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Thalassophobia: are you afraid of the sea?

thalassophobia

Going to the beach can cause real panic

There are phobias related to places or spaces. If some are afraid of heights, others are afraid of closed spaces. And also those places that for some are paradise and for others hell, as is the case of fear of the sea when you suffer from thalassophobia . If you are terrified of going to the beach or cannot enjoy a relaxing moment listening to the waves of the sea, you may have thalassophobia. We tell you everything in our dictionary of phobias .

What is thalassophobia

Thalassophobia is the fear of the sea and the oceans. It can be related to hydrophobia or uncontrolled fear of water, but not always. Sometimes it appears independently and has nothing to do with the water in the sea, but with the vastness of the oceans. In any case, it is a very limiting disorder .

People with thalassophobia cannot go to the beach because they feel they are putting themselves in great danger . It may seem that avoiding the sea is not a problem, but what if you live in a coastal place? Just listening to the sound of the sea can cause an anxiety attack. Swimming in the sea, taking a walk along the shore or traveling by boat are activities that are not available to people with thalassophobia.

Symptoms of thalassophobia

Faced with the prospect of having to be near the sea, a person with thalassophobia activates all his resources in the face of danger. Fear and anxiety appear out of control because in reality you are not in a dangerous situation, but the mind understands it that way. It all starts with a certain anticipatory nervousness.

Then come the sweats, the dizziness , the feeling of unreality, the shortness of breath, maybe shaking. And all this can lead to a panic attack if that person does not get what they need in those moments, which is either flee or avoid. Can you always avoid being near the sea? It may not be difficult for some people, but the fact that there is a phobia is reason enough to seriously consider treatment.

Causes of thalassophobia

But before looking for a safe treatment you would like to know why this curious phobia of the sea develops . Such an attractive place for the vast majority of people that thalassophobia turns into a real hell. The cause can be found in a previous anxiety disorder that causes irrational and excessive fear to arise before the most surprising stimulus.

Although we can also go to the helpful traumatic experience, so common in cases of phobias. If a person has experienced a highly emotionally charged event on the beach or during a boat trip, for example, his mind will forever associate the sea with danger. Forever? Not necessarily if the proper treatment is sought.

Thalassophobia treatment

And the appropriate treatment must be determined by a professional psychologist. The use of drugs for a time to treat some phobias is not ruled out, but without a doubt the most effective is cognitive behavioral therapy . This therapy works the distorted thinking that considers that the sea is a place full of dangers to change the phobic behavior.

Accompanying cognitive behavioral therapy can and should go other helpful resources, such as relaxation techniques to reduce the anxiety component present in all phobias. And the techniques of gradual exposure in the imagination are also useful at the beginning , that is, imagining yourself walking along the beach trying to feel positive emotions free of fear.

 

Written by Giorgia Stromeo

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