Thalassophobia is Real | Coping with Ocean Fear (Ocean Phobia)

Thalassophobia is Real | Coping with Ocean Fear (Ocean Phobia)

Ocean Fear ( Ocean Phobia )

Earth is a blue planet, and we all know that it looks blue because of the vast oceans and water bodies.

When we visit the beaches of these oceans, we see many people enjoying the ocean water. Some try swimming in it, some play games and other water activities. Some also go deep inside the ocean water to see the beautiful sceneries underwater.

We sometimes ignore a number of people who either stay away or do not wish to participate in any of these ocean water activities. If we do deep research, particularly on this section of people who keep themselves away from ocean water, we will come up with a lot of valid reasons from their perspective. We may consider some reasons as casual ones while others can be severe issues.

One of these serious issues is Ocean Phobia. It is a problem where a person is scared of the ocean water. Scientifically, we call this problem Thalassophobia. It is not similar to aquaphobia (water phobia) in any way. 

In this article, we’re going to discuss the fear of the ocean, what exactly it is, and how we can overcome it.

Thalassophobia

As discussed earlier, the problem of getting scared of the ocean ( ocean fear )water scientifically is called Thalassophobia. This problem creates a strong and long term fear of deep water bodies. You may also count sea, ponds, lakes in the list. Besides the depth, it also includes the phobia of the sea due to its void nature( as we go down), some strange sea creatures and whether they will be able to reach the distant land.

It is not considered a mental disorder as per researches, but some people may categorise it in a specific list of phobia symptoms. Basically, Thalassophobia is a specific phobia under the type of natural environment. They are the most frequently experienced phobias in the world and are common mainly in women.

Phobias are generally a combination of nurture as well as nature, and there are a lot of factors that lead to fear of the sea:-

  • This can be a genetic cause of their ancestors being cautious or scared of the Ocean and sea depths. After surviving, they passed their genes to their children, thereby creating more cases of Thalassophobia.
  • Past experiences also have a significant impact on people, which leads to this type of phobia. They might have some bad memory related to water, like swimming, which has created a deep fear of large water bodies.
  • Sometimes parental influences might also be the reason for Thalassophobia. When you hear some terrible stories from one of your family members of having negative or traumatic experiences underwater, they create fear within you too. The phobia gets transmitted into you, and you get scared of the ocean too.

Some of the symptoms of Thalassophobia:

Fear or phobia triggers a person both physically and mentally.

Talking about the physical issues, they may cause:- nausea, dizziness, increase in the pump rate of your heart, a rapid adrenaline rush, facing difficulties in breathing and a lot of sweating. The mental issues include:

  • Anxiety.
  • Loss of common senses.
  • Imminent doom senses.
  • Difficulty making a proper decision.

These symptoms occur when a person comes in contact with the sea or ocean. Other activities like walking along the beach or flying over a large water body can also induce phobia in the phobic person.

How to overcome it?

To overcome this specific type of phobia, we have to diagnose the whole scenario clearly and concisely. According to the researches done by the psychiatrists, a phobic person tends to react more abruptly if they:- 

  • Get anxious about the phobic object or, in some cases, the situation.
  • Confront the things they are scared of in a sudden manner.
  • Face the signs and symptoms consecutively for the past six months after facing the phobic object.

The basic treatment of Thalassophobia (Ocean Fear) starts with therapy. 

  • Cognitive-behavioural therapy

This is a type of talk therapy session. The main motive of this session is challenging the futile beliefs and thoughts of a person so that they do not get anxious. The therapist will help in identifying the desultory thoughts and how they affect the person emotionally and physically. The person starts questioning whether their behaviour or thoughts are realistic, productive and correct as per the situation. A phobic person starts reacting differently after the session, resulting in reduced anxiety.

  • Exposure therapy

This therapy will make the phobic person confront the object or situations that make them anxious or scared. The situations may be sometimes stimulated or made imaginary to the person. The prime motive of this therapy process is to make the person feel confident and realise the object is not dangerous as the person thinks it to be. In this way, they will be able to cope up with the situation which makes them weak. The whole process is carried out in a safe and secured environment. The session is of three types:- in vivo, imaginary and virtual reality exposure. Read more at : https://www.apa.org/ptsd-guideline/patients-and-families/exposure-therapy

  • Meditation and understanding strategies

In case the person feels anxious due to phobia, they can start meditating at that instant. It will stop the fear from causing any physical or emotional harm to you. Your body will start producing serotonin hormones, and things will start getting under control then. Besides this, once a person understands the problems, they can also try several strategies like breathing exercises. This will help them return to a calm state of mind easily. Being mindful and focusing on the current moment will help reduce stress and distract them from the phobic object.

To know more about such therapies, read: https://lesserknownwriter.com/psychotherapy-how-does-it-work/

The Bottom Line

Consult a doctor or a therapist immediately if the phobia of the sea ( ocean fear )distresses or interferes with your daily life and work. Phobias like fear of the sea may happen from a traumatising childhood event in a person’s life. Try the therapies when you start feeling anxious due to ocean phobia and live a life free from Thalassophobia.

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