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Fear of Storms/Tornadoes

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Fear of Storms/Tornadoes

Postby gratteciel » Sun Mar 23, 2014 5:06 pm

I think my one true phobia is storms/tornadoes. I've always been afraid of them. When I was little, if the sun went behind a cloud, I would freak out thinking there was going to be a storm/tornado. One time I was at a friend's house, and I called my mom to come get me. It was still sunny out; it had just gone behind a cloud for a few minutes.

Now, if I see a chance of storms on the weather forecast, I freak out. Even days in advance. (In fact, I get anxiety about leaving my apartment if it's cloudy out!) It gets in the way of my job and my ability to function. If there is a watch for a severe storm or tornado - not even a warning - I won't go anywhere or do anything. If there's a warning, I lose all control. Crying, shaking, can't think...I know realistically, I should be calm and use my safety plan, but I just can't.

I have never been in a tornado, but I have been close many times. Where I am, we are not quite in tornado alley, but we're close to it. And it's storm season now.

I really need a way to deal with this. I can't handle another 3-4 months of pure anxiety. :(

Any suggestions?
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Re: Fear of Storms/Tornadoes

Postby srzopfi15 » Tue Jul 29, 2014 6:11 pm

If you don't know them already, I'd suggest learning some relaxation techniques to use whenever a storm comes. I'm not sure if this would work or not, but you could try just sitting in a chair (inside, of course) and doing nothing when there's a storm. Obviously you should obey any warnings, but if you can endure a mild thunderstorm without trying to hide or anything, that might give you more self-confidence.

If you haven't already, it would probably be good to talk to a therapist about your fear as well.

I will point out that a fear of thunderstorms is normal to a certain extent, and beating yourself up when you overreact will probably make it worse. I've found that when I worry about stuff, it can be helpful to try to act like an outside observer on my fear.
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