While genetic and evolutionary factors may play a role in the onset of specific phobias such as thalassophobia, there are steps people may take to help prevent such fears from developing. 2007; 48(2): 132-136. doi:10.1016/j.comppsych.2006.10.010. If you struggle with thalassophobia, rest assured that it is a treatable condition and can be overcome with the help of professional therapy. Where aquaphobia involves a fear of water itself, thalassophobia centers on bodies of water that seem vast, dark, deep, and dangerous. Some people are only afraid of deep water or strong waves, while others fear swimming pools and bathtubs. Over time, gradually expose yourself to the source of your fear, starting with images, then smaller bodies of water, and eventually the ocean, sea, or large lake. The most important thing to remember when trying to cope with your thalassophobia is to be kind to yourself. Specific Phobias. The fear of deep water. For most people, the belief that something of this scale lies beneath the water is enough to keep them out of the water—this is thalassophobia … Perhaps this fear prevents you from going too far out while in an expansive lake or makes your heart drop into your stomach when thinking about all that exists beneath the water’s surface. . If this is your experience, speaking to a mental health professional is the best first step toward treating the phobia. Description This fact sheet gives a detailed overview, as well as a look at some of the evidence based approaches to treating fear of water … Thalassophobia belongs to the specific phobia category. Two-thirds of Americans are afraid of deep, open bodies of water and 46% are afraid of the deep-end of a pool. Consider bringing a friend you trust with you for support. Our ancestors who were more cautious and fearful of deep bodies of water were probably more likely to survive and pass down these fearful genes to their offspring. Phobias are a diagnosable mental disorder and are commonly categorized as one of these five types: Thalassophobia is listed under the natural environment phobia as it relates to the fear of a large, deep, dark body of water. For example, many people with thalassophobia fear the ocean. This form of therapy mainly consists of gradual, repeated exposure to your phobia in a safe environment in order to help you decrease your fear and manage avoidant behavior. Overcoming Fear of Deep Water Matt came to see me to overcome his fear of deep water which he'd had since a child when he slipped in a swimming pool and panicked when he went under the water. Specific phobias are quite common, so while not everyone shares your exact fear, many people have been in your shoes and know what it to experience such overwhelming feelings of anxiety. The hallmark of many anxiety disorders is the presence of irrational fears. The reaction that those who suffer from thalassophobia show towards large bodies of water (beaches, oceans, lakes) does not match the level of danger that the water poses to them. Start by simply visualizing yourself near a deep body of water, then use the relaxation techniques you have been practicing to calm yourself. In order to be diagnosed with a specific phobia according to the DSM-5: While there is no research available on the treatment of thalassophobia specifically, it is assumed that people would experience similar treatment results to those of other phobias. Water Phobia -My Journey and Success in conquering my deep fear of the water – this could be You Too! Thalassophobia is listed under the natural environment phobia as it relates to the fear of a large, deep, dark body of water. You may also experience the following common phobia symptoms: Additionally, if you are experiencing the feelings of panic and intense anxiety when exposed to a large body of water, physical sensations can include: In some cases, these anxiety symptoms can be conjured up when merely thinking about the object of the phobia or viewing a picture of it. For some people, simply imaging deep water, looking at a photograph of the water, or even the sight of words like "ocean" or "lake" is enough to trigger the response. Whether in the ocean, a deep river, or a large lake, the fear can stem from the thought of an unknown creature swimming below you or even just knowing how deep, expansive, and dark some large bodies of water are. Clinical Psychology Review. Give yourself the time and resources you need to deal with your fears and don’t be afraid to reach out to a doctor or therapist if you need help managing your anxiety. Head to the pool or a quiet lake and wade into the water until you start to feel afraid. From a nature perspective, evolution and genetics may play a role. Like other types of phobia, it is likely a combination of nature and nurture that contributes to thalassophobia. Hot. Categories: Digital Downloads, Fact Sheets, Fact Sheets (Downloadable), Simple Phobias. While a persistent fear of vast, deep, and dark bodies of water can result in crippling anxiety symptoms, it can absolutely be overcome with professional support. But you don't necessarily have to be near water to experience symptoms. Some steps you can take to minimize the risk of developing thalassophobia include: Dealing with thalassophobia can be challenging, but there are things that you can do to cope and ease your fears. Research suggests that behavior therapy treatments, particularly exposure-based treatments, tend to be quite effective at reducing symptoms of specific phobias. Other forms of behavioral therapy found effective for phobias include: Research has found that not all treatments have the same effectiveness for different subtypes of specific phobias. In vivo exposure (which involves being exposed to the fear object in real life), for example, while effective for all types, also has high dropout rates and poor treatment acceptance. They may experience anticipatory anxiety when they know that they will be encountering the object of their fear, such as feeling extremely nervous before boarding a ferry boat and forms of water travel. 2008; 28(6): 1021-1037. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2008.02.007, Wechsler TF, Kümpers F, Mühlberger A. Inferiority or even superiority of virtual reality exposure therapy in phobias?-a systematic review and quantitative meta-analysis on randomized controlled trials specifically comparing the efficacy of virtual reality exposure to gold standard in vivo exposure in agoraphobia, specific phobia, and social phobia. Psychological approaches in the treatment of specific phobias: A meta-analysis. Individuals with a modera… card. Thank you, {{form.email}}, for signing up. When she is not writing, she enjoys traveling to new places and hanging out with her cat, Buster. Compr Psychiatry. Thalassophobia is characterised by certain physical and emotional traits exhibited by an individual. Imagine how you felt the last time you were faced with something dangerous. ), International Handbook of Cognitive and Behavioral Treatments for Psychological Disorders. Some people who suffer from anxiety…, Many of us have things that we fear. Although thalassophobia may simply sound like a quirky fear to some, it can make life difficult for those who have struggle with it. Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder and a person who suffers from them will feel intense distress when brought into contact with the source of their phobia — so much so that they might even experience a panic attack. Like all phobias, it may vary dramatically in severity from person to person. IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENTS: Going forward, new mods, new rule, moment for discussion. How the Fear of Large Objects Can Be Treated With Therapy, Coping With the Fear of Dead Things (Necrophobia), How to Face Your Fears: Healthy Ways to Cope, How Specific Phobias Are Diagnosed Using the DSM-5, How Phobias or Persistent and Extreme Fears Are Treated, How to Cope With Trichopobia (The Fear of Hair). Choy Y, Fyer AJ, Lipsitz JD. Trypophobia, or the fear of small holes, may be linked to deep-seated … 25 comments. It had meant avoiding swimming pools and he'd missed out on some events which involved deep water whilst on holiday. A person with thalassophobia will experience that same reaction even if the response is out of proportion to the actual danger. ASEAN Journal of Psychiatry. Aquaphobia (from Latin aqua 'water', and Ancient Greek φόβος (phóbos) 'fear') is an irrational fear of water. 2007;27(3); 266-286. doi:10.1016/j.cpr.2006.10.002, Ⓒ 2021 About, Inc. (Dotdash) — All rights reserved. Moderator of r/thalassophobia Archived. Also known as Psychophobia. It isn't the water necessarily that they dread; it's what is lurking beneath the water that scares them. Is Your Fear of Haunted Houses Really a Phobia? Hot New Top. It is worth noting that natural-environment phobias are most predominant. The more you discuss with your therapist, the easier it will be to help them determine the origin of your phobia and work with you to overcome it. Bathophobia is a fear of depths or deep things, (for swimmers who dislike swimming over deep water). Instead, you’ll have a newfound perspective on the world and be able to prioritize living life to the fullest and enjoying each day. An incredible view of rock formations in the crystal clear water at Barracuda lake in the Philippines. Anxiety-induced phobias such as thalassophobia presents itself through specific signs and symptoms. Occasionally, aquaphobia is so pervasive that even being splashed or sprayed with wate… 4 8 0 3 3084. Each time, use your relaxation methods to ease your fear response. Treatment may sometimes encompass a number of different strategies including gradual exposure, systematic desensitization, cognitive restructuring, and relaxation techniques. And, hey, you might even decide it’s time to go back in the water! Treatment of specific phobia in adults. In most cases, people who have this fear will be scared, nervous, and generally uneasy around large bodies of water. (Ed. Call +1 (800) 273-8255 or use these resources to get immediate help. Perhaps you’ve heard tales of Isabella, the crocodile-like Bear Lake Monster, who is also known as the water devil. Shallow and deep end water phobia is very common amongst people who have suffered a trauma in the water regardless of their age. Bajwa M, Chaudhry A, Saeed R. Prevalence and factors associated with phobias among women. Specific phobia and comorbid depression: A closer look at the National Comorbidity Survey Data. Well, you're not alone. Some of these include: A phobia can trigger both physical and emotional symptoms of anxiety and fear. You probably experienced an immediate and intense onset of the fight-or-flight response, a series of reactions that prepare your body to either stay and deal with the threat or run away from the danger. In any instance, if you find this fear gets in the way of experiencing your life (such as getting on a boat or going to the beach), it is probably worth seeking professional support. While specific phobias themselves are quite common among the general population, it is unknown how many people have thalassophobia. save. However, if you want to face your fear, try gradually pushing yourself out of your comfort zone. Nondiurnalaquaphobia: the fear of water in the dark. Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder. American Psychiatric Association; 2013. Jessica DuBois-Maahs is a Chicago-based writer whose work has appeared in USA Today, Verily Magazine, The Chicago Sun-Times, and The Florida Times-Union, putting her MSJ degree from Northwestern University to good use. The word 'thalassophobia' comes from the Greek... See full answer below. Conquering your fear of deep water involves coming to terms with how your body behaves in the water and then learning to take control of the thoughts and feelings associated with various states you body can find itself in when in the water. However, thalassophobia is not just a fear of the sea, it’s a fear of any deep body of water. While there is no formal test or assessment to diagnose this phobia, your doctor will likely assess your symptoms and investigate any possible underlying medical factors. In addition to these physical symptoms when encountering deep water, people will also go to great lengths to avoid being near or having to even look at large bodies of water. Here's what he said: Hence, they illustrate abnormal behaviour under situations or environments which trigger their fear. This fear response can happen if you come into direct contact with the ocean or other deep bodies of water, such as driving past the beach or flying over the ocean on a plane. The term thalassophobia steps from the Greek thalassa ("the sea") and phobos ("fear"). Because water is an important part of enjoying a lot of new experiences — whether a cruise, a trip to the beach, or a visit to a tropical island — this anxiety can have a negative impact on your quality of life. In addition to better understanding your body’s response to thalassophobia, a therapist may also leverage cognitive behavioral therapy — a form of psychotherapy that modifies dysfunctional thoughts — to help replace your negative self-talk with more positive messages. Before seeking support, you may want to consider taking an informal thalassophobia “test” to help gauge the degree of your phobia. If so, you aren’t alone; thalassophobia is the fear of deep bodies of water, and many people have it. Individuals with the phobia are frightened mainly by the creatures that are under the sea. The symptoms of aquaphobia vary widely from person to person. Having a phobia is common in the U.S.; and according to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America about 19 million people experience at least one phobia. I had this fear of water all my life owing to childhood incidents. A therapist might use exposure therapy to work with you to overcome this fear by first having you think about a situation where you would be in the ocean — with imaginal exposure — then move on to showing you images of the ocean, and then ultimately guiding you through an in-person experience of the oceanor via virtual reality exposure. 5th ed. Of course, exposure to a fear object in real-life is not always possible, particularly if it involves something dangerous or impossible. You're one of many people with thalassophobia, or the fear of the sea. 174. Thalassophobia is a type of specific phobia that involves a persistent and intense fear of deep bodies of water such as the ocean or sea. I have listened to hundreds of experiences from being told to jump in the deep end as a child and 2 adults on holiday staying in an off shore house at the time when we first heard of a Tsunami that happened on Boxing Day in Indonesia . What's Really Causing Your Fear of Cruise Ships? For example, some people may feel fear in the presence of deep water or rapid … It is worth noting that natural … Clinical Psychology Review. When you are able to lessen the burden of a phobia and diminish its negative impact on your life, you’ll be able to spend less time living in avoidant fear. Because thalassophobia is often provoked by a specific stressful or traumatic experience, how such experiences are dealt with can play a major role in whether a phobia eventually takes hold. . This fear may also be partially learned due to experiences people may have had around water. Do You Know How Many People Have Phobias in the U.S.? 2019;10:1758. doi:10.3389/fpsyg.2019.01758, Choy, Y, Fyer, AJ, and Goodwin, RD. The key is to only confront your fear in a well-controlled environment. There are a number of factors that may cause this fear of the ocean and sea. A panic attack is characterized by sudden and intense feelings of fear, accompanied by physical symptoms that can include chest pain, feelings of choking, numbness, feelings of unreality, and a fear of dying. Considering some of the alien-like fish that can be found there, it's a perfectly understandable phobia. Can you make it through this without being physically disgusted by bubbles? Natural environment fears tend to be one of the more frequently experienced types of phobias, with some studies suggesting that water-related phobias tend to be more common among women. The fear of the ocean and deep water can be treated or mitigated through cognitive behavioral therapy. Cryophobia (or Frigophobia or Cheimatophobia) is a fear of cold, cold weather or cold things. Often, the most frightening part is the water’s ability to get darker the deeper it gets, coupled with what little we actually know about the life forms inhabiting the deepest depths. If this fear rings true, you may be suffering from a common phobia called thalassophobia. Some are afraid of entering the water, while others cannot bear to even look at a large body of water. Deep Dark Water r/ thalassophobia. People may sometimes self-treat symptoms of anxiety with alcohol and other substances. Afraid of Submerged Cars? Fear of Water (Aquaphobia) Fact Sheet (Instant Download) quantity. An informal online test might give you an indication that you have this type of specific phobia. According to All About Counselling: "While a non-swimmer might be afraid of deep water, people generally understand that this is a logical fear of drowning. Are you afraid of what lies in the depths of the ocean? A phobic response is more than just feeling nervous or anxious. A thalassophobia test entails viewing pictures of large, expansive bodies of water to see if the sight makes you anxious and rating the level of fear you have when thinking about them. Basically, I have a phobia of deep water (shallow water is fine, so it is not aquaphobia) and I would like to know what the correct terminology for it is. Research has shown that people with specific phobias also sometimes experience mood changes or symptoms of depression.. A phobia is defined as an excessive, irrational fear of a situation, creature, place, or object that is unlikely to cause any actual harm. The difference between aquaphobia (fear of water) and this phobia is that people that suffer from aquaphobia are afraid from water itself. There's also a genetic component for phobias, so if a relative has thalassophobia you're more likely to develop it, as well.Especially if you grew up around the person. After all, fear is a normal human emotion designed to…, How do you feel when you look at a honeycomb, a spotted animal, an open pomegranate, or the…, this anxiety can have a negative impact on your quality of life, person who experiences this phobia may start to shake, rating the level of fear you have when thinking about them, What Makes Irrational Fears Different (and What to do About Them), Uncontrollable anxiety when confronted with the fear, The need to avoid the source of the fear at all costs, Inability to function normally when around the trigger, Awareness the fear is irrational, yet an inability to control the feelings. In the case of thalassophobia, live exposure to open water may be the most effective but imagined exposure may provide some benefits if this is not possible. Although the name is long and complicated, the description is pretty simple — it is defined as the persistent fear of vast, deep and often dark bodies of water, which to us humans often feels dangerous. Fear of deep water is a very common phobia and is nothing to be ashamed of. When you find yourself experiencing fear-related symptoms in response to water or even the thought of water, try a relaxation technique to calm your mind and body, including: The more you practice these techniques, the better able you will be able to control your symptoms in the face of your fears. Observing other people, particularly parental figures and other influential adults, who also had a fear of deep water might also be a contributing factor. You may be given assignments to visit the ocean while remaining safely onshore to test some common coping mechanisms. It can also be a terrifying thought to be so far away from the land while in the water. According to the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), phobias are the most common type of mental illness in the United States. Learn All About Submechanophobia, Daily Tips for a Healthy Mind to Your Inbox, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Helpline, Psychological approaches in the treatment of specific phobias: A meta-analysis, A. Inferiority or even superiority of virtual reality exposure therapy in phobias?-a systematic review and quantitative meta-analysis on randomized controlled trials specifically comparing the efficacy of virtual reality exposure to gold standard, Specific phobia and comorbid depression: A closer look at the National Comorbidity Survey Data, Prevalence and factors associated with phobias among women, Your fear of deep water is persistent, excessive, and unreasonable, You feel this fear every time you are exposed to deep or open water, You realize that your fear is out of proportion to the actual dangers, You either avoid the ocean or other waters or endure them with intense fear, Your fear of large bodies of water interferes with your normal functioning, You fear has been present for six months or longer, Your fear is not better explained by another disorder such as. Psychological approaches in the Philippines start by simply visualizing yourself near a deep body water... 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Other hand, is a common phobia called thalassophobia of this type of specific phobia health professional as. The term thalassophobia steps from the Greek... See full answer below you felt the last time were... Diagnosis, you aren ’ t alone ; thalassophobia is listed under care! Illustrate abnormal behaviour under situations or environments which trigger their fear the presence of irrational fears learned! Most important thing to remember when trying to cope with your thalassophobia is the presence of irrational.... Closer look at a large, deep bodies of water, and techniques. Exhibited by an individual phobias such as thalassophobia presents itself through specific signs and symptoms full answer.. Lake Monster, who is also known as the water – this could be you Too much as they afraid... Physical and emotional symptoms of aquaphobia vary widely from person to person a few things that you can more.