Thursday, July 17, 2008

Fear of Water


Aquaphobia is an abnormal and persistent fear of water. Aquaphobia is a specific phobia that involves a level of fear that is beyond the patient's control or that may interfere with daily life.People suffer aquaphobia in many ways and may experience it even though they realize the water in an ocean, a river, or even a bathtub poses no imminent threat. They may avoid such activities as boating and swimming, or they may avoid swimming in the deep ocean despite having mastered basic swimming skills. This anxiety commonly extends to getting wet or splashed with water when it is unexpected, or being pushed or thrown into a body of water.

I wouldn't say that I have a PHOBIA exactly. My fear of water doesn't interfere with my daily life. If I had chosen a career as a life guard, then maybe it would. But I have this fear of water you see, so being a life guard never even entered into the possible list of career choices. My specific fear of water is water splashing in my face, or having to put my face in water (bobbing for apples is out as an activity too - maybe this does interfere more then I thought!)


At a daily level, the only time that this fear manifests itself is in the shower. But I've been showering for awhile now so I have conquered how to do it (and wash my hair) without a single drop of water getting on my face. So I can hop into the shower with nary a concern. I don't wear make up or any other product on my face so I simply just don't wash it. I have a great complexion so that must be working okay.


Living with a 6 year old however has opened up many more opportunities for me to get my face wet. Babies splash when they are in the tub. When they get older they splash on purpose. It was inevitable that water guns would become a part of our outdoor toy selection. I do my best to not let my fear overcome me and stop me from having fun with Liam, because after all, water guns and splashing can be fun! I even took Liam to his mother/child swim classes starting at 9 months old in a hope that I could get over my fear. That didn't work out so well. And as a result, Liam didn't like the water very much either. Since he's been taking swimming lessons on his own, he has overcome that so it doesn't look like my fear has rubbed off on him.


I'm not 100% sure where this fear came from, but I have my suspicions. I have a very vivid memory of being at my Aunt and Uncle's house one summer when I was quite young - maybe 5-6 and someone threw me in the pool, knowing that I couldn't swim. And of everyone standing around the pool laughing while I struggled and panicked before someone finally rescued me. Now neither of my parents remember this (or are willing to admit that they remember it) but that could be because they were all DRUNK at the time which is why they all thought this would be a hilarious idea in the first place!


So there you go, I've shared 2 of my phobias, anyone else have any they want to share?
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