The fear of large bodies of water, such as oceans and seas, is known as thalassophobia. People with thalassophobia are sometimes afraid of the dangers that come with being in the water, such as not knowing what creatures live under the surface. According to studies, women are more likely than men to have water-related phobias. It’s important to understand the difference between fears and phobias before determining if you have thalassophobia. Fear is nothing but a negative emotional reaction to something or someone. A phobia causes severe anxiety that it has a negative impact on one’s quality of life.
How Is It Diagnosed?
A variety of tools can be used by your doctor to diagnose thalassophobia. The first step is to figure out if your anxiety has an underlying cause. An increase in anxiety might have physical causes, such as irritable bowel syndrome or certain neurological disorders. Your doctor may use diagnostic criteria from the American Psychiatric Association to guide the diagnosis of thalassophobia after determining that there is no physical cause for your phobia. Of you have a certain number of diagnostic criteria it will help you doctor to determine if you have thalassophobia or not.
These diagnostic criteria may include:
- An extreme, and irrational fear of the sea.
- A fight-or-flight response in response to being exposed to the water.
- A complete avoidance of the ocean.
- A fear of the ocean that has lasted at least 6 months.
- A realization that the anxiety is disproportionate to the threat posed by the ocean1.
Thalassophobia is one of the less challenging phobias to overcome. Individuals under treatment typically only need a few months to recover from their condition. The phobia can be overcome in one year or less in severe cases. The treatment is simple and widely available.
If your fear of deep water causes you to miss out on important life events, you may be suffering from thalassophobia. If you’ve always had a fear of the water but aren’t sure if it qualifies as a “phobia,” a thalassophobia online test may be helpful before seeking treatment. This will help to determine whether your fear is mild, or severe. This online test contains of seven easy multiple choice questions. When you’ve finished the test, it will tell you if you have thalassophobia and how serious the phobia is impacting your life. Keep in mind whatever the result comes thalassophobia can always be overcome.
- 1.Lockett E. How to Overcome Your Fear of the Ocean. healthline. Published 2019. https://www.healthline.com/health/anxiety/fear-of-the-ocean