A fear of water is a horrible affliction that many people are very familiar with. It generally stems from some sort of traumatic event in childhood. Interestingly enough, most people with a fear of water are only afraid of large bodies of water. They are not scared to go in the shower or bath or to drink a glass of water. One of the main problems with people who have a fear of water is that they cannot learn how to swim. You may think that people can live their lives quite happily without ever learning to swim, but there are some significant downsides to this.
Downsides to not Learning to Swim
The main disadvantage to not learning to swim is that you will never be safe ear water. Hence, if an accident were to happen and you were to fall in, you would drown if not rescued. A second problem is that those who are afraid of water tend to project this fear onto their loved ones, thereby limiting the amount of fun their partners and children can have.
How not to Overcome a Fear of Water
A fear of water, contrary to popular belief, is not overcome by simply pushing the afflicted person in the water and showing them they won’t drown. If anything, this will make them worse. There is also a limit to how much understanding you can show towards the person with the fear, but forcing the issue does not work.
How to Overcome a Fear of Water
There are various techniques towards overcoming a fear of water. Some exposure therapy does work, whereby people are slowly introduced to ever larger and deeper bodies of water. Talking therapy, however, is far more important. It is unnatural to have a fear of water, which means that the phobia is a response to something that has happened in the past. Identifying that even and working through it for closure is generally the most effective way to actually get over the fear. Once that has been achieve, actually getting in the water and enjoying it is almost like a reward for the person who has dealt with this phobia all their life.
Never ridicule someone who has a fear of water. They may not be able to swim and they may be missing out on fun, and you may think that their fear is ridiculous. However, to them, it is very real indeed. They genuinely experience the fight or flight response when they are exposed to swimming pools, rivers, lakes, seas or other bodies of water and no amount of you telling them to not be silly is going to work. Just like with any phobia, it needs to be dealt with sensitively and delicately.
Therapy is available and it is usually recommended to follow this in order to overcome this fear. This is mainly because, as stated, the fear of water is generally a symptom of a much bigger and deeper problem. Addressing this problem is the only way to get over it.
Comment on this post with facebook!