Astraphobia, that is otherwise known astrapophobia, keraunophobia, brontophobia, tonitrophobia is an abnormal fear of thunder and lightning, present in both humans and animals.
The condition is treatable, by Cognitive Behavioral Therapy or Dialectical Behavioral Therapy.
A person suffering from this phobia may feel overly anxious during a thunderstorm, to such an extent, that even shaking, sweating, nausea and even panic may occur.
The symptoms of “astraphobia” may worsen, if left alone.
A sign of being an “astraphobic” person is if one is overly interested in weather forecasts, to such an extent that they won’t leave the house without checking the weather.
In extreme cases, this kind of behavior may lead to agoraphobia, which is a fear of leaving one’s home.
Origin of the term
Initially, the term was used as astophobia, around 1850, which means “fear of stars”, however the spelling was changed in the 1870’s to “astraphobia”.
The word is comprised of the Greek terms astra, meaning stars and –phobia, which means fear.
Spread of the term
The condition is very common, it is the third most prevalent in the United States.
It may occur at any age, though children are generally more likely to develop a fear from thunders.
“Astraphobia” is has been displayed in the 2012 comedy of Seth MacFarlane and Mark Wahlberg, in which the two protagonists are both afraid of thunders and recite a little rhyme to comfort themselves.