Fear of Tornadoes or Hurricanes (Lilapsophobia): Causes, Effects, Treatment

The fear of tornadoes or hurricanes, clinically known by specialists as lilaptophobia, is abnormal. Lilaptophobia is considered the most severe type of astraphobia, which many people experience during the winter period.


  • Like many phobias, lilaptophobia is caused by an unwanted experience, specifically, tornadoes or hurricanes that cause injury, destruction, or loss of loved ones to themselves or others they know.
  • People who survive these storms should seek professional advice, primarily to determine if a person has post-traumatic stress disorder.
  • This phobia can even be caused by learning news about tornadoes or hurricanes through the media, such as television, the Internet, the radio, or the newspaper, even though it occurred far from home.
  • If a person finds out that someone in the family has a phobia, they are more likely to suffer from it.


The mental and emotional symptoms of lilaptophobia include:

  • Obsessive thoughts
  • Difficulty thinking
  • The feeling of unreality or detachment
  • Fear of losing control or going crazy
  • Anticipated anxiety
  • Terror
  • Desire to flee or hide

The physical symptoms of lilaptophobia include

  • Dizziness, tremors, palpitations, dizziness, or fainting
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Fast heartbeat
  • Chest pain or discomfort
  • Temblor
  • Feeling of suffocation
  • Sweating
  • Nausea
  • Numbness or tingling sensation
  • Many lilaphobics also suffer from autophobia and fear of being alone.
  • Those who suffer often make arrangements with people they know to help ease their anxiety.

You may also be interested in reading: Fear of Death: Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

Effects edit

  • Lilapsophobes spend a lot of time looking at the weather or checking the weather online to watch incoming storms.
  • When a hurricane strikes, sufferers are constantly on the lookout for severe weather alerts or take cover, such as under the bed or in a windowless room.
  • In extreme cases, victims take shelter in the event of a tornado as soon as it starts to rain, usually in a basement or a storm shelter.
  • People with weather radios or cell phones can see radar and alerts while hiding.

In children

  • Like astraphobia, lilaphobia is a common fear for children, although less common.
  • Because children are learning to distinguish between fantasy and reality, major storm broadcasts on television or parent discussions can cause fear that the battery is coming with potential tornadic or hurricane.
  • Because fear is part of a child’s normal development, this phobia is not diagnosed unless it persists for more than six months.
  • Parents must overcome their children’s fear by telling them how rare major storms are to hit their hometown area.


  • Like many other phobias, lilaptophobia can often be treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy, but if it stems from post-traumatic stress disorder, then alternative treatment may be more advisable.

Georgia Tarrant
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Hello, how are you? My name is Georgia Tarrant, and I am a clinical psychologist. In everyday life, professional obligations seem to predominate over our personal life. It's as if work takes up more and more of the time we'd love to devote to our love life, our family, or even a moment of leisure.