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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." 
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.
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