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 may be difficult to distinguish from related disorders.
Beat Your Fear Of The Sea
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.
Causes of Thalassophobia
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.
Symptoms of Thalassophobia
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:
- Agitation or restlessness when thinking about the ocean
- Worrying about the ocean, even when nowhere near a body of water
- Insomnia- experiencing the inability to sleep due to worrying about the ocean
- Anxiety attacks- experiencing shortness of breath, difficulty breathing, and a racing heartrate.
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.
Fear Of The Sea Treatment Options
As with most other specific fears treament for Thalassophobia, the fear of the sea are varied. NLP or Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) being extremely popular and effective methods of treatment.
If you want to avoid a costly program of face to face therapy sessions then we suggest you check out a highly effective (not to mention cost effective) self-hypnosis program called simply Overcome Thalassophobia.
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