31 Phobias: #7 the Fear of Water/Drowning
Swimming is Essential
The Fear of Water/Drowning
The Earth is made up of mostly water
The fear of water/drowning is usually brought on to those who can't swim. However, this is not always true. There are a few sufferers of Aquaphobia that can swim perfectly but dread the idea of not being able to touch the bottom or not know what may lie underneath.
The fear of water may also be the result of another phobia.
Some people who suffer from Aquaphobia may only fear large bodies of water, such as a lake, rivers or an ocean. This phobia is usually developed when the person was at a young; was never taught to swim and had a traumatic experience. This is very common and a cure could come very easily if treatment is applied immediately.
If treatment is not performed, Aquaphobia can range from just thinking about going to water gets your anxiety kicking to never allowing yourself to be submerged underwater. There are Aquaphobics who are so fearful of water that they never bath.
Experts believe that Aquaphobia can be handed down genetically, but it's also fairly easy to develop a fear of water, especially if one experiences a traumatic event. Traumatic events such as almost drowning, seeing someone drowning, know somebody who drowned or even just from the comments and attitudes of friends & family who also have a fear of water.
The only "sure cure" that is known is therapy. The person must face the fear immediately after such an event to prevent the phobia from manifesting itself into the brain. As soon as the sufferer realizes that they can overcome the fear, the better off they will be.
Easier said than done...I know.
Most Aquaphobics know they can overcome the fear, but don't possess the confidence within themselves to achieve their goal. Most therapists suggest that in order for Aquaphobics to overcome their fear, steps need to be taken to build up the sufferers confidence and most importantly - has NOTHING to do with water.
The Correct Term used for "Water-Fear"
Hydrophobia is the correct term to use when describing a person who's afraid of water. However, hydrophobia has been used in the English language to refer to a later-symptom of rabies. When humans developed this hydrophobia they developed a fear of swallowing and/or has an inability to quench one's thirst.
The Seriousness of Phobias
It's been suggested that 19.2 million Americans suffer from at least one type of phobia. Aquaphobia, along with Barophobia, Acrophobia, Aerophobia and many more are considered "specific phobias" and are the most common. Specific phobias are normally developed in a persons childhood.
Those who suffer from a phobia have no control of how they feel. An anxiety attack that can range from mild to extreme can make others feel awkward and embarrass the phobia sufferer. Some attacks can trigger irrattical behavior that can harm oneself or others or even get put in serious danger.
Overcoming the Fear of Water
Sufferers have a better chance of overcoming their fear of water when working with an experienced, thoughtful and knowledgeable life guards and/or swim instructors. Always begin slowly and have patience.
© 2014 James Timothy Peters