Fear is a transient survival instinct that prevents humans from engaging in dangerous situations. Threats like wild animals, natural phenomena, or deadly attacks from other human groups, ‘trigger’ this instinct in us, if the risk is ‘real’ they will provoke innate fear responses. Two of the most important aspects of fear are, a stimulus – that can be external or internal – and the reaction of our bodies to that specific situation. Our own experiences, knowledge, and the environment in which we grew might have a remarkable influence on how our bodies react to those situations – cognitive responses. So, let’s talk about Phobia of Deep Water and it’s Consequences.
- Stress and anxiety
- Increasing blood pressure and heart rate
- Pupils dilatation
- Veins constriction
- Muscle relaxation or tensing up
- Temporary non-essential systems shut down (like digestion)
On this context, it is essential to mention that phobias are not just fear; they are an exaggerated reaction to a specific stimulus, that only that particular human – or group of humans – ‘feel’ with that precise intensity.
In the case of phobia of deep water, it’s not a matter of defining if water can kill us or not, but to determine what really is deep water and how safe we are inside or around it.
Thalassophobia or fear of deep bodies of water affects many people – up to 75% of the population suffer it. One of the main problems with this phobia is that, unlike some other conditions in which the ‘ending’ result isn’t necessarily a threat to the patient, in this case, it’s a real concern because most of the people that suffer it don’t learn how to swim, and are prone to drowning. People who experience a phobia of deep water can also be socially affected because they tend to avoid any activity that is or will be related to water such as cruises, boating, crossing bridges or going to a movie that shows open sea scenes.
Since water is all over the world, treatment of this particular phobia is always recommended. One of the most effective methods to overcome this fear – or at least making it tolerable – is learning how to swim. Knowing how to swim provides enough confidence in patients when they’re around water. Starting swimming lessons outside the pool, explaining water properties and benefits, practicing relaxation techniques and going slow through the learning process, are proven to be more effective and benevolent methods to overcome fear to deep water.