What Is Thalassophobia? - It’s A Fear Of The Ocean, But Do You Suffer From It?

Last updated by Lauren Hart

When I was a little girl, I remember often having a dream where I was going to the pool. But this pool had no bottom, and I would see creatures that terrorized me. As I grew up, I realized that this was a manifestation of my thalassophobia. Now, I don't think about this phobia as much as I did when I was younger. And, understanding that you suffer from this fear is not easy, just as curing it isn’t. Here are a few insights into the fear of the deep blue sea.

What Is Thalassophobia? - It’s A Fear Of The Ocean, But Do You Suffer From It?

Definition of thalassophobia

Thalassophobia is a particular fear of water. It is not just a question of being afraid of water, but of the ocean and especially of the marine depths. Indeed, our planet is covered at 70.8% by the sea, and these waters still remain very unknown to man. It is therefore not surprising that some people have developed this irrational fear of the sea bed. After all, we don't fully know what may be lurking in the depths of the oceans 😱.

Are you scared of the ocean? - Take the thalassophobia test

People who suffer from thalassophobia are afraid of large water spaces like seas, oceans, but also lakes. Generally, it is possible to realize that one suffers from thalassophobia by being uncomfortable when approaching the edges of a lake or a cliff facing the ocean, etc.

Others become aware of this phobia by looking at photographs of the sea bed, the species living in the ocean, or even photographs of submarines and ships. Extreme discomfort characterized by dizziness and heart acceleration is experienced when viewing images of the ocean depths. Other reactions may be felt such as excessive sweating, dry mouth, nausea, vomiting, shivering, etc.

🌊 French diver, Guillaume Néry, is a specialist in deep-sea diving and dived 200 m without oxygen. If watching this video gives you anxiety, then you may be suffering from thalassophobia:


What causes thalassophobia?

This phobia comes from a generalized, often picturesque, knowledge of the sea and what exists in the depths. The person who suffers from thalassophobia will have a great imagination and will think about the dangerous and terrifying animals that are in the water. It is a survival reflex to not go venturing into the water.

🧠 In addition, this fear is combined with a generalized anxiety disorder. When the individual is confronted with the source of their phobia, it leads to intense distress that can lead to a mental disorder. People suffering from thalassophobia will therefore avoid any type of situation where they might be confronted with water.

How can you overcome thalassophobia?

It is entirely possible to overcome thalassophobia, just like other irrational fears. To cure a fear of the deep sea, you need to see a mental health professional and seek therapy. It is a common disorder that specialists are used to treating. The psychologist will try to understand if there has been an emotional shock or other trauma related to the water. The goal is to decipher the origin of the phobia to better treat it.

👉 Cognitive and behavioral therapy, otherwise known as CBT, is suitable for treating such a phobia. Indeed, this therapy allows metamorphosing its negative perceptions into more positive ideas. Following this, the patient can be physically and progressively exposed to an aquatic universe. There are indeed courses taking place in swimming pools or in the ocean to gradually get rid of this fear.

Simple relaxation techniques that originally calm anxiety can be used. Abdominal breathing is also effective in calming anxiety that suddenly rises. To achieve this, you must breathe slowly and deeply with your stomach and not with your chest. This exercise is one of the solutions that will surely be proposed by the therapist. The best thing is to consult a psychologist to get rid of thalassophobia, in order to live more serenely.

Editor's opinion: Don't let your fears take control!

Don't let your irrational fears take control, if this phobia handicaps you, prevents you from spending quality time with your family by the ocean, or limits you in your daily life, it is important to turn to a specialist in order to find solutions together. 💪 CBTs are particularly effective in overcoming thalassophobia, it would be a shame to deprive yourself of it! Don't wait to make an appointment with a psychologist.

🤗 Understand yourself, accept yourself, be happy... It's here and now!

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Article presented by Lauren Hart

Writing is a beautiful means of expression that I cannot do without. It has allowed me to channel my hypersensitivity, plus I love writing about psychology and personal development. For me, self-understanding is the best way to move forward!

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