For many people, the sea is the ultimate place for relaxation. It washes away all the agony and tiredness with every wave. However, not everyone feels a solace inside when they stand in front of the ocean. Some have chills down there spine too.
The fear of deep water is known as Thalassophobia . Thalassophobia is quite different than Aquaphobia, the fear of water. Here the sufferer is highly concerned about the creatures that lurk beneath the water body. Several factors trigger the phobia among people. For many, the fear is so extreme that they even refuse to near deep water bodies.
Signs and Symptoms Of Thalassophobia
Thalassophobia can seem like an exaggeration to some. However, those who suffer from it can only understand how helpless they feel. You can identify the fear by monitoring your behavior around large water bodies. There are some signs and symptoms that people have when they’re around deep water.
Anxiety is associated with most kinds of phobias. Some people are constantly anxious that they will have to face situations that will make them face their fear . Anxiety will eventually lead to social isolation and loneliness. Over time the anxiety will eat you up inside make you depressed.
As the fear often forces you to stay away from your friends and family, you can also become restless and agitated. This will lead you to worry more and hamper your daily life activities.
Causes and Common Triggers
Each sufferer can have different causes behind their fear of deep water. However, some factors are seen among all that play a vital role in developing fear. Children are quite vulnerable and they tend to develop behaviors similar to their parents. Sometimes children generate a feeling of fear towards deep water when they see their mother or father hesitating as they go near the sea.
Also, past traumatic experiences are one of the most common contributing factors for all types of phobias. If you faced any accidents on the ocean or river, boat accidents, drowning or any other water-related accidents in the past that it will have a psychological effect on you. You will get a glimpse of the scenarios that you faced during the accident that can trigger the fear.
Like other phobias, thalassophobia is also triggered by a specific stimulus. The fear of deep water is more apparent when you think of the creatures that live under the vast ocean. The thought of those brushing against your body can cause and trigger the fear.
Treatments for Thalassophobia
Getting past of fear is not impossible if treated properly. Phobias are mostly treated with cognitive-behavioral therapy. However, all treatments don't have the same effect on all sufferers.
Studies have found that exposure theory has an outstanding result in reducing the fear of deep water. Stepping on the sea on the very first day can fire back and trigger your fear even more. Take baby steps, start with a swimming lesson and gradually move forward.
Finding support from a group of people who walk in your shoes can be liberating. Form a focus group and share your thoughts and ideas. This will help you fight back your fear more fiercely.
Through the right support and exposure, you will surely be able to enjoy all those day outs and the beach and even explore the life under the sea at some point in your life.
Societal and Cultural Impact of Thalassophobia
The thoughts of those giant shark and jellyfish swimming around you can take a toll on your mental health. You can have an unreasonable fear of the ocean that makes you have complete avoidance of it. Sometimes due to this condition, you end up canceling many trips and day outs with friends or family. Eventually, this will leave you isolated and label you as unsocial.
Also, you will face many other complications such as anxiety, panic attacks, and even depression. If you don't face your fears then you will be left stranded and alone over time. The abrupt fear can affect your relationship with others as well.
How Common Is Thallasophobia
Every time your friends plan a day out at the beach, you back out. You may feel like you’re the only one but trust me, you’re not. There are tons of other people who have the same fear of deep water. The vastness of the ocean is not a source of relaxation for everyone. Many spend their lives fearing the thought of being near deep water and develop anxiety over it.
What strikes most people about thalassophobia are the underwater creatures. They fear the unknown creatures more than the water itself. The mere thought of being near those can generate fear and many people suffer from thalassophobia throughout the globe.
If you look around then you will see many anxious faces around the beach or some having a panic attack as the wave rushes towards them. Do know that you’re not alone in this journey and there are many others like you.
What Should I Do?
Many times our fears are irrational and abrupt. There may not be anything vicious under the sea, but it doesn’t make you fear any less about it. The fear of deep water is not completely irrational as you can’t see everything that’s underneath it.
The odds of getting attacked by a sea creature is quite low. You need to ease up your mind and face your fears to overcome it. No fear is impossible to overcome if you’re determined enough and given the right resources to overcome it.
We recommend you to start slow. You can start with a day out on a lake or a river and then step into the ocean. However, keep someone you trust nearby so that you can seek for assistance when required. Also, having a known face near will give you the assurance that you will be safe and help you calm down your nerves.