Thalassophobia: How to Deal with Fear of the Ocean

Thalassophobia: How to Deal with Fear of the Ocean

Thalassophobia: Are you afraid of being in or around large our bodies of dark water? Perhaps this fear prevents you from going too far out whereas in an expansive lake or makes your coronary heart drop into your abdomen when thinking about all that exists beneath the water’s floor. Because water is a vital half of having fun with so much of new experiences — whether or not a cruise, a visit to the seashore, or a go to to a tropical island — this nervousness can have a adverse impression in your high quality of life.

If this fear rings true, chances are you’ll be affected by a standard phobia known as thalassophobia. Although the title is lengthy and sophisticated, the description is fairly easy — it’s outlined as the persistent worry of huge, deep and infrequently darkish our bodies of water, which to us people usually feels harmful. In explicit, thalassophobia describes an individual’s worry of the nice unknown proper under their toes. To higher perceive this phobia and assist handle its signs, it’s crucial to acquire a stable understanding of its causes and remedy.

Signs and Symptoms of Thalassophobia

Differing from aquaphobia, which is the worry of any sort or quantity of water, thalassophobia is the persistent worry of our bodies of deep, darkish water and what exists under the floor. Whether in the ocean, a deep river, or a big lake, the worry can stem from the thought of an unknown creature swimming under you and even simply figuring out how deep, expansive, and darkish some giant our bodies of water are. Often, the most scary half is the water’s means to get darker the deeper it will get, coupled with what little we truly find out about the life varieties inhabiting the deepest depths.

In excessive circumstances, a one who experiences this phobia might begin to shake, sweat, or vomit when they’re close to or in a big physique of water — and these sensations can happen when merely photos of a watery expanse. It may also be a terrifying thought to be so far-off from the land whereas in the water. In most circumstances, individuals who have this worry shall be scared, nervous, and usually uneasy round giant our bodies of water.

You may expertise the following widespread phobia symptoms:

  • Uncontrollable nervousness when confronted with the worry
  • The want to keep away from the supply of the worry in any respect prices
  • Inability to operate usually when round the set off
  • Awareness the worry is irrational, but an lack of ability to management the emotions

Additionally, if you’re experiencing the emotions of panic and intense nervousness when uncovered to a big physique of water, bodily sensations can embody:

  • Sweating
  • Hot flashes or chills
  • Abnormal respiration
  • Increased heartbeat
  • Shaking
  • Butterflies in the abdomen
  • Dizziness or nausea
  • Chest pains or tightness in the chest
  • Dry mouth

In some circumstances, these nervousness signs could be conjured up when merely enthusiastic about the object of the phobia or viewing an image of it.

What causes it?

There are a spread of causes that somebody might develop a worry of the ocean. Exposure to stimuli that trigger a worry response might lead to the growth of a phobia. This stimulus is usually a traumatic occasion, comparable to practically drowning or witnessing a shark assault in the ocean. This sort of phobia is named an experiential phobia.

Phobias can even develop with none expertise or trauma. These sorts of non-experiential phobias might develop from the following causes:

  • Genetic components. Having a relative with a worry of the ocean might enhance your threat of growing thalassophobia.
  • Environmental components. Hearing of different traumatic occasions, comparable to drownings or assaults in the ocean, might trigger a worry of the ocean.
  • Developmental components. If the fear-response space of the mind has not developed correctly, it makes it simpler for a phobia to develop.

It is necessary to know that with thalassophobia, the worry of the ocean turns into an automated, irrational response that the individual can not management.ADVERTISEMENTTry a top-rated app for meditation and sleep

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How is it recognized?

Your physician can use a spread of instruments to diagnose thalassophobia. The first step is to decide if there’s an underlying trigger of your nervousness. In some circumstances, there are bodily causes for a rise in nervousness, comparable to irritable bowel syndrome or sure neurological problems.

After your physician has decided that there is no such thing as a bodily trigger on your phobia, they might refer to diagnostic standards from the American Psychiatric Association to information the analysis of a selected phobia — on this case, thalassophobia. These diagnostic standards may embody:

  • a persistent extreme, unreasonable worry of the ocean
  • an instantaneous fight-or-flight response upon publicity to the ocean
  • an entire avoidance of the ocean
  • a persistent worry of the ocean for no less than 6 months
  • a recognition that the nervousness is disproportionate to the risk of the ocean

Having a sure quantity of the diagnostic standards will assist your physician decide if in case you have thalassophobia.

Is there an efficient remedy?

Overcoming worry of the ocean is feasible with the proper sort of remedy. There are many remedy choices and it could take a while to discover a remedy that works for you.


If you’ve got a worry of the ocean, or every other phobia that impacts your high quality of life, there are organizations that may assist:

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is a remedy choice that focuses on altering your adverse ideas and behaviors to more healthy ones. In one studyTrusted Source from 2013, researchers used neuroimaging methods to decide the impression of CBT on some phobic problems.

Phobias may cause visible activationTrusted Source and adjustments in the neural pathways of the mind. The researchers discovered that CBT has a big optimistic impact on neural pathways in folks with particular phobias, comparable to worry of the ocean.

Another remedy choice is named exposure therapy, which is definitely a subset of CBT. Most individuals who have phobias actively keep away from the object or state of affairs they’re afraid of, which may make the phobia worse. Exposure remedy works by exposing the individual to their worry in a protected atmosphere.

For thalassophobia, this will contain seeing pictures or watching movies of the ocean with a psychological well being skilled readily available. Eventually, it could even imply visiting a seashore or dipping toes in the ocean, once more, with an expert by your facet. Over time, this kind of protected publicity can cut back the general worry of the ocean.

There are additionally some experimental procedures for treating phobias, comparable to auricular chemotherapyTrusted Source and virtual reality therapyTrusted Source. Both therapies depend on the visible techniques of the mind. However, since they’re comparatively new, extra analysis is required to decide how efficient they’re.

Medication isn’t essentially beneficial for folks with worry of the ocean as the therapies talked about above have a terrific success fee. However, for individuals who want short-term assist for the signs of nervousness, treatment could also be an choice.

The bottom line

Thalassophobia, or a worry of the ocean, is a selected phobia that may negatively have an effect on your high quality of life. If you are feeling you need assistance overcoming your worry of the ocean, a psychological well being skilled will help.

Thalassophobia could also be handled via cognitive behavioral remedy and publicity remedy, each of which have a excessive success fee. In time, remedy of your worry of the ocean will help restore your high quality of life.

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