I may have seen one mild thunderstorm over a period of 10 years). My heartbeat was always a little intense when a thunderstorm is going on, but a year ago, I was caught outside in one while outdoor climbing. That one event blew my mild anxiety into full-blown astraphobia. All I remember during the event is trying to hide under an overhang, with bright red lightning blasting everywhere around me, and me practically puking up from fear that I might get hit. I couldn't move. Needless to say, it passed, and I was okay. I thought this might have helped me get 'stronger', get reassured that yes, I can survive a thunderstorm. Sadly, if anything, my fear has only gotten worse. I am okay when there is rumbling in the distance, but as soon as the storm approaches closer, and the thunderclaps are far louder (our house shook this morning!) I scamper into the basement and begin shaking and crying. I know I need to go see a psychiatrist that treats phobias like this eventually, but I can't go today, and there are already a line of severe thunderstorms approaching our area tonight. Watching todays news about local houses and people getting hit don't alleviate my fear one bit. So my question is: what can I do tonight to not shake/cry/feel like I'm dying until I can go see a professional? And, topped off with another stupid question: what *exactly* happens if a lightning strike hits your house? I know that the house/household objects end up catching on fire. But what is it like? Does it blow a hole in your roof? lol. Anyway, I will be in the basement tonight, crossing my fingers that nothing scary happens.