Thalassophobia: Symptoms and Natural Remedies – Thalassophobia is an extreme fear of large bodies of water. If you have thalassophobia, you may be afraid of the large lakes, sea, and ocean. Swimming in the ocean may be scary for some people. For certain people, though, fear of the sea may be a serious challenge. If your fear of the sea is so frequent and severe that it interferes with your daily life, you may develop thalassophobia.
It is estimated that 5 to 10% of the United States population struggles from a specific phobia. Some phobias develop in childhood and fade away as you become older, while others develop later in life.
Some people are a little bit afraid of deep water or the ocean, while others get panic attacks when they see photographs of the sea. Thalassophobia can cause a variety of symptoms, from minor to severe.
This article discusses the indications and symptoms of thalassophobia, as well as probable causes and treatments.
In-depth knowledge Of Thalassophobia
Phobias are included in anxiety disorders. “Thalassophobia” is the fear of the ocean or other large, deep bodies of water. An individual with thalassophobia is terrified of both the expanse of the ocean and the sea creatures that live there.
Aquaphobia, or a fear of water, is not to be confused with thalassophobia. Aquaphobia is a fear of being in any body of water, especially small bodies of water.
Thalassophobia is a fear of vast and deep bodies of water, whereas aquaphobia is a fear of water. The fear of what lies beneath the water’s surface is greater than the fear of the water itself.
While the DSM-5, a diagnostic manual for mental disorders used by mental health professionals and psychiatrists, does not recognize thalassophobia as a separate condition, its symptoms may fit within the diagnostic criteria for certain phobias.
According to the National Institute of Mental Health, phobias are the most common type of mental condition in the United States. While specific phobias are fairly common among the general population, no one knows how many people suffer from thalassophobia.
Thalassophobia is a type of fear that happens in natural environments. One of the most common types of phobias is fear of the natural environment, with some research claiming that water-related phobias are more common among women.
Symptoms of Thalassophobia
There are a number of reasons why someone may develop a fear of the sea. A bad water experience might cause phobias and fear responses.
You may develop a significant phobia if you nearly drowned while swimming in a river or saw a shark in the ocean, for example. Phobias can develop without any past trauma or experience.
Individuals with thalassophobia have physical and emotional traits that are distinct. Thalassophobia’s concern of large bodies of water (oceans, beaches, and lakes) is out of proportion to the danger the water offers to them.
As a result, people exhibit strange behavior in situations or environments that worry them. Anxiety-induced phobias, like thalassophobia, can appear in a variety of ways. People who have a considerable fear of deep bodies of water may feel anxious and restless on a daily basis.
Common emotional symptoms of thalassophobia include:
• Panic and anxiety attacks
• Being overwhelmed
• Trouble falling asleep
• Constant worrying
• Needing to escape
• Having a sense of imminent doom
Common physical symptoms of thalassophobia include:
• Running when near deep water bodies
• Shortness of breath
• Screaming at the sight of the sea
• Shaking at the sight of the sea
• Rapid breathing
These symptoms will most likely arise and intensify as the person comes closer to their trigger. Even when the ocean is not physically close, persons who suffer from severe thalassophobia may be distressed just thinking about it.
Treatment Of Thalassophobia
Therapists and medical experts can utilize certain methods and procedures to help people with thalassophobia improve their symptoms.
It’s important to note that if left untreated, thalassophobia can lead to other mental diseases like stress, post-traumatic stress disorder, panic attacks, and despair.
Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)
Thalassophobia can be treated with cognitive behavioral therapy, which is a psychological technique. CBT is a therapeutic technique that teaches patients how to recognize and alter negative thinking into more positive and realistic behaviors.
CBT is a technique used by therapists and psychologists to have a negative effect on specific behaviors and emotions so that more acceptable and realistic reactions can be substituted.
According to a meta-analysis study released in 2013, CBT had a good effect in modifying neural pathways and brain activation in people with phobias, resulting in a more controlled behavior while facing the fear.
Patients with certain phobias are gradually exposed to some more anxiety-provoking stimuli while also acquiring relaxation techniques in a treatment called systematic desensitization.
The majority of thalassophobics actively avoid the circumstance that they are afraid of, generating a false and terrible false reality.
Through methodical desensitization therapy, patients can face their concerns with controlled emotions and realistic perspectives. It consists of three steps: first, patients must learn muscle relaxation techniques; second, they must make a list of terrifying occurrences and rank them in order of intensity.
Finally, the patients are told to face their concerns one by one. The purpose of this method is for people to focus on relaxation while going through stressful conditions until they are no longer bothered by the surroundings or event.
Classic conditioning is the foundation of systematic desensitization, and it aims to replace fear and anxiety with a sense of calm. Meditation, Diaphragmatic breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, and mindfulness are among the relaxation techniques indicated for thalassophobia desensitization.
Most thalassophobia patients improve or eliminate all symptoms with therapy; however, some people may require a combination of therapy and medication to fully address their symptoms. Although medication can help with anxiety and severe symptoms, it cannot cure phobias like thalassophobia.
Antidepressants called selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors are a type of drug that a doctor can prescribe. Other medicines widely used to treat thalassophobia include beta blockers (which aid by lowering the flow of adrenaline that occurs when a person is concerned) and benzodiazepines (fast-acting anti-anxiety medication).
Because benzodiazepines are sedative and addictive, they should be taken only when all other therapeutic or medical options have failed. You can use the self-help technique to gradually conquer your fears while continuing to receive expert treatment.
Begin by visualizing yourself near a deep body of water, then calm yourself down using the relaxation techniques you’ve been practicing. By looking at photographs of water, exploring smaller bodies of water, and then reaching the vast sea, you can gradually confront the source of your concern.
Natural Remedies of Thalassophobia
Some natural remedies and approaches may also aid in relaxation and anxiety reduction. They include the following:
• Herbal teas
• Support groups
• Herbal supplements
Also Read: Ballerina Tea Benefits and Side Effects
Living with thalassophobia can be difficult. Phobias can have a long-term impact on your life, ranging from making you afraid to engage in events with friends and family to finding it hard to get out and go about your daily activities.
Thalassophobia can be passed down through generations, or it might develop as a result of traumatic childhood situations that a person has directly experienced or witnessed. Words of mouth and news channels can also trigger it, however, it can be treated like other phobias.
CBT and exposure treatment are two types of therapy which can be used to help with and minimize the effects of thalassophobia. Seek professional treatment if you or someone you know is experiencing some of the phobia’s symptoms.
Finally, don’t underestimate the effectiveness of some coping strategies in dealing with your water thalassophobia, such as breathing exercises.