Friday, July 08, 2005


this is more than a little embarrassing, but whatever.

i came to the conclusion yesterday that i am indeed have a full-fledged phobia of lightning. i never really liked it much (**understatement**), but i never realized (until actually having to deal with it) the extent of my, um, issue.

things that i know are unreasonable but are in fact, sadly true:

1. i spent all of tuesday and thursday freaking out because there was a forecast for thunderstorms that night and i knew i'd have to drive to raleigh (30 minutes each way) for kaplan

2. i pretty much had a full-fledge panic attack while driving home last night during a lightning storm (it was a pretty bad one, but still). all the cheesy symptoms they talk about in psychology that sound so ridiculous? shortness of breath? palpitations? feelings of imminent doom? nausea? check, check, check, check.

i am totally aware that my fears are ridiculous, although i suppose some cold hard facts about the absolute UNLIKELIHOOD of ever being struck by lightning would help. i really, really want to get over this, though. i KNOW it's unreasonable. i just have to really believe it, i guess.


  1. I have the same issues with spiders... shortness of breath, palpitations, feelings of imminent doom, and nausea! But I think it may have to do with my childhood trauma. I felt something crawling up my leg under my jeans and I swatted it. Sure enough, out dropped this big HUGE smashed bloody spider. But worse than that, it was a mother, and her live young were scattering throughout the ground, and in my pants. yes, i was naked in 5 seconds.

  2. I also have a bit of a lightning phobia, but usually only when I'm outside. As soon as I hear thunder, I want inside quick! Before I was born, my mom was struck by ball lightning that came out of a light switch... didn't hurt her, but did knock her back a few steps. I've also gotten a few nasty shocks (from appliances, not lightning).

    However, if you're in a car (driving to Kaplan, for instance), you're pretty darn safe. The car's metallic body acts as a Faraday Cage, and if lightning strikes your car it will travel through the outside metal to the ground. When you are driving during a lightning storm, just avoid touching any metal parts on your car (keys, metal bits on the doors) so no current bleeds into you if your car is struck. If you're inside don't use sinks/showers during severe storms, and unplug any expensive appliances :)

    (my dad is an electrical engineer - this stuff was drilled into me as a kid :) )