Hydrophobia is the word that was actually derived from the Greek words hudōr, meaning, water and phobos, meaning fear. As the word hydrophobia is used to refer to a later-stage rabies symptom of swallowing difficulty, fear experienced when the affected is provided with liquids to drink and the inability to quench thirst, the new term aquaphobia was created to refer to the general fear of water and drowning using the Latin word aqua and the Greek word phobos.
Many people may have a fear of water, but people who suffer from this phobia have a persistent and unnatural fear of water to the extent that it affects their day-to-day life. People may suffer aquaphobia in several ways. They may know that the water in a river, an ocean or a bathtub does not pose any threat, but they are unable to control the fear.
People who have an irrational fear of water generally avoid activities such as swimming, boating, etc. In some people, this anxiety commonly gets extended to being splashed with water when least expected or thrown into a water body.
Aquaphobia – Fear of Water: Symptoms And Treatment Options
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Psychologists attribute the cause of manifestation of aquaphobia in people to a combination of factors such as experiential and genetic. A study undertaken by a group of swimming trainers in Singapore revealed that aquaphobic children commonly exhibited a fear of submersing their head into water.
Symptoms of Aquaphobia
Each and every case of aquaphobia can be slightly different because of the differences in thinking, images and self-talk of each person. However, some of the symptoms are common to most aquaphobes. These are:
When they think of or are exposed to water, they experience an uncontrollable feeling of anxiety.They feel that they should do everything they can do to avoid water.They cannot perform normally because of their anxiety.They feel helpless even though they know that their fear is unreasonable or exaggerated.
The symptoms can be physical, emotional and mental. The fear and anxiety may range from a mere apprehension to a panic attack. Physical symptoms may include shaking, dizziness, palpitations, breathlessness, chest pain, sweating and nausea, among many others. Emotional Symptoms may include anticipatory anxiety, terror and a yearning to flee. Some of the mental symptoms that may manifest include obsessive thoughts, inability to focus on anything except the fear, visualizing drowning and fear of going crazy, among others.
Treatment Options for Aquaphobia
Several treatment options, depending on the severity experienced by the sufferer, are available either to ease the symptoms or cure the phobia. The sufferer can take some steps to control his/her phobia at home, but it always advisable to take the help of a professional. This is because licensed professionals can guide them through different exercises to take control of the phobia.
One of the best options for anyone having the phobia in the mild form is to work with someone who is trustworthy. The person may take the phobia sufferer through stages of exposure starting form least intimidating to severe situations over a period of time to make him/her less sensitive to water or drowning.
Persons identified as severe cases of aquaphobia may have to depend on cognitive behavioral therapy, neuro-linguistic programming, hypnotherapy, etc. Generally, medication is not recommended in view of the reflex required for swimming, but it may help to relieve the symptoms of a panic or anxiety attack.
The Fear of Water – Treatment
Aquaphobia, the extreme fear of water, can take over your life as indeed can any true phobia. There are a number of guaranteed, proven and effective solution to EVERYONE with aquaphobia. Follow these programs and you can quickly and permanently cure your fear of water and stop associated symptoms such as panic attacks and Agoraphobia – it’s totally GUARANTEED and completely RISK FREE: