The phrase ‘water is life’ is an exact depiction of the function of water in human bodies. It is said that a person can survive without eating but cannot without water. Water bodies are home to many animals and attract tourist, divers and the like.
It is common for people to be afraid of large water bodies like oceans. That type of phobia can be justified. However, there are people who are not just afraid of water bodies but water in itself. They cannot drink it, bathe in it or anything like that. This is an extreme fear of water which is another type of phobia all together.
Definition of Hydrophobia
Hydro and phobia are Greek words that refer to water and fear respectively. Therefore, Hydrophobia is an extreme fear of water. It is the irrational fear to not only swim in water but also to drink it. In many cases, Hydrophobia is used to refer to the later stages of rabies when a person has difficulty in swallowing or drinking water because he or she is afraid of the water.
Difference between Aquaphobia and Hydrophobia
Aquaphobia and Hydrophobia have to with water. Often people use one to refer to the other but they are different. The two conditions are not the same. Hydrophobia is a fear of water that is predominant in the later stages of rabies. On the other hand, Aquaphobia is a persistent and irrational fear of water. Aquaphobia is more of social phobia.
Why am I so scared of the ocean?
There are many reasons why you could be scared of the ocean. One of these reasons is a past traumatic event that you might have experienced. For example, if at one time you almost drowned in the ocean from a heavy tide or you were part of a shipwreck, you might become scared of the ocean. There are a number of traumatic events that can happen at sea which can cause you to be scared.
You can also be scared of the ocean if you have been watching a lot of movies of people getting stranded at sea or getting attacked in the ocean. For example, ‘The Meg’ a movie about people who get attacked by sharks while in the ocean. There are many other such movies. If you have the fun of such then you will probably be scared of the ocean because you believe that it may happen to you.
You can also become scared of the ocean if you have grown up with parents who gave you too many cautionary warnings about going into or near the water. If your parents are scared of the ocean, they are most likely to pass on the fear to you.
How can I stop being afraid of the ocean?
First, you can try exposure therapy. This is one of the most effective treatments. During exposure therapy, you will be exposed to various bodies of water so as to unlearn the fear of the ocean. It could start with photos, then a river, then a lake and eventually the ocean. By progressively exposing yourself to various bodies of water, you make yourself more comfortable to face the ocean.
What is Submechanophobia?
Most people if not everyone have watched the classic movie ‘Titanic’. Besides the tragedy of lost love, this movie may have triggered some people to fear any objects submerged in the ocean.
The fear of fully or partially submerged manmade objects in water like shipwrecks or old metal at the bottom of the sea is referred to as Submechanophobia. Phobias that are related to the sea like the fear of drowning are expected and common. However, Submechanophobia is an irrational fear which can be triggered by even the smallest and most harmless object in the water.
Historically, rabies was known as hydrophobia and this term was used to refer to a set of symptoms that present themselves in the later stages of infection. These symptoms include the difficulty of swallowing, inability to quench thirst and fear of water or any other form of liquids.
In the later stages of rabies, patients become fearful of water. Rabies is called hydrophobia because the onset of paralysis in a patient causes them to be unable to swallow any liquid and they have a sensation of drowning when they try to drink.
Hydrophobia rabies is an acute infectious disease which affects the central nervous system of mammals and leads to paralysis and death. It is caused by a virus that attacks the nervous system which is present in the saliva of rabid animals. Dogs are the most common sources of Hydrophobia rabies.
Symptoms of Hydrophobia
The symptoms of hydrophobia can be physical, cognitive or behavioral. Physical symptoms include:
Cognitive symptoms include catastrophic thoughts about what will happen when the person comes into contact with water. Cognitive symptoms are negative thoughts that reinforce a person’s fear and can lead to anxiety.
Behavioral symptoms include avoidance and escape. A Hydrophobic will avoid any contact with water in their daily life. As a result, her normal functioning is severely affected. When the sufferer is faced with the situation, she is likely to escape the situation immediately.
Treatment for hydrophobia
There are various treatments for hydrophobia. If the irrational fear if caused by rabies, then one has to get treated for rabies then the hydrophobia will disappear. Unfortunately, most people who find themselves at this stage of rabies often die because of severe dehydration and starvation
Cognitive-behavioral therapy can help a hydrophobic who does not have rabies. This treatment enables a patient to confront his or her fear. It is based on exposure therapy where the patient is gradually exposed to water.
How to overcome Hydrophobia?
The best way to overcome Hydrophobia is to seek treatment. After seeking treatment, the hydrophobic can then get a support system from friends and family to help them through the journey.
Hydrophobia is a ‘dangerous’ phobia because it can actually lead to death. It is best if a person suffering from Hydrophobia does his best to overcome it which is definitely possible.