Psychologists say that most people, who have experienced an accident in the water at least once in their life, will subsequently experience a fear of deep water. A sense of panic felt by a person, while in the water, is called batophobia. In a moment of sudden horror, even an experienced swimmer can completely lose control of himself. After the attack has once manifested itself, people refuse to go to depth and try to avoid even reminders about it.
How Does the Fear Make Itself Felt?
A person who experiences fear of deep sea tries to interact with water as little as possible. For example, during summer vacation people with batophobia usually keep as far away from the sea as possible. If such a person does come into contact with water, he will only wander in it near the shore. Everyone who is afraid of water knows that the greater the depth, the stronger the fear is. If some friends jokingly decide to get the person with batophobia deep in the water, the result may be prolonged hysteria or shock, and in some cases loss of consciousness is even possible. Physical symptoms of fear of deep ocean are considered to be:
- abnormal heart rhythm;
- cold hands and legs;
- a sense of tingling and pulsing in temples;
- difficult breathing (can’t take deep breath);
- nausea, vomiting;
- loss of sense of reality;
- numbness of limbs.
Often, children suffering from batophobia protest against visiting the beach or swimming in the bath. Usually parents take such manifestations as whims and do not pay much attention to the problem. Excessive persistence on the part of adults can exacerbate fear and in the future it will be extremely difficult to get rid of it.
What Can Causes Batophobia?
There can be several reasons for the development of fear of deep water.
- Psychological trauma in childhood. Sometimes when learning how to swim the child is put to a great depth in order to make his instinct of self-preservation to manifest. Such situations can cause severe stress in children. Negative emotions driven into the subconscious in adulthood are felt by the development of phobias and neuroses.
- Bad experience. Dangerous situations that have occurred in the water and being a threat to drown (the occurrence of seizures, physical pain, general deterioration of health), also leave their mark and affect the emotional state.
- Accident. Sometimes it is enough to become a witness to an accident in the water to experience the fear of death (e.g., observation of a drowning man).
Another reason for the fear of depth may be an ordinary inability to swim. Fear is natural, if a person adequately assesses its strength and understands that the probability of drowning is very high if it is deep in the water.
You can start fighting fear by studying the water element. TV programs about water, its use and properties will help with it. Various TV reports on water sports will also help. Viewing the beautiful landscapes with water ponds and beaches is also a great idea. All this contributes to the formation of a positive image of water and will set the calm perception of depth.
It is very important not to hurry in the fight against phobia. You should start each new stage only when the previous is finally worked out. It is better to do the first steps in the pool under the supervision of an instructor or a friend, and only then to move on to contact with natural waters. First, you need to learn to stay on your back at a shallow depth to feel the water pushing the body. There should be people, preferably friends or good friends. A person needs confidence that there is someone nearby who will immediately help him in case of fear. When this stage will not cause difficulties, you can start to get used to a greater depth and go into the water to the chest level. For the beginning it is enough to raise your hands and allow them to float on the water. Then you can try to jump slightly, pressing your feet. The feeling that the feet do not touch the bottom should stop frightening or causing discomfort. It is necessary to get used to the idea that in a deep pond you can swim calmly. The next step is to go into the water to the level of the neck and start jumping, pressing your feet to the chest. In this case, you have to move your hands quickly in order not to touch the bottom as long as you can. The main goal is to get used to the idea that with the help of hand movements you can stay on the water and not drown. You should exercise in a good mood only to fully believe in yourself and your strength.
Note!In advanced cases and in inability to cope with the problem on your own, you may seek the assistance of a therapist. A professional will find out the exact cause of fear of water and tell you how to act and what to look for in the first place.
Even a mentally healthy person may be partly afraid of water, especially if he does not have swimming skills. If you have a slight excitement in a deep pond, you should not immediately diagnose a phobia and contact a therapist. It is important to understand that water will not be a threat to life and health if all precautions are taken and an adequate assessment of one’s own strength is made.