Why Do People Have Thalassophobia – Fear Of Deep Water?

The fear (phobia) of open bodies of water like the deep blue sea or huge lakes is known as thalassophobia. Usually, an unpleasant event like a near-drowning or being afraid while swimming is the reason for thalassophobia.

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However, other factors, including growing up, types of personalities, and even genetics, can also play a role.

Why do some people have a fear-of-seawater? Remember that this condition is not similar to aquaphobia, which generally refers to an irrational fear of water.

This article examines the signs and causes of thalassophobia in people. Check out this article for further information on Thalassophobia.


The symptoms of thallophobia are similar to those of other specific phobias like claustrophobia. Signs of thalassophobia usually come on by closeness to or thinking about water depth.

The fear of open water affects people in different ways. Some swimmers may be anxious when they are in deeper water, on a ship, boat or pool, where they cannot touch or see the bottom surface.

Some people get scared just thinking about the sea or viewing images of deep water. Physical and mental symptoms of thalassophobia and other particular phobias are possible in this situation.

Thalassophobia Physical Signs

Thalassophobia affects people differently, although many share particular emotions and reactions. Among these are:

  • Experiencing severe tremors
  • Sweating
  • Chapped lips
  • Symptoms such as heart rate rise or anxiety
  • Hyperventilation and other respiratory issues
  • Discomfort in the chest
  • Weakness, dizziness, and/or fainting
  • Nausea and/or abdominal pain
  • Shivers, having chills
  • Tingling or numbness in the hands

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Thalassophobia Emotional Signs

Thalassophobia can cause a panic attack, and one may go through the following symptoms:

  • Strong rise in worry or fear
  • Fear about losing energy or dying

There are many different kinds of phobias, but thalassophobia is one of the more serious ones. When a person suffers from a panic response while they are in deep water, there is a chance that they will drown.

It can be helpful to remember that the response of panic creates more risk than the water does on its own. It can also be helpful if you know you have untreated thalassophobia.

What Can Cause or Trigger Thalassophobia?

It is not clear what triggers different phobias. In certain situations, they could be different. There is no specific reason for thalassophobia, but some individuals may develop fear after experiencing trauma.

Growing Up

Some scholars believe parents’ actions could encourage children to grow up with phobias. Overprotective parents may give their children the impression that they have little control over their daily lives. This factor may have a role in forming anxiety and phobic disorders.

A mother or father can also show their children how they deal with their own fears. For example, a child might develop thalassophobia if a parent talks about being afraid of deep water.

Water-Related Trauma from the Past

Traumatic experiences might possibly trigger thalassophobia. The main causes of thalassophobia include a childhood near-drowning, seeing an attack from a shark, never attempting to swim, or being told terrifying stories about the ocean.

Gradually, a phobia may emerge due to frequent exposure to a trigger, such as diving into deep water.


Research has discovered that some genes are linked to certain fears, but thalassophobia hasn’t been studied yet in terms of its genetics.

But, based on Darwin’s idea of evolution, people still think that genes cause phobias like thalassophobia.

The people who lived before us probably would not have survived long enough to pass on their genes if they had not been scared of deep bodies of water. Evidence suggests that certain phobias are generally heritable, while studies disagree on the exact idea.

But in the case of animals, it has been discovered that the heritability for different animal phobias is at about 45%.

Both Genetics and Upbringing Play a Role.

There is a lot of evidence suggesting that both hereditary and environmental factors work together to develop phobias.

It means you might even have a family history of phobias; you cannot develop them until you go through a painful experience or come across something to trigger concepts and ideas.

What Makes the Thought of Going Underwater So Terrifying?

The fear of deep water, or thalassophobia, may originate from fears about drowning and unknown possibilities. People with thalassophobia often avoid the ocean and other deep bodies of water due to their phobia and the imagined hazards they have.

When thalassophobia develops into a full-blown panic attack, the threat of drowning in deep water becomes extremely real.

Some Well Words

Many people suffer from controllable specific phobias like thalassophobia. Speak to your doctor or a friend or relative you trust if the phobia of deep water is negatively impacting your life.

Instead of avoiding water, gradually increasing your exposure to it while working with a mental health expert can help reduce your anxiety. Yes, You Are Strong!

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