Most people are familiar with some types of phobias. However, Thalassophobia or the fear of the sea is not a well-known disorder. After all, most people have a minor fear of the ocean. From shows that demonstrate their dangers to even visiting a local aquarium, the ocean is not a safe place in all cases. However, Thalassophobia is both intense and persistent. It can be a fear of being in a deep body of water. It may also display as being a fear of the emptiness of the ocean, a fear of the sea waves, a fear of sea creatures, and a fear of being away from land.
This is a different type of phobia from aquaphobia. While Aquaphobia is a fear of water itself and may present with small amounts of water, thalassophobia is specifically a fear of the sea or bodies of water that appear to be deep, dark, and dangerous. Most people only experience this type of phobia when it comes to the ocean or seas. Lakes may also trigger it, especially larger ones.
It’s not well-known how many people suffer from thalassophobia as it’s quite difficult to distinguish from related disorders.
Everyone has fears and anxieties. Most people could come up with a fairly long list of what makes them anxious on a daily or occasional basis. These fears are typically rooted in some type of logic. A person who has lost a job before, for example, may experience anxiety in the workplace for this reason. These types of fears are normal and usually can be managed with little to no help.
Phobias are a type of anxiety disorder. Unlike normal anxiety, phobias are an overwhelming fear of objects or situations that pose little danger in most cases. They provoke the response of anxiety and avoidance. Unlike the brief anxiety that people feel in specific situations such as taking a test or trying out something new, phobias are longer-lasting. They can cause both psychological and physical reactions. They also may affect a person’s ability to lead a normal life or participate in normal activities.
And that’s exactly the effects of Thalassophobia – the fear of the sea. But … it CAN be overcome.
Fear and anxiety don’t usually occur out of thin air. Since thalassophobia is a very specific disorder, it may be easier to find the cause. There are a few reasons why a person may develop a fear of the ocean. A basic theory is that exposure to a stimulus that causes a fear response may then lead to the development of a phobia. This could be a traumatic event such as a near drowning. Even seeing a traumatic event such as a shark attack or a boat going down in a storm can cause trauma. This is a type of experiential phobia.
This does not mean that all phobias are related to trauma though. There are non-experiental phobias that can arise from a number of factors. Genetic factors are often listed as being a cause of phobias. For anyone who has a genetic predisposition to developing a phobia, this is a potential cause. It may also be possible to be predisposed to a phobia and then have it triggered by an experience. This is comparable to turning a light switch on.
Environmental factors can also be a cause. Hearing or seeing traumatic events can be triggering, even if they don’t happen to that person. Consider the huge amount of television programming related to the ocean, especially certain channels. This may be triggering for a person that’s watching. Finally, developmental factors can play a role. When the fear-response area of the brain does not develop properly, this makes it easier for a phobia to develop.
There is not one single symptom that people experience. They may find that their responses are triggered by being near the ocean or even just thinking about it. The most common symptoms include:
The symptoms can show up at any time but they are often triggered by being near an ocean. They can also be triggered by even hearing about bodies of water.
You weren’t born with particular fears or anxiety – instead you have developed them along your life journey so far. In very simple terms Hypnotherapy works by re-setting the mind to produce the rational response to a specific situation or environment that you had before the phobia was initially triggered off. Find Out More >
Neuro-linguistic programming or NLP combines neurology and linguistics and creates a sort of programming that helps people change their thinking habits, help them deal with anxiety, stress, depression and overcome particular fears. In short, this means taking a specific fear or phobia and disassociating and reframing the experience to prevent the irrational response. Find Out More >
In simple terms Cognitive Behavioural Therapy or CBT as it’s more commonly referrred to, is a talking therapy which takes your specific issue, fear or specific phobia and focusses on your thoughts, beliefs and attitudes and how they affect your behaviour and emotions in respect of this issue. It takes on the notion that your thoughts (cognition) creates emotions which, in turn, controls our reactions (behaviour). Find Out More >
If the mere thought or sight of the sea fills you with fear and terror then take a look at one of our recommended, self-help treatment programs that are all guaranteed, proven and effective.