Aquaphobia: the fear of water

According to a survey, nearly 86 percent of adults and 91 percent of children and young adults admitted to being afraid of something. When a fear becomes irrational and unbearable, it can turn into a strange, funny or even weird phobia.

Aquaphobia is a fear of water and is a common phobia ranging from fear of open water to avoiding bathtubs. This is an abnormal fear because despite knowing the fact that water is not a threat to them, some people are afraid of it. Most aquaphobes are scared of even standing near the pool or riverside and very obviously avoid swimming.

People tend to confuse hydrophobia and aquaphobia with each other, although they mean completely different things. Hydrophobia, despite containing the word “hydro”, which is of water, interestingly is a symptom of later stage rabies.

If one observes and feels a racing heart, shortness of breath, sweating chest pain, loss of control and trembling and is somewhere near the water, then one is suffering from aquaphobia. Renowned celebrities like Carmen Electra, Winona Ryder and Michelle Pfeiffer have a fear of water. Winona has suffered from aquaphobia since she was twelve after a childhood incident where she nearly drowned. She also had some trouble while shooting an underwater sequence for her film ‘Alien: Resurrection’.

Carmen Electra, of Baywatch fame, has also been victim to this fear of water. While giving an interview to Sky News, she said “I get terrified near it (water) and have a panic attack”. She is actually scared of water because she does not know how to swim.

Renowned American actress Michelle Pfeiffer worked with a scuba driver instructor to overcome her undying fear of water while filming ‘What Lies Beneath’ and is quoted by Entertainment Weekly as saying: “I felt like I was in such good hands, I felt ready to take the plunge, literally.”

To overcome the fear of water, professionals say is important to develop a rational mindset along with the awareness about Aquaphobia. It is just a state of mind, which can be easily overpowered with courage so that one can enjoy a fearless and satisfying life.

Other celebrities, like Playboy model Jayde Nicole, also suffer from this disorder. At the Playmate of the Year Luncheon, she said: “I am terrified of the ocean, which is so weird because all I want to do is be by the ocean. I know I’m going to be doing a lot of travelling over this year, so I’m hoping to go swim in an ocean at some point.”

People suffering from severe Aquaphobia can get the quickest and the most effective treatment through cognitive therapies.

Image: http://www.sxc.hu/photo/1231444

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